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NCI Outstanding Investigator Award (R35) Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility Requirements

Is the Outstanding Investigator Award targeting a certain career-stage investigator?
No.  Any investigator who meets the eligibility requirements and is nominated by their institution may apply for the OIA.  

How to Apply

Can an institution submit more than one OIA (R35) application/nomination?
Yes. Institutions/applicant organizations may nominate and submit an OIA application for as many PI’s from their institution as deemed scientifically meritorious by the institutional selection process.

Do you have any additional guidance as to the type of institutional selection process that NCI might be looking for?
The process used for selecting an individual as an OIA nominee is at the discretion of the institution. Whatever process is chosen by your institution, it should be based on the scientific merit of the nominee and framed around the eligibility requirements of the PAR and the required content of the letter of nomination. The selection process used by the institution must be explained within the letter of nomination.

Are there any guidelines regarding who should provide the letter of nomination on behalf of the applicant?
The letter of nomination should be signed by the person at the institution who has the authority to evaluate and endorse the outstanding cancer research productivity of the nominee (e.g., dean, center director, etc.) and commit the institution to all the requirements of the application and award.

The application itself should be submitted by the authorized organization representative (AOR)--the individual named by the applicant organization, who is authorized to act for the applicant and to assume the obligations imposed by the Federal laws, regulations, requirements, and conditions that apply to grant applications or grant awards. This official is equivalent to the signing official in the eRA Commons, i.e., holds the signing official role.

What happens if my application does not include a letter of nomination?
Applications that are missing a letter of nomination will not be reviewed.  The letter of nomination should be uploaded as an attachment to section 12: “Letters of Support” under Other Research Plan Sections in the PHS 398 Research Plan.

General Information

What kind of science is NCI interested in?
NCI is interested in all areas of cancer research. Some areas of cancer research may have budgetary constraints that may not be well suited for the $600,000 direct cost limit per year.

What happens to single PI, multi-component grants such as P01s and U54s, if I were awarded an OIA?
The intent of the OIA is to consolidate all of an investigator’s single-PI NCI grants into one award with a 7- year project period. Therefore, it is expected that the OIA will replace current NCI funding on individual (single) PI grants to meet the 50% time and effort on the OIA. However, current grants supporting time and effort in excess of the 50% would require renegotiation. Multiple PI grants and multi-project grants will be excluded.

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