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SU2C Catalyst™ Research Grants: Merck Supported Projects

Grant Amount $3,000,000 USD
Grant Term3 Years
Start of Grant Term11/01/2016
Application Deadline07/20/2016 12:00 PM (AST)
Decision Date10/1/2016 12:00:00 PM

Grant Amount: $1 Million - $3 Million
Expected Number of Funded Grants: Up to 4

The SU2C CatalystTM is a new collaborative initiative intended to leverage all stages of the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, diagnostic, and devices industries (collectively referred to herein as "industry") to bring new treatments to patients as rapidly as possible. SU2C is at the intersection between a large and highly skilled scientific community consisting of its Scientific Advisory Committee, Dream Teams, Translational Research Teams, and Innovative Research Grant recipients, academic institutions, and industry. The SU2C Catalyst establishes a mechanism through which industry and academic scientists in the cancer community will conduct SU2C collaborative research projects that will deliver significant benefits for patients and society, accelerating the development of new treatments and, where appropriate, combination therapies. As the Scientific Partner in the SU2C Catalyst, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) provides scientific oversight and conducts expert peer review and grants administration for SU2C.

The principles guiding SU2C collaborations with industry are designed to accelerate the pace of groundbreaking translational research that provides new therapies to patients rapidly:

  1. Integrity: Industry, academia, and SU2C will act with integrity at all times, putting patients at the center of everything we do.
  2. Independence: SU2C and affiliated researchers will maintain independent strategies, activities or information with unbiased scientific overview by its Executive Committee and associated Industry Steering Subcommittees.
  3. Transparency: SU2C will be transparent, consistent, and fair when collaborating with industry.
  4. Accountability: SU2C is accountable to many stakeholders and thus will not promote, endorse, or favor any particular product.

Research Project Criteria

The SU2C CatalystTM Research Grants: Merck Supported Projects takes a structured and prioritized approach to early-phase clinical studies or translational research in order to accelerate the time to get new treatments to patients and bring together all the key players in a collaborative and strategic manner. The project must include pembrolizumab alone or in combination with other compounds, biologics, diagnostics, or devices intended as therapeutic interventions, and/or methods for biomarker identification for any cancer. If a product is proposed for use that is marketed or is under development by another company, SU2C will act as an honest broker to secure the necessary agreements. Multi-investigator, multi-institutional projects are required. The project must be designed to accelerate the application of therapeutic agents or methods to the clinic (i.e., lead to patient involvement within the timeframe of the grant) and deliver near-term patient benefit through investigation by a collaborative SU2C Catalyst Merck Team of expert investigators. The ideas should be based on perceived opportunities for success as well as high-priority areas with a critical need for rapid progress beyond current medical care. An emphasis on early phase, signal-finding clinical trials is encouraged. Clinical trials must be planned so that the final patient is enrolled by the end of the grant term.

Eligibility Criteria

The Principal Investigator and any Key Personnel must have acquired a doctoral or medical degree, and must be independent investigators affiliated with an academic, medical, or research institution. Applications are encouraged from the scientific community, including current and former SU2C grantees and non-SU2C affiliated scientists. Individuals on the FDA Debarment List may not apply.

Research must be carried out within the United States. There are no citizenship or residency status restrictions.

Employees or subcontractors of for-profit industry are not eligible to apply, but their participation as unfunded Collaborators is encouraged.

Members of the SU2C Catalyst Executive Committee are not eligible for funding as part of the SU2C Catalyst. Members of the SU2C Catalyst Merck Steering Subcommittee are not eligible for an SU2C Catalyst Research Grants: Merck Supported Projects but may apply for other SU2C Catalyst funding opportunities.

Candidates with questions about the eligibility requirements are encouraged to contact the AACR's Scientific Review and Grants Administration (SRGA) department at [email protected] prior to submitting the proposal.

Citizenship Requirements


AACR Membership Requirements


Application Instructions

The AACR requires applicants to submit an online application. Completed online applications should be submitted by 12:00 p.m. (noon) United States Eastern Time on July 20, 2016. using the proposalCENTRAL website at An e-mail will be sent to confirm your online submission.