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Cancer Research Education Grants Program (R25)

Check out the NCI-supported Courses for Skills Development offering innovative, state-of-the-art, evidence-based cancer research education.

The Cancer Research Education Grants Program (CREGP) (R25) provides support for educational activities that complement and/or enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nation’s biomedical, behavioral and clinical research needs. Applications should propose innovative, state-of-the-art programs that address the cause, diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of cancer, rehabilitation from cancer, or the continuing care of cancer patients and the families of cancer patients.

Note: The details on this page are for informational purposes only. Please read and follow all requirements and instructions in the notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) and the Table of IC-Specific Information linked therein before applying for an award. Application review information is described in the funding opportunity. If you have any questions before submitting your application, please contact the relevant NCI program staff listed at the end of this page. 

There are three CREGP notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) 

1. Curriculum or Methods Development (PAR-23-278): supports curriculum or methods development activities that have a high potential to improve biomedical, behavioral or clinical cancer research education, or that involve the development of novel instructional approaches or computer-based tools for cancer research education.  The curriculum or methods developed should be readily adaptable by the cancer research education community. 

Note that this NOFO provides support to develop, test, and prepare the curriculum or methods developed for dissemination to the cancer research education community. It does not provide support for the actual offering of the developed curriculum or methods to identifiable participants at the applicant institution or elsewhere, which may be able to be supported through the companion NOFO (PAR-23-276), Courses for Skills Development.

Non-Responsive Applications

Applications with one or more of the characteristics listed below will be considered non-responsive and will not be reviewed:

  • Proposed curriculum or method to be developed is not cancer-focused.
  • Proposed curriculum or method to be developed is intended for students at or below the undergraduate level or for individuals who are not involved in providing health care or disseminating health information.
  • Application proposes a research project, including an educational research project, rather than the development of a curriculum or method.
  • Application proposes to adapt curricula or methods currently available through the existing core curricula at colleges, graduate schools, medical schools, or resident training programs.
  • Application proposes to adapt a current or previous R25 funded curriculum or method to focus on a different target population.
  • Application proposes to disseminate a current or previous R25 funded curriculum or method.

2. Courses for Skills Development (PAR-23-276): The proposed course for skills development should provide innovative, state-of-the-art, evidence-based cancer research education that is derived from biomedical, behavioral and clinical cancer research findings. All instructional activities must be completed within a 12-month period. Activities to evaluate the professional impact of the course on the participants may continue indefinitely, as feasible. The format of the course may involve a traditional in-person approach, online activities, or a hybrid of both approaches. 

The course must be offered during each year that R25 support is requested. If the time required to develop the course would preclude this during the first year of support, applicants should instead consider applying for the companion funding opportunity (PAR-23-278), Curriculum or Methods Development (R25).

Non-Responsive Applications

Applications with one or more of the characteristics listed below will be considered non-responsive and will not be reviewed:

  • Proposed course is not cancer-focused.
  • Proposed course activities are not completed within a 12-month period.
  • Proposed course is not offered each year that R25 support is requested.
  • Proposed course is an adaptation of a current or previous NCI R25-funded course to focus on a different target population.

3. Research Experiences (PAR-23-277): Proposed research experiences should involve an innovative approach to provide hands-on exposure to cancer research for a full-time (40 hours per week) period of 8 to 15 weeks in order to stimulate the interest and advance the knowledge base of participants to consider further education and training for future careers as cancer researchers. Ideally, the research experiences should provide opportunities for the participants to present their work at professional venues and/or earn co-authorship on peer-reviewed publications.

Complementary educational activities, such as seminars, journal clubs, grand rounds, field trips, career development presentations, etc., are encouraged as part of the research experiences program, but should not exceed more than 8 hours per week (20% of the full-time effort) on average.

The proposed programs should provide research experiences and related training that are not available through formal NIH training mechanisms.

It is expected that each participant will be integrated into the research setting of his/her assigned faculty mentor who will have direct oversight responsibility for the participant, which will include regular, in-person interaction. 

R25 programs that propose at least 8 weeks, but fewer than 15 weeks, of full-time research experiences are allowed to request continued part-time support for some or all of the participants to continue to work on their research projects, up to the equivalent of 15 weeks of full-time participation, as long as the entire research experience is completed within a 12-month period.

It is expected that most individuals will only receive support one time to participate in the R25 research experiences program. However, at the discretion of the PD(s)/PI(s), up to 20% of the participants may receive support to participate a second time, if they play a peer-to-peer mentor role for the new participants.

Non-Responsive Applications

Applications with one or more of the characteristics listed below will be considered non-responsive and will not be reviewed:

  • Proposed research experiences are not cancer-focused.
  • Proposed research experiences are not completed within a 12-month period.
  • Proposed research experiences program is an adaptation of an NCI R25-funded research experiences program to focus on a different target population.

Applicant Eligibility

PI Criteria

US Citizens and Foreign Nationals U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizen/permanent residents are eligible to apply for R25 awards, provided that the U.S. institution where the applicant is employed allows non-U.S. citizens to apply for grant support.
Degree/Academic Appointment Established Investigators at or above the rank of Associate Professor (or equivalent)
Commitment Salary support is allowed; see Program Announcements for details
Duration of Award

Up to 2 years (PAR-23-278) or up to 5 years (PAR-23-276, PAR-23-277) of support may be requested

Only R25 awards supporting Courses for Skills Development (PAR-23-276) or Research Experiences (PAR-23-277) are renewable

Participant Criteria

Citizens, Foreign Nationals and Student Visas Because this is an educational and not a training mechanism, non-U.S. citizens may participate in this program. However, the participation of non-U.S. citizens should be justified in the application


R25 Allowable Costs- vary according to the particular NOFO.  Consult Program Announcements for details.

Program PI and Faculty Salary and fringe benefit support for the design, direction, and implementation of the research education program
Administrative Support Limited administrative and clerical salary costs associated with their work on the program, with justification
Other Program-Related Expenses Consultant costs, equipment, supplies, travel for key persons, and other program-related expenses, with justification
Program Participant Costs

Only allowed for PAR-23-276 and PAR-23-277

Direct Costs

For PAR-23-278: Up to $150,000 direct costs/year for up to 2 years

For PAR-23-276: Up to $300,000 direct costs/year for up to 5 years

For PAR-23-277: Up to $300,000 direct costs/year for up to 5 years. 

F&A Costs/Indirect Costs 8%

How to Apply

  • Applications must be submitted electronically. 
  • Applicants must follow the instructions in the SF424(R&R) Application Guide, as well as any program-specific instructions noted in Section IV. of the Program Announcement.
  • When the program-specific instructions deviate from those in the Application Guide, follow the program-specific instructions in Program Announcement.
  • Applications that do not comply with these instructions may be delayed or not be accepted for review.

For assistance with application submission, please see the Frequently Asked Questions and/or contact eRA Commons Help Desk/ contact Center.

Application Receipt Dates and Review Schedule

Receipt Cycle Application Receipt Date: New, Renewal, Revision, and Resubmission Initial Review Council Review Earliest Possible Start Date*
1 January 25 June/July September/October December
2 May 25 October/November January/February April
3 September 25 February/March May/June July

* Start dates are determined by the availability of NCI funds and may not occur until well after the earliest possible start date.

Applications are due by 5:00 PM local time.  If the Application Receipt Date falls on a weekend or Federal holiday, the application deadline is automatically extended to the next business day and must be submitted by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.

Review and Selection Process

The Center for Scientific Review (CSR) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) will review your application for completeness and for conformance to all eligibility requirements and special provisions and requirements. Incomplete applications will be returned to the applicant without further consideration.

Subcommittee F, convened by the Division of Extramural Activities of the NCI, evaluates applications according to the review criteria listed in the Program Announcement. Before an award is made, the National Cancer Advisory Board (NCAB) conducts a second level of review and ensures that an application meets the broad program needs and priorities of the NCI and the National Cancer Program.

For review criteria for the R25 grant mechanism, see section V. Application Review Information of the Program Announcement.


NCI Staff Contacts

For additional information regarding policies and/or guidance in preparing an application for the R25 Award, contact:

For information regarding fiscal and/or budget issues, contact:

For information regarding review issues, contact:

  • Referral Officer
    Division of Extramural Activities
    Phone: 240-276-6390
    Fax: 240-276-7682
  • Updated: