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DCB Funding

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DCB funds and supports extramural basic research — research conducted by academic institutions and research foundations across the United States — that investigates the fundamental biology behind cancer.

Applications are peer reviewed, and the most promising are awarded, as allowed by the budget. Division staff monitors the grants after award to ensure the proposed scientific aims are completed.

Funding Opportunities

The Funding Opportunities page lists the most current opportunities from DCB.

Funding Opportunity and Grants-Related Resources

The Funding Resources page includes New Grantee Workshop materials related to NCI grant policies, pre-application webinar materials, and the "Getting a Grant from NCI" webinar.

Funding Mechanisms

DCB uses a variety of funding mechanisms to support investigator-initiated cancer biology research at academic institutions and research foundations.

Notices of Funding Opportunities (including omnibus Parent Announcements)

Special Research Initiatives

MERIT Award (R37)

The Method to Extend Research in Time (MERIT) Award provides longer term grant support to Early Stage Investigators (ESIs).

ESI R01 applications that receive a score within the NCI payline for experienced and new investigators are eligible for consideration to be converted to an ESI MERIT Award if all PIs have ESI status at the time of award.

NCI Research Specialist Award (R50)

The NCI Research Specialist Award encourages the development of stable research career opportunities for exceptional scientists who want to pursue research within the context of an existing cancer research program, but not serve as independent investigators.  

These scientists, including researchers within a research program, core facility managers, and data scientists, are vital to sustaining the biomedical research enterprise.

Outstanding Investigator Award (R35)

The Outstanding Investigator Award supports investigators with outstanding records of productivity in cancer research with up to $600,000 in direct costs per year for seven years to provide funding stability.

The award allows investigators the freedom to embark on long-term projects of unusual potential in cancer research; the opportunity to take greater risks and be more adventurous in their lines of inquiry; and sufficient time to develop new techniques.

Pioneer Award

The NIH Director’s Pioneer Award supports individual scientists of exceptional creativity who propose pioneering — and possibly transforming — approaches to major challenges in biomedical and behavioral research.

The proposed research must reflect ideas substantially different from those already being pursued in the investigator’s laboratory or elsewhere.

Pioneer Award Recipients

Support for Research Excellence (SuRE) Program

The SuRE Program supports research capacity building at eligible higher education institutions by funding investigator-initiated biomedical research in basic, social, clinical, behavioral, or translational science that falls in the mission areas of the NIH. 

The purpose of SuRE awards is to provide research grant support for faculty investigators at resource-limited institutions who are not currently funded by any NIH Research Project Grants to furnish students with high-quality undergraduate and/or graduate research experiences and to enhance the institutional scientific research culture.

Informatics Technology for Cancer Research (ITCR)

Informatics Technology for Cancer Research (ITCR) is an NCI program supporting investigator-initiated, research-driven informatics technology development spanning cancer research continuum. 

This initiative also provides support for informatics resources across the development lifecycle, including the development of innovative methods and algorithms, early and advanced stage software development, and sustainment of high-value resources.

Innovative Molecular Analysis Technologies (IMAT)

The Innovative Molecular Analysis Technologies (IMAT) Program supports the development of next-generation analytical methodologies and tools that have the potential to revolutionize the way that cancer research can be pursued.

IMAT uses a variety of investigator-initiated research project grant mechanisms and aims to empower translational research through targeted (and perhaps disruptive) innovation. 


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