Selection of Appropriate Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) for the Continuation of the Innovative Molecular Analysis Technologies (IMAT) Program for Cancer

Notice Number: NOT-CA-09-007

Key Dates
Release Date: December 15, 2008

Issued by
National Cancer Institute (NCI) (

The NCI-sponsored Innovative Technologies for Molecular Analysis of Cancer (IMAT) Program, which is aimed at the development and integration of novel and emerging technologies in the support of cancer research, diagnosis, and treatment, now encompasses an array of 5 closely related Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs). This Notice is designed to help potential IMAT applicants identify appropriate FOAs.

The IMAT Program comprises the following three related thematic components (i.e., themes):

  1. Innovative Technology Development for Cancer Research, which emphasizes research projects that are centered on the inception and preliminary development of very early stage, highly innovative but also high impact technologies for cancer research;
  2. Application and Use of Transformative Emerging Technologies In Cancer Research, which is designed to support research projects that are centered on emerging, highly transformative technologies ready for initial application or use in a clinical or laboratory setting or in a relevant field of cancer research; and
  3. Innovative and Applied Emerging Technologies in Biospecimen Science, which is centered on the development and application of novel and potentially transformative technologies to assess, evaluate, and interrogate varying biospecimens or analytes thereof in order to maximize their quality and utility in cancer research with minimal or no detrimental effects to patient or donor health.

For each IMAT theme, there are several parallel FOAs that involve different funding mechanisms with distinct submission requirements.
The complete matrix of 5 IMAT FOAs is provided in the Table below along with details regarding the basic requirements and total amounts of set-aside funds for each theme for Fiscal Year 2010.

Please note that for comprehensive information on all of the submission requirements, set-aside funds for each FOA, and the anticipated number of awards, it is essential that every applicant read the full individual IMAT FOA before preparing and submitting an application in response to the selected FOA. Nonetheless, prospective applicants may use this table and the links to respective individual FOAs as a quick switchboard to initially identify which of the closely related active IMAT FOAs might be most appropriate.

Table. The matrix of IMAT RFAs and an outline of their characteristics.

Award Type: RPG


Theme and Total Set-Aside Funds

Innovative Technology Development for Cancer Research


Application and Use of Transformative Emerging Technologies in Cancer Research

Innovative and Applied Emerging Technologies in Biospecimen Science


Project Type and General Requirements


Required: Innovative technology/approacha; Quantitative milestonesb;
Not required (but allowed): Preliminary data.





Required: Feasibility data



aWhile no preliminary data are necessary, the applicants must demonstrate the innovative nature of the particular technology or approach proposed for development.

bQuantitative milestones for each specific aim must be provided as a way of determining during the project and at its completion whether an applicant has successfully reached the specified goal. Milestones should be clearly stated as numerical quantitative specifications for relevant measures/properties.

Note on Technologies That Are and Are Not Appropriate for IMAT FOAs versus Other Related Programs:

For the IMAT Program, responsive technologies encompass methods, techniques, tools, instrumentation, and devices that support and/or facilitate various types of molecular, cancer-relevant analyses. However, outside of the IMAT scope (i.e., non-responsive to this Program) are:

  1. Projects proposing software/informatics solutions, database development, data mining, statistical tools, and computational/mathematical modeling (including those applicable to drug and/or patient response);
  2. Projects centered on technology that has already led to the development of analytical or diagnostic product and its commercial release.
  3. Projects proposing whole-body or in vivo imaging methods
  4. Projects in which the main thrust of effort is on exploring biological or clinical hypotheses (i.e., traditional hypothesis-driven projects) rather than on technology development.
  5. Projects centered on drug or therapeutic development efforts (with the exception of molecular technologies to improve drug targeting); and
  6. Any projects involving clinical and/or diagnostic trials.

Researchers focusing on new bioinformatics or statistical techniques/tools/software solutions should consider one of the Biomedical Information Science and Technology Initiative (BISTI) opportunities.

Researchers who emphasize the assessment of whole body or in vivo imaging technologies as the primary focus of their projects should contact the Cancer Imaging Program for information on appropriate funding opportunities.

Inquiries about the IMAT Program and Individual IMAT FOAs

Direct questions to:

Richard Aragon, Ph.D.
Office of Technology and Industrial Relations
National Cancer Institute
Building 31, Room 10A52, MSC 2580
Bethesda, MD 20892-2580
Telephone: (301) 496-1550