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Extramural Research

NCI supports scientists at universities, medical centers, and other institutions via grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements.

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NCI’s mission is to develop the knowledge base that will lessen the burden of cancer in the United States and around the world. Among the most important contributors to developing this knowledge are extramurally funded scientists who are supported by NCI grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements. Their efforts today create opportunities to bring new approaches to cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment tomorrow.

Five extramural research divisions and several offices and centers monitor and administer NCI’s extramural grant and contract research activities:

DCB supports and facilitates basic research in all areas of cancer biology at academic institutions and research foundations across the United States and abroad. DCB-funded grantees investigate the biological aspects of every form of cancer, carrying out studies that range from targeted, long-running projects that are revealing the microscopic details of cell processes to high-risk, innovative research that holds promise for providing key insights into tumor development.

DCCPS has the lead responsibility at NCI for supporting extramural research in cancer surveillance, epidemiology, health services, behavioral science, and cancer survivorship. The goal of DCCPS research is to reduce risk, incidence, and death from cancer as well as to enhance the quality of life for cancer survivors.

DCP conducts and supports research to assess a person's risk of developing cancer and to find ways to reduce that risk. DCP’s research portfolio focuses across the continuum between the initiation of the cancer process and the occurrence of the invasive disease, with the goal of detecting changes and intervening early in the cancer process to prevent disease and death.

DCTD facilitates the path to clinical application of promising cancer detection, diagnosis, and treatment methods; it also expedites the initial small-scale and subsequent large-scale testing of new anticancer agents, biomarkers, imaging tests, and other therapeutic interventions in patients. Investigators supported by DCTD engage in scientifically sound, high-risk research that may yield great benefits for patients with cancer but are too difficult or risky for industry or academia to pursue.

DEA coordinates the scientific peer review of extramural research proposals before funding awards are made and conducts systematic surveillance of that research after funding is approved. To this end, it solicits advice from individuals and or committees of experts on the technical and scientific merits of grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts.

OCC supports the 72 NCI-Designated Cancer Centers nationwide. These centers form the backbone of NCI’s programs for studying and controlling cancer. The cancer centers are recognized for their scientific leadership, resources, and the depth and breadth of their research in basic, clinical, and/or population sciences.

OHAM coordinates and prioritizes NCI research in HIV/AIDS and HIV malignancies as well as directly initiating and managing certain research programs. OHAM also acts as a point of contact for the NIH Office of AIDS Research and other NIH institutes and centers to coordinate HIV/AIDS and HIV malignancies research efforts across NIH.

CCT provides funding to support extramural training and career development at institutions nationwide, as well as managing intramural training programs at NCI. The goal of CCT’s activities is to develop a 21st century workforce capable of advancing cancer research.

CGH develops initiatives and collaborates with other NCI divisions, NCI-designated cancer centers, and other countries to support cancer control planning, build capacity, and support cancer research and cancer research networks in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

CRCHD initiates, integrates, and engages in collaborative research studies with NCI divisions and NIH institutes and centers to promote research and training in cancer health disparities and to identify new and innovative scientific opportunities to improve cancer outcomes in communities experiencing an excess burden of cancer.

CSSI creates and implements exploratory programs to develop advanced technologies, trans-disciplinary approaches, infrastructures, and standards to accelerate the creation of publicly available data, knowledge, and tools for cancer research.

Through the SBIR and STTR programs, NCI provides funding for developing and commercializing novel technologies and products to prevent, diagnose, and treat cancer. The SBIR and STTR programs are one of the largest sources of early-stage technology financing in the United States.

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