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Focus Areas


Strategic Planning

Strategic Planning

NCI Funded Research Portfolio

The NCI Funded Research Portfolio (NFRP) is an online database of information about research grants, contract awards, and intramural research projects funded by the NCI. Research projects and funding data in the NFRP database are reported annually by NCI divisions, offices, and centers (DOCs), and all project information is conveniently searchable on the NFRP website.

NIH Research, Condition, and Disease Categorization

The NIH Research, Condition, and Disease Categorization (RCDC) process uses a computerized text-mining process to sort NIH-funded grants and contracts into categories of research area, disease, or condition. The automated categorization process extracts scientific information from the title, abstract, and specific aims of grant applications of awarded projects to match them to over 300 reporting categories.

NCI Technology Research Advocacy Partnership

The NCI Technology Research Advocacy Partnership (NTRAP) incorporates the perspectives of cancer patients and survivors into research programs focused on developing technologies that can accelerate cancer research and improve patient care.

Emerging Science & Technology

Emerging Science & Technology

Single Investigator-Initiated Research

Innovative Molecular Analysis Technologies

The Innovative Molecular Analysis Technologies (IMAT) program supports the development of potentially transformative technologies in cancer research using phased grant support. IMAT is involved throughout the technology development timeline, from proof-of-concept demonstration to rigorous analytical validation. The goal of the program is to equip basic and clinical research communities with novel analytical capabilities through the development of next‐generation, cutting‐edge technologies.

Provocative Questions

The Provocative Questions (PQ) initiative stimulates research in understudied areas across the cancer research continuum. Using NCI-sponsored workshops, challenging areas of cancer research are identified by extramural investigators and evaluated by NCI leadership. These areas are the basis for the funding opportunities available through Provocative Questions.

Informatics Technology for Cancer Research

The Informatics Technology for Cancer Research (ITCR) program supports the development of novel informatics technologies spanning all aspects of cancer research. These tools support the analysis of -omics, imaging, and clinical data, as well as network biology and data standards, among others.

Synthetic Biology and Cancer

NCI and NIBIB are collaborating to support innovative applications of synthetic biology technologies to address challenges across cancer biology, prevention, early detection, diagnosis, and treatment.

Multi-Institutional Research

Applied Proteogenomic OranizationaL Learning and Outcomes

The Applied Proteogenomic OranizationaL Learning and Outcomes (APOLLO) network is a collaboration between NCI, the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to incorporate CPTAC-based proteogenomics workflows into patient care. Partnering with the nation's two largest healthcare systems, DoD and VA, allows NCI to continuously study cancer patients throughout their treatment and into remission. De-identified proteogenomic data collected in the study are made publicly available across NCI data sharing platforms.

Cancer Grand Challenges

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) and Cancer Research UK (CRUK), the world’s leading funders of cancer research, are partnering to fund the Cancer Grand Challenges (CGC) program. CGC will fund novel ideas by multidisciplinary research teams from around the world that offer the potential to advance bold cancer research and improve outcomes for people affected by cancer.

Serological Sciences Network

The Serological Sciences Network (SeroNet) was developed in response the COVID-19 global pandemic through a congressional appropriation to NCI in order to develop, validate, improve, and implement serological testing and associated technologies. The goals of SeroNet are to increase our understanding of the immune response to the novel coronavirus, develop and improve serological assays, and increase testing capacity.

COnsortium of METabolomics Studies

The COnsortium of METabolomics Studies (COMETS) is a partnership that promotes collaboration among prospective cohort studies that follow participants for a range of outcomes and perform metabolomic profiling on individuals. The aim of COMETS is to facilitate an open exchange of ideas, knowledge, and results in order to accelerate the study of metabolomics profiles associated with chronic disease phenotypes (e.g. heart disease, diabetes, cancer).

Exploratory Projects

Exploratory Projects

Analytical Technologies to Objectively Measure Human Performance

The Analytical Technologies to Objectively Measure Human Performance (ATOM-HP) program was launched in partnership with the Department of Defense (DoD) to gain insights about human fatigue. Cancer patients and active duty military personnel suffer from fatigue that impairs their ability to survive and perform. ATOM-HP develops wearable technologies technologies to monitor fatigue in these populations and develop standardized measures that might improve patient care and military performance.

Projects at Frederick National Labs for Cancer Research

Exploratory research projects conducted at the Frederick National Labs for Cancer Research address research gaps related to data science, new technologies, standards, and preanalytical variables. These projects help accelerate progress in cancer-relevant scientific fields while allowing NCI to pilot new programs before incorporating them into the Institute.

Training & Workforce Development

Training & Workforce Development

Big Data Scientist Training Enhancement Program

The NCI/Veterans Health Administration’s Big Data Scientist Training Enhancement Program (BD-STEP) is a two-year post-doctoral fellowship that develops the next generation of data scientists using the VA’s rich healthcare data resources. Fellows from diverse scientific backgrounds are matched to VA medical centers across the country, where they work with clinicians and use data science to address important questions in cancer research and care.

R50 Research Specialist Award

NCI’s R50 Research Specialist Award provides salary support and travel funds for exceptional scientists that are pursuing research within the context of an existing cancer research program. This includes non-tenure track scientists in a research lab, core facility managers, and data scientists who do not intend to pursue an independent research career.

R35 Outstanding Investigator Award

NCI’s R35 Outstanding Investigator Award supports accomplished leaders in cancer research who are providing significant contributions toward understanding cancer and developing applications that may lead to a breakthrough in biomedical, behavioral, or clinical cancer research.