2023/2024 CPI Research Grants


Opportunity link:

Opportunity type:



Cancer Prevention Initiative

Award amount and duration:

Up to $450,000 over 3 years




Faculty, Postdoc

Applicants should have background and training in the scientific or administrative oversight necessary to manage the sponsored project. In addition, the Principal Investigator should meet one of the following criteria:

  • Academic Appointee - any employee of the University holding an Academic Appointment (Continuing, Limited Term, Contingent Term or Sessional) or a non-employee of the University holding a Clinical, Adjunct, or Emeritus Appointment.
  • Manager, level M1 or above.
  • Professional, level P3 or above
  • Research, level R3 or above.
  • Technical Professional, level T3 or above.
  • Postdoctoral Fellows (PDF 175)*
  • Postdoctoral Associates (PDF 162)*

*Note that Postdoctoral Fellows (PDF 175) and Postdoctoral Associates (PDF 162) are not eligible to hold Research Projects directly under the University’s Authority Matrix; funds awarded to Postdoctoral Researchers will be held in the Academic Supervisor’s name.


The goal of CPI’s research grant program is to identify and provide seed funding for innovative projects that have the potential to make substantial contributions to the development of therapeutic interventions for the prevention of inherited cancers. CPI welcomes research ideas from all individuals irrespective of their background or professional roles.The program aims to bridge funding gaps by considering projects that may not align with the conventional criteria of established funding agencies.

CPI firmly believe that prevention is better than treatment. Therefore, this program actively seeks to attract the best minds in the field of cancer research to join our efforts in cancer prevention research. Research grants are up to $150,000 per year for a period of up to three (3) years. Awards are limited to a total maximum of $450,000. CPI is open to considering both short-term pilot projects and long-term in-depth studies.

CPI accepts proposals that could lead to the prevention of any inherited cancer, and will consider research projects that can contribute to broader understanding in various areas related to premalignant stages, transformation, early detection, and the development of assays/models and preventive therapies. Studies that propose to study established cancers and cancer treatments will not be considered for funding. Priority will be given to proposals focused on the following categories:

1. The Basic Biology of Cancer Initiation

This broad category includes discovery research that will increase our knowledge and understanding of early, pre-cancer stages - research that will identify and characterize molecular biological and cellular changes that occur during early stages of inherited cancer following the initial genetic lesion and as well as mechanisms restraining precancer stages. Successful completion of research in this category will generate knowledge that helps to identify novel biomarkers for early detection and risk assessment and novel targets that can be exploited for the development of preventive agents.
Research could include, but is not limited to:

  • study of oncogenic targets and signaling pathways;
  • genetic/epigenetic, proteomic, and metabolomic changes related to transformation; and
  • the immune microenvironment of pre- and early-cancer; contributions of the microbiome to transformation.

CPI will prioritize studies that can fill knowledge gaps that have hindered early detection and the development of preventive measures. Projects may also include those that propose the development of preclinical assays and models to understand mechanisms of transformation.

2. Early Detection

Development of technologies that could enable early detection of cancer at preneoplastic or premalignant stages. Development of tests to distinguish malignant vs benign preneoplastic lesions. May include projects that could help stratify the risk for cancer in individuals with genetic predispositions. Projects could include, but are not limited to, research that could lead to the discovery and validation of biomarkers and the development of diagnostic tests.

3. Early Intervention

Development of interventions to intercept early tumorigenic events to reduce cancer risk. May include projects that propose to develop predictive preclinical assays for effective and efficient screening; further the scientific insights into the mechanisms of cancer prevention by the agents examined; characterize the effects of known or potential preventive agents on their molecular targets and on any biological events associated with cancer development; functionally validate targets that can be potentially exploited for the development of cancer preventive therapies.

Application Submission

Two step application process:

1. Letter of Intent (LOI) Application. All LOI applications must be submitted electronically through ProposalCentral at http://proposalcentral.com. The LOIs will be reviewed by a panel of select members of CPI’s Scientific Advisory Board and other experts in relevant fields. The LOIs will be assessed for how well they address one or more of CPI’s funding priorities and for innovation, significance, feasibility, potential for clinical translation, etc. The LOI review is a highly selective process where the projects are assessed for their scientific merit. The projects that are selected are strongly considered for funding. Therefore, CPI encourages applicants to ensure that you clearly state how well the project meets the review criteria in your LOI. The deadline for LOI submission is 9:59pm MT, October 15, 2023.

2. Full Application. Select projects that CPI wishes to evaluate further in detail will be invited to submit a Full Application. Applicants invited to submit full applications must obtain institutional approval from the University of Calgary prior to submitting their full application to CPI. Initiate required University of Calgary internal approvals by completing a Pre-Award/Application record in RMS (https://my.rms.ucalgary.ca/)/. Attach a copy of your complete full application materials and submit for academic approvals. Please ensure that you allow time for academic approvals prior to the Research Services Office internal review deadline of 12:00pm MT, March 12, 2024.


Not Applicable. Indirect costs are not allowed.


Application deadlines

RSO detailed review deadline

March 1, 2024 - 12:00 PM

RSO final internal review deadline

March 12, 2024 - 12:00 PM

Program application deadline

March 15, 2024 - 9:59 PM

Application deadlines

Letter of Intent (LOI) Deadline

October 15, 2023 - 9:59 PM


NOTE: Consult your Faculty Associate Dean (Research) (ADR) regarding Faculty-specific deadlines and submission processes.

Principal Investigators: Complete a Research Management System (RMS) record, including a copy of your complete application, and submit this for approvals in RMS.

Postdocs, students, and trainees: For fellowships and externally-sponsored research training awards or opportunities, you must complete the Research Funding Application Approval (RFAA) Trainee PDF form, and submit it, along with a complete copy of the application, to Research Services at rsotrainee@ucalgary.ca. Trainees should not use RMS at this time.

Approvals: The University of Calgary requires that all funding applications be approved prior to submission. Approval requires signatures via either RMS or the RFAA Trainee form, in the following order:

  • Principal Investigator
  • Department Head
  • Faculty ADR/Dean
  • Research Services (on behalf of the Vice-President Research)

Read the Meaning of Grant Signatures policy to understand what your approval means. Please see the agency guidelines for details about which signatures are required on your application, as it may differ from internal requirements.

Late submissions: Late submissions will only be accepted in cases of medical or family emergencies, or other exceptional circumstances. If you submit your RMS record to Research Services after the internal deadline has passed, you must secure additional approvals. Please read: Late Applications Process.

Contact Details


2023/2024 CPI Research Grants
Cancer Prevention Initiative
International Foundations