Notice of Intent to Publish Funding Opportunity Announcement for Research Answers to NCI's "Provocative Questions" (R21)

Notice Number: NOT-CA-11-017

Key Dates
Release Date: June 24, 2011

Related Notices

Issued by
National Cancer Institute (NCI)


The National Cancer Institute (NCI) announces a new program designed to support research projects that propose compelling research approaches to address specific problems and paradoxes in cancer research identified by the NCI Provocative Questions Workshops and by other means. This program will have set-aside funds and will be covered by two parallel Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) of identical scientific scope.

This Notice announces a FOA that will use the NIH R21 funding mechanism. The companion Notice (NOT-CA-11-016) is a parallel announcement for a FOA that will use the NIH R01 mechanism. Both FOAs are expected to be published in the Summer of 2011 with application due dates in the late Fall of 2011.

In brief, these ”Provocative Questions” FOAs are intended to inspire scientific inquiries and investigations addressing problems that are important but have received insufficient attention for various reasons. Some may be built on older, neglected observations that have never been adequately explored; some on more recent findings that are perplexing; and some on problems traditionally thought to be intractable but that now can be addressed using new methods.  “Provocative Questions” are not intended to represent the full range of NCI priorities in cancer research. Rather, they are meant to challenge the scientific community to think about and find ways to elucidate these provocative but not always obvious problems.

For additional information and to see a tentative, preliminary list of problems proposed for “Provocative Questions,” go to The final list of “Provocative Questions” that will serve as the basis for the planned pair of Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) will be released along with the issuance (publication) of these FOAs in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts.  It is critical that everyone understand that: (1) many of the tentative, preliminary, proposed items will not be included in the final list of “Provocative Questions” for the FOAs; and (2) the final list of “Provocative Questions” may include additional and/or modified items.



Please direct all inquiries to:

Jerry S.H. Lee, Ph.D.
Health Sciences Director
Office of the Director
National Cancer Institute
31 Center Drive, Room 10A33
Bethesda, MD 20892
Telephone: (301) 496-1045

Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices

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