Frequently Asked Questions



No. The IMAT Program is first and foremost a technology development initiative. Applications proposing research projects centered on discovery biology, no matter how novel, will be deemed non-responsive to the program and returned to the applicant without review. Applications centered on innovative technology development and that also utilize or exploit novel biology in order to illustrate the enhancement or development of innovative or applied emerging technologies are considered responsive.

In general, technology refers to instruments, devices, platforms, tools and associated techniques or methods.

The IMAT Program seeks to foster the development and technical maturation of highly innovative, emerging, and potentially transformative next-generation technologies. As such, technical innovation is a key component of the program and technologies that are in widespread use or commercially available are not supported by the program.

Use of commercialized products is allowable insofar as they support the development, evaluation, or maturation of innovative, emerging and/or non-commercialized technologies. Applications proposing the sole use of commercially available technologies to pursue biologically driven research are non-responsive to the program.

No. The IMAT Program solicits both molecular and cellular analytical and characterization technologies across a wide-range of cross-cutting disciplines. The program encourages collaborative approaches in order to overcome mutual technical barriers in multiple areas of research. Robust technologies appropriate for basic, clinical, or translational use are actively being solicited by the program.

The R21 mechanism is meant to support research projects in which proof-of-principle has not yet been established. The aim of such an award is thus to acquire, through the completion of a series of quantitative performance measures, sufficient data to demonstrate proof of principle. IMAT R21s are intended to encourage new exploratory and pilot research projects. Proposed projects are expected to be novel. The technology proposed should be at the inception, conceptiual stage and may involve considerable risk but could lead to a breakthrough in a particular area that could have a major impact on cancer research. The IMAT R21 FOAs limit direct costs to $400,000 total for up to 3 years.

The R33 mechanism is meant to support research projects that are more developmental in nature and should be predicated upon the establishment of proof-of-principle through prior research. An IMAT R33 project may or may not have been previously supported by an exploratory IMAT R21 grant. IMAT R33s are expected to generate sufficient data to fully validate the technology in a biologically relevant setting and demonstrate its full utility in addressing biological, translational, clinical, and/or epidemiological questions. The IMAT R33 FOAs limit direct costs to $300,000 per year for up to 3 years.

Specific requirements for each of these types of grants are outlined in the funding overview section of this website and in each of the relevant RFAs.

No. Applicants may apply directly for an R33 provided they have sufficient data to adequately demonstrate or establish proof-of-principle. R33 applications based on previously funded IMAT R21s, however, are required to quote the final Milestones from the R21 Notice of Award and discuss the extent to which these milestones have been achieved.

Yes, applicants to have questions concerning suitability of a potential proposal are strongly encouraged to contact a program staff member prior to submission.

Yes. Specific eligibility criteria are stipulated in each R21 and R33 RFA.

Yes. Please refer to the eligibility criteria stipulated in each RFA.