Correction: NCI Launches Cancer Moonshot Scholars program, Seeks to Diversify R01 Portfolio

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NCI Program Seeks to Diversify R01 Portfolio, Will Accept Applications for November 8 Due Date


Diversity at all levels — from the kinds of science to the regions in which it is conducted to the backgrounds of the people conducting it — contributes to excellence in research training environments and strengthens the research enterprise. Scientists and trainees from diverse backgrounds and life experiences bring different perspectives and creativity to address complex scientific problems.

Despite the contributions of diversity-focused programs, some groups remain underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences. While NCI has long been committed to workforce diversity, there remains a disproportionate gap in NCI R01 grants received by individuals from underrepresented groups.

NCI is launching one effort to help close this gap – the Cancer Moonshot Scholars program – which is designed to advance cancer science while also diversifying the pool of researchers and the approaches to cancer research that NCI funds. The Cancer Moonshot Scholars funding opportunity announcement is live, and the first due date is November 8. We encourage you to share this news with your colleagues and networks and, if eligible, to apply!

“I’m thrilled that we have launched the Cancer Moonshot Scholars program, and I’m already looking forward to the innovative research and impressive scholars this program will support,” NCI Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities (CRCHD) Director Dr. Sanya A. Springfield said.

The Cancer Moonshot Scholars program seeks to diversify the NCI R01 portfolio by enhancing the number of applications submitted by Early Stage Investigators from diverse backgrounds, including those from groups identified as underrepresented (NOT-OD-20-031) in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences research workforce. In addition, the program seeks to increase the diversity of thought and approach to cancer research. Individuals from underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to work with their respective institutions to apply. Prospective applicants are encouraged to heed the following program details and key dates:

About the Program

  • Proposed research must align with the NCI’s mission and may address any of the broad areas of cancer research, including (but not limited to) cancer biology, cancer prevention, cancer diagnosis, cancer treatment, and cancer control. Basic, translational, clinical, and/or population-based studies in all these research areas are appropriate.
  • Applications must include an Institutional Eligibility Letter describing the PI's contribution to the program goals to be responsive to this FOA.
  • Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact Scientific/Research contacts listed in the FOA.
  • Applicants are encouraged to submit applications before the due date to ensure they have time to make any application corrections that might be necessary for successful submission.
  • The program due dates are November 8, 2022, June 6, 2023, and February 6, 2024.

NCI expects to fund approximately 45 new R01s during the next 3 years, so we hope to see a robust response to this exciting new program. As always, funding for our programs is subject to the appropriations NCI receives.

This program is supported by the White House's Cancer Moonshot initiative and aligns with NCI’s Equity and Inclusion Program and NIH’s UNITE Initiative. CRCHD will lead the Cancer Moonshot Scholars program, with regular input from a trans-NCI steering committee. NCI divisions that have subject matter expertise will manage the individual grant awards.

To learn more, prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to visit the Cancer Moonshot Scholars webpage:

Contact: Dr. LeeAnn Bailey and Dr. Tiffany Wallace