Incubator & Catalyst Grants – Request for Proposals

Despite five major academic research-intensive medical centers, two NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers and millions of dollars in cancer research funding, Chicago consistently ranks in the upper decile amongst the nation’s worst cancer disparities.



The Chicago Cancer Health Equity Collaborative (ChicagoCHEC) is an NCI-sponsored collaborative U54 mechanism involving the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU), Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University (NU), and a number of community organizations (

The purpose of this Request for Proposal (RFP) is to foster cross-institutional collaborations among investigator teams from NEIU, UIC, NU and a community partner to advance research on cancer health disparities. Projects can be in any discipline spanning basic, clinical, translational, prevention, control, behavioral, population, and/or community engagement research, but must have a cancer health equity lens.


Up to two (2) full projects will be funded up to $250,000 total for each full project divided over 2 years (direct costs only).


January 20, 2023

Deadline for required pre-proposal phone consultation meeting with ChicagoCHEC

February 15, 2023

Letter of intent to submit proposal due

May 26, 2023

Completed proposals should be submitted via the NU Competitions application portal by 11:59PM CST, May 26, 2023.

July 2023 (anticipated)

Project teams are notified of the funding decision

September 1, 2023

Project funding begins


ChicagoCHEC principal investigators will host pre-proposal consultation meetings from December 2, 2022 – January 20, 2023, to allow faculty and community partners to share ideas for collaboration and research prior to preparing a proposal. At least one pre-proposal consultation meeting is required but is not binding. Interested faculty who do not have an existing partnership with an NEIU, UIC, or NU faculty member or community partner can receive assistance in finding a collaborator during these phone consultations. Pre-proposal consultation meetings are intended to help project teams formulate competitive applications that are responsive to the request for proposals. Please note that pre-proposal consultation meetings require interested faculty to submit a draft-specific aims page.

To schedule a pre-proposal consultation meeting, please complete the online form.

Pre-proposal consultation meeting deadline: January 20th, 2023.