DEI Pilot Project Program

The University of Illinois Cancer Center is the recipient of the American Cancer Society’s Institutional Research Grant (ACS IRG). The ACS IRGs are awarded to institutions as block grants and provide seed money for newly independent investigators to initiate cancer research projects. The intent is to support junior faculty in initiating cancer research projects so they can obtain preliminary results that will enable them to compete successfully for national research grants. This ACS IRG request for applications (RFA) is only intended for investigators from an underrepresented minority group (described below). The next regular RFA will be issued in September 2023.


  • Support the development of new investigators to conduct independent cancer research.
  • Foster direct relationships between funded institutions and the local American Cancer Society chapter.
  • Support research by newly independent investigators in areas of special interest to the Society

The Cancer Center will fund one DEI ACS IRG pilot in 2023 for up to $50,000 awarded for a one-year project period.


The deadline for submitting a Full Application is Monday, February 20th, 2023.

The earliest start date for UICC Pilot Projects will be April 1st, 2023. Projects are awarded for a one-year period. 


  • Applicant must identify with groups that qualify as underrepresented minorities (URM) in science including:
    • Individuals with disabilities, who are defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, as described in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990Certain racial and ethnic groups (African American/Black, Hispanic/Latino, or American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, or other Pacific Islander Group)First-generation college graduate
    • From socio-economically disadvantaged background (Criteria)

Additional Eligibility criteria and application details are described on the RFA. The RFA Face Page can be found here.

For questions, please contact:

Sarah Olender, MS, RDN, LDN
Research Specialist, University of Illinois Cancer Center

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