RELEASE DATE:  February 10, 2004

NOTICE:  NOT-CA-04-004

National Cancer Institute (NCI)  

NCI is seeing a marked increase in the number of unsolicited RO1 
applications submitted with direct cost requests in excess of $700,000 in
any single year. Unfortunately, this increase is occurring at a time when 
the budget is no longer doubling.  Since some of these applications are 
reviewed by the Center for Scientific Review (CSR) and percentiled, it 
raises the possibility that unanticipated demands will be placed on NCI 
resources.  Such a situation occurred in 2001, when a large number of 
applications with budgets in excess of $1 million were assigned to NCI and
received fundable scores.  In order to fund those grants, NCI was forced to 
apply large administrative reductions to all funded RO1 grants.

To allow the NCI to optimally manage its resources and to ensure that 
all areas of the cancer research continuum are appropriately supported, 
a new funding policy is being implemented in FY 2004.  The new policy 
states that:

A separate payline will be established at each round for unsolicited R01
grants with direct costs in excess of $700,000 for any one year (“large R01’s”). 

Every effort will be made to maintain the large R01 payline as close as 
possible to the general R01 payline.  However, the large RO1 payline 
will be determined at each round, taking into consideration scientific 
scope, scientific merit, and budgetary constraints.

Large RO1’s submitted in response to RFAs or PARs, which are not 
reviewed by CSR, are currently not percentiled and are not affected by 
this policy.   Non-percentiled R01s have been selected for funding on a 
case-by-case basis for several years.

This policy does not supercede or in any way change the NIH policy on 
The Acceptance for Review of Unsolicited Applications that Request 
$500,000 or More in Direct Costs 
which requires advanced approval of applications requesting in excess 
of $500,000 direct cost in any year.  Formal advanced approval to 
submit an application in excess of $500,000 is still required.  This 
policy relates to the method the NCI will use to select large R01s for 
funding after peer review has been completed.


Inquires regarding this notice may be directed to: 

Referral Officer
National Cancer Institute
Division of Extramural Activities 
6116 Executive Blvd., Room 8041, MSC 8329
Bethesda, MD 20892-8329 
Rockville, MD 20852 (for express/courier service)
Telephone: 301-496-3428
Fax: 301-402-0275

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