Funding for Research Areas

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The National Cancer Institute reports how appropriated funds are spent based on different categories or classifications, including specific cancer sites, cancer types, diseases related to cancer, as well as types of NCI research mechanisms. The table below identifies funding levels for frequently requested areas of cancer research.

The research areas in this table do not represent the entire NCI research portfolio. Moreover, funding for research areas often overlap, and therefore the total for all research areas does not add to the total NCI budget. For example, a basic cancer research project may be relevant to cervical, uterine, and ovarian cancers, and relevant amounts would be included in the amounts for all three areas of cancer research.

The research areas and amounts displayed in the Funding for Research Areas table reflect information that appears in the NCI Funded Research Portfolio (NFRP) web site.

When making decisions about which research projects to fund, NCI leadership focuses on supporting the best science, not setting funding targets for specific research categories or disease areas. All research project applications – regardless of the disease area or research category they address – are subject to rigorous peer-review, which judges applications for funding based on criteria that emphasize scientific merit.

In addition to scientific merit, other factors can affect the funding levels that NCI reports in NFRP. These include factors such as an overall increase or decrease in NCI funding, whether research programs are commencing or terminating, whether the funding for a program has shifted from NCI to another NIH institute, the number of research proposals that qualify for funding, and similar factors.

Finally, although NFRP reports funding levels for research related to specific disease areas and research categories, much of cancer research does not fit neatly into such categories. For example, the NCI spends nearly half of its budget on basic research that is not disease specific. Basic research contributes to our knowledge of the underlying biology of cancer, and what we learn from basic research supports advances for many types of cancer.

Funding by Research Areas
(Dollars in Millions)
Disease Area FY 2010 FY 2011 FY 2012 FY 2013 FY 2014
Total NCI Budget $5,098.1 $5,058.1 $5,067.3 $4,789.0 $4,932.0
AIDS 272.1 270.0 271.7 261.6 269.2
Brain & CNS 156.8 172.6 177.5 176.8 180.4
Breast Cancer 631.2 625.1 602.9 559.2 528.5
Cervical Cancer 77.0 81.4 72.6 63.4 71.0
Colorectal Cancer 270.4 265.1 256.3 238.3 223.0
Head & Neck Cancers 62.7 61.8 71.1 57.6 57.1
Hodgkin Disease 14.6 13.4 15.6 14.5 15.4
Leukemia 239.7 227.0 234.7 234.9 236.7
Liver Cancer 72.6 66.2 64.6 64.0 60.0
Lung Cancer 281.9 296.8 315.1 285.9 254.1
Melanoma 102.3 115.6 121.2 122.5 126.2
Multiple Myeloma 48.5 54.9 61.3 45.4 46.6
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma 122.4 126.4 119.5 113.7 118.0
Ovarian Cancer 112.3 110.8 111.7 100.6 91.5
Pancreatic Cancer 97.1 99.5 105.4 101.9 122.4
Prostate Cancer 300.5 288.3 265.1 255.6 217.8
Stomach Cancer 14.5 13.4 12.1 11.2 11.3
Uterine Cancer 14.2 15.9 19.1 17.8 15.5

Note: The figures in this table were created using NCI's coding methodology. More information about this methodology, as well as the research projects associated with these and other disease area categories, are available on the NCI Funded Research Portfolio website.

FY 2015 funds available to the NCI totaled $4.952 billion, reflecting an increase of .09 percent, or $20 million from the previous fiscal year. Under the NCI RPG funding policy for FY 2015, non-competing grants were awarded at 100 percent of the committed level. For more information on NCI's grant funding policy, visit the NCI Division of Extramural Affairs website.

  • Posted: December 16, 2016