Release Date:  October 16, 1998


National Cancer Institute

Effective immediately, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has put in place a
procedure for the accelerated peer re-review (APR) of program project (P01)
applications that are rated as being highly meritorious, but still fail to
fall within the Institute"s P01 payline.  Eligible applicants will be invited
to submit an abbreviated response to the original review (as described below)
in lieu of a full amended application, and have it considered in the next
review cycle.  This will reduce the amendment review cycle from eight to four
months. The  aims are to significantly decrease the burden on applicants and
reduce the wait for re-review for possible NCI funding, with the resultant
destabilizing effects on the research programs of applicants and grantees.

In order to be eligible for APR, applications must have achieved a priority
score within 15 points of the current P01 payline,  and the concerns noted in
the summary statement must be addressable in a concise and straightforward
manner.  Examples would include deletion of a weak project or core, minor
changes in specific experiments or methods, addition of key preliminary data
or expertise, or recent acquisition of an essential reagent.  When considering
deletion of major elements, note that the amended program project must still
include a minimum of three research projects.

Principal Investigators of eligible applications will be notified by Program
Staff that they have the opportunity to submit a written response to the
summary statement critique that will be considered by the P01 Scientific
Review Group (SRG) at its next meeting.  If the previous review was done by a
Special Emphasis Panel, the panel would be reconvened by teleconference.  The
submission should be a brief point-for-point response, where necessary, to
significant concerns raised in the critique.  The response is not to exceed 20
pages, excluding biographical sketches for any new project personnel, 
reprints or preprints of accepted manuscripts, and revised budget pages, if
any.  It is anticipated that responses will be concentrated on those sections
of the application needing the most revision, not on elements rated very
highly by the review committee.

A new grant application face page bearing the appropriate institutional
signatures must be appended to the response.  If the response involves a
change in the requested budget, complete updated budget pages must also be
submitted.  The SRG will consider the response in the re-review of the
application according to the usual P01 review criteria,  and vote a new
priority score.  A section headed "Accelerated Peer Review Note" will be added
to the existing summary statement following the Overall Critique.  This note
will summarize the discussions of the SRG subcommittee.

Addition of new projects or cores, or major revisions of specific aims would
be beyond the scope of this approach.  Applications in need of such amendment
will be required to use the regular full amended application process and

Please note that the response submitted for APR consideration will count as
one of the two revised application submissions currently allowed by the NIH,
and the summary statement with the SRG APR Note will be considered "Amended". 
The NCI APR procedure, therefore, is available for new and competing renewal
applications and applications that have been revised once.  (Applications that
have been revised twice are no longer eligible for additional reviews under
current NIH rules.)

It is expected that this procedure will save time for applicants both in the
preparation of their responses and in the time involved in the peer review
process.  However, all applicants eligible for APR will still have the option
to decline the accelerated process and to revise fully their application in
the usual way and resubmit in time for the next standard P01 application
receipt date (February 1, June 1, or October 1).


Copies of the latest NCI P01 Guidelines can be obtained from the NCI Referral
Office at:

Referral Officer
Division of Extramural Activities
National Cancer Institute
6130 Executive Boulevard, Room 636A, MSC 7405
Bethesda, MD  20892-7405
Telephone:  (301) 496-3428
FAX:  (301) 402-0275

The Guidelines are also available on the NCI DEA Home Page at

Questions related to NCI P01 review may be directed to:

David Irwin, Ph.D.
Division of Extramural Activities
National Cancer Institute
6130 Executive Boulevard, Room 635E, MSC 7405
Bethesda, MD  20892-7405
Telephone:  (301) 402-0371
FAX:  (301) 496-6497

Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices

H H S Department of Health
and Human Services

  N I H National Institutes of Health (NIH)
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland 20892