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

Notice Number: NOT-CA-10-005

Key Dates
Release Date: October 26, 2009

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, prevention, epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment, now encompasses an array of five closely related Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs). This Notice is designed to help potential IMAT applicants identify appropriate FOAs.

The IMAT Program consists of the following three related themes:

  1. Innovative Technology Development for Cancer Research (RFA-CA-10-005), which emphasizes technology development projects that are centered on the inception and preliminary development of very early stage, highly innovative, high impact technologies for cancer research;

  2. Emerging Technology Development for Cancer Research (RFA-CA-10-003; RFA-CA-10-004), which supports research projects on the initial application or use of emerging, transformative technologies in a biological context relevant to the intended use of the technology; and

  3. Innovative and Applied Emerging Technologies in Biospecimen Science (RFA-CA-10-001; RFA-CA-10-002), which is centered on the development and validation of novel technologies to assess, evaluate, and interrogate biospecimens, or analytes thereof, in order to maximize their quality and utility in cancer research.

For more information about the IMAT Program, a summary of the IMAT FOAs, and links to those FOAs, prospective applicants should consult the IMAT website at

The complete matrix of five 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 (FY) 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 applicants 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: Matrix of IMAT FOAs and an outline of their characteristics. Award Type: Exploratory/Developmental (R21) and Phase II Developmental (R33) Grant mechanisms.


Theme and Total Set-Aside Funds (FY 2010) 

Innovative Technology
$4,500,000 (FY 2010)

Emerging Technology

$4,500,000 (FY 2010)

Biospecimen Science

(FY 2010)

Project Type and General Requirements


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





Required: Feasibility datac




aWhile no preliminary data are necessary, the applicants must demonstrate the innovative nature of the particular technology and/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 (i.e., quantitative) specifications for relevant measures/properties.

c Detailed preliminary data must be provided in support of the feasibility of the technology or approach that is proposed for development. Such data may reflect successful completion of a previous R21 grant and associated milestones.

The following aspects/characteristics remain outside the scope of IMAT and this FOA.
Applications proposing any of the following will be returned to the applicant as non-responsive without review.

  • Projects focused on a biological or clinical hypothesis (i.e. traditional biological-hypothesis driven research);

  • Projects that propose to use existing ( off the shelf ) technologies without substantial new development and projects which propose only incremental technical advances to existing technologies;

  • Projects focused primarily on software/informatics solutions, database development, data mining, statistical tools, and computational/mathematical modeling (including those applicable to drug and/or patient responses) with the exception of proposals which include software development embedded in new devices or small amounts of computational assessment as needed to develop new devices or methods;

  • Technologies for whole-body or in vivo imaging methods;

  • Projects involving clinical trials or toxicology studies;

  • Projects focused on biomarker discovery or biomarker validation;

  • Projects focused on development of specific contrast agents; and

  • Projects focused on development of specific drugs or therapies.

Researchers who are unclear as to which of the IMAT FOAs might be most appropriate for their proposed technology development project are encouraged to contact the program official listed below.

Other related funding opportunities: Researchers focusing on new bioinformatics or statistical techniques, tools, and/or 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 (CIP; for information on appropriate funding opportunities.


Mark David Lim, Ph.D.
Office of Biorepositories and Biospecimen Research
Office of the Director
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Center Drive, Building 31, Room 10A25, MSC 2582
Bethesda, MD 20892-2582
Telephone: (301) 496-1550
Fax: (301) 480-4814