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US Dept of Defense – Rare Cancers Research Program

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US Dept of Defense – Rare Cancers Research Program


Concept Award HT9425-23-RCRP-CA

  • up to USD$100,000 over 2 years
  • letters of intent due 14 July 2023
  • Supports highly innovative, untested, potentially groundbreaking novel concepts in rare cancers.
  • Supports high-risk studies that have the potential to reveal entirely new avenues for investigation. Applications must describe how the new idea will enhance the existing knowledge of rare cancers or develop an innovative and novel course of investigation
  • must address at least one of the FY23 Focus Areas.
  • Preliminary data not required
  • Clinical trials not allowed.


Idea Development Award – HT9425-23-RCRP-IDA

  • up to USD$350,000 over 3 years
  • pre-proposals due 26 June 2023
  • Supports new ideas that are still in the early stages of development and have the potential to yield impactful data and new avenues of investigation.
  • Supports research supported by preliminary data that could lead to critical discoveries or major advancements that will accelerate progress toward eradicating deaths and suffering from rare cancers.
  • Preliminary data with disease-specific rationale (may include correlative studies to ongoing clinical research) to support the feasibility of the research hypotheses and research approaches are required; however, these data do not necessarily need to be derived from studies of the proposed rare cancer type(s)/subtype(s) under study.
  • must address at least one of the FY23 Focus Areas.
  • Clinical trials not allowed.

Resource and Community Development Award  –

  • up to USD$800,000 over 4 years
  • Supports development of research platforms to share resources, knowledge, and information to facilitate collaboration among stakeholders such as researchers, patients, caregivers, clinicians, and other members of the rare cancers’ community.
  • Supports platform development or infrastructure that can be applied to multiple rare cancers.
  • Applications to the RCDA funding opportunity are required to include patient advocates who are involved with patient
    advocacy organization(s). The research team must include at least two rare cancer patient advocates as early and integral partners throughout the planning and implementation of the research project, including development of the research question, project design, oversight, and evaluation.
  • Preliminary data not required but may be included (translational research and clinical studies may be included).
  • must address at least one of the FY23 Research Platform Development Focus Area components
  • clinical trials not allowed

FY23 RCRP definition of rare cancers
: Cancers affecting 6 or fewer persons per 100,000 per year in the United States. Applicants will be required to provide a justification statement explaining the relevance of the investigated cancer types/subtypes that fall under the RCRP’s definition of rare cancers.

FY23 Focus Areas

  • Biology: Identify disease-defining molecular pathways, cell context, and microenvironment.
  • Research Model: Develop and validation of rare tumor-specific models that can support clinical trial readiness.
  • Therapy: Identify novel therapeutic strategies, including drug repurposing.

FY23 Research Platform Development Focus Area

Development of clinical or pre-clinical research platforms (such as tumor tissue repository with clinical annotation, centralized databanks, patient registry with common data structure, research model, and “Omics” database, and longitudinal studies of natural history and treatment response) for multiple types or sub-types of rare cancers to allow sharing of data, bio-specimens, and research resources.

Supporting documents for download

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