Research Grants FAQ

2023 Sarcoma Foundation of America Research Grant FAQ

Q: When are grant applications due and when can I submit?
A: Grant proposals are due by February 1, 2023, at 5:00 pm (ET). Applications must be submitted electronically at proposalCENTRAL. You can apply beginning October 3, 2022. It is suggested that you start the application early to ensure you have ample time to handle issues that may arise during the submission process.

Q: When can I expect to be notified of an award and what is the start date?
A: The anticipated 2023 grant cycle is listed below:

Q: Are researchers located outside of the United States eligible for SFA research grants?
A: Yes. The SFA does accept applications from researchers outside of the U.S. However, grant awardees must be able to accept funds in US dollars.

Q: Are there any duration restrictions for projects applied for under this grant?
A: SFA grants are for a one-year period. This period typically runs from June 1 to May 31.

Q: What kind of research will the SFA fund?
A: In support of our overall mission to fund research and increase awareness and advocacy for sarcoma patients and their families, the goal of the SFA grant program is to encourage research that results in improved therapeutic options for sarcoma patients. The SFA encourages applications that focus on the following areas of research:

  • Immunotherapy
  • Omic characterization of sarcomas and definition of novel targets
  • Omic patterns of sensitivity and resistance to existing agents
  • Systemic therapy combinations
  • Gene Therapy

Q: Are there any restrictions on the length/format of attachments?
A: Applicants must upload a Biosketch and Research Proposal attachment as well as a separate Facilities and Research Disclosure Form attachment.
The Biosketch and Research Proposal attachment must be one PDF attachment containing biosketches, a proposal, and references. The Biosketch and Research Proposal attachment is limited to six pages; applications with greater than six pages for this attachment will not be accepted. There are no specific format requirements for the Biosketch and Research Proposal; however, all text must be easily legible for reviewers. Biosketches, not CVs, are specifically requested to minimize submission length. Do not submit manuscripts or journal articles.

The Facilities and Research Disclosure Form attachment is uploaded separately where designated and does not count toward the six-page limit referenced above. A Facilities and Research Disclosure Form template can be found in the Attachments section of the application in proposalCENTRAL.

Q: By “references,” do you mean literature references relating to the research proposal, or personal references/letters of recommendation written in support of the applicant?
A: By “references” (mentioned in the Biosketch and Proposal attachment description), we are referring to literature/bibliography references relating to the research proposal.

Q: Do you require the biosketches of collaborators or the PI’s mentor, or just the PI?
A: Due to the strict page limit of the Biosketch and Research Proposal attachment, we only require a biosketch for the person listed as the PI in the application (also see preceding question). However, if you have room, you can provide additional limited biosketches that only include information relevant to the proposal

Q: What should the Research Proposal include?
A: In the Research Proposal is included in the Biosketch and Research Proposal attachment, and should identify the specific aims, research activities, outcomes and contributions of the proposed research, including the innovative components that will advance the field. Specifically describe the relevance of the research to addressing human sarcoma therapies, and the potential to make significant advances. Items to consider include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Significance/Relevance: Specifically, how will successful completion of the aims change the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field, now or in the future? Does the project address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field? Is there preliminary data?
  • Innovation: Does the application seek to shift current research or clinical practice paradigms by utilizing novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions?
  • Approach and Timeline: Are the specific aims well-defined? Are expected outcomes for each aim clearly described? Are the aims able to be completed within the grant period of performance? How will the success or failure of the aims be measured? Are the rationale and timing of the measurements defined and appropriate? How will relevant outcomes/data from the project be disseminated/shared. Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the project? Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented clearly?

Q: Can awarded grant money be used to fund PI salaries?
A: The SFA does not permit funds to be used for PI salaries. However, applicants are permitted to
request money for the payment of salaries for non-faculty post-docs, fellows, and technicians. No more than 50 percent of SFA grant money can be used for salaries. Applications requesting more than this amount will not be accepted.

Q: Can any of the funds be used for indirect costs?
A: We do allow for up to 10 percent of the total grant cost in indirect funds (e.g., up to $5,000 of the $50,000 total cost can be allotted for indirect costs). Indirect costs over this amount will not be accepted.

Q: What if our cost is under $50,000?
A: In most cases applicants generally ask for the full amount of $50,000. You are encouraged to do so if you believe that the full amount of money could be used towards the project, within the period of performance.

Q: Is there a requirement to submit a final report to the SFA at the end of the one-year grant period?
A: Yes, the SFA does require that all grant awardees submit a Final Report (outcomes) as well as a final Financial Report (list of cumulative expenditures).

The final report summarizes the progress and achievements toward the originally stated aims and describes the impact and/or medical implications of the results during the period of performance. In addition, a list of manuscripts for publication, invited articles, abstracts and presentations is requested.

Please note that failure to provide these deliverables may adversely affect future funding to the organization and/or awards to the same PI. Instructions for the Final Report and Financial Report will be made available to awardees through our grant website: proposalCENTRAL.

Q: When and where are grantees expected to acknowledge SFA funding in support of their research?
A: Proper acknowledgment is critical for our ability to continue supporting sarcoma advocacy, awareness and research. Regardless of publish date or other sources of support, research supported by SFA is expected to be properly acknowledged (see SFA acknowledgement below). In addition to scientific journal submissions, we recommend more timely reporting of SFA supported research activities to encourage/inform patients, advocates and volunteers. Some examples of such reporting include press releases, interviews, articles, presentations, etc. This information will also be requested on the Final Report.

SFA acknowledgement: “The research described was supported by grant # [sample format] 2023 SFA XX-23 from the Sarcoma Foundation of America.”

Q: Are postdoctoral fellows eligible for and SFA grant?
A: Yes, post-docs are eligible for an SFA grant. The Principal Investigator (PI) is the person who runs/manages the grant and is in charge of the budget. We do not require that the mentor/head of the lab be listed as the PI. It is important to note that we do not allow funds to be used for PI salaries. Whoever is listed as the PI would not be eligible to have grant funds used for any portion of their salary.

Q: Are there guidelines for collaborations involving more than one institution or for sub-awards?
A: One person will need to be the lead researcher on a grant submission; applicants may include collaboration description in the research proposal text. The individual listed as the PI and would be responsible for all communication on the project, including the final reports to be submitted the following year. One check will go to the PI’s institution and it would be up to the grantee to distribute the appropriate amount of funds to the other institution.

Q: If I don’t have final IRB or IACUC approval by the submission deadline, what should I do?
A: You should submit your application by the due date and indicate on the application that approval is pending. Once you receive notification by your institution, you should submit the date from the institution’s IRB or IACUC of final approval to SFA by email.

Q: Where can I find out more about applying using proposalCENTRAL
A: First-time users will be required to register and complete a professional profile in order to apply for an SFA research grant. If you have any questions about registration, how to apply, or other logistical application questions, please contact the proposalCENTRAL customer support hotline at 800 875 2562 (Toll-free U.S. and Canada), or +1 703 964 5840 (Direct Dial International) or by email at [email protected].