Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Research Centers under the Population-based Research to Optimize the Screening Process (PROSPR) Initiative

Notice Number: NOT-CA-16-063

Key Dates
Release Date:   August 11, 2016

Estimated Publication Date of Announcement: Fall 2016
First Estimated Application Due Date: Winter 2017
Earliest Estimated Award Date:   Fall 2017
Earliest Estimated Start Date: December 2017

Related Announcements

Issued by
National Cancer Institute (NCI)


The National Cancer Institute (NCI) intends to continue its support for the "Population-based Research Optimizing Screening through Personalized Regimens (PROSPR)" initiative under a current, modified name of "Population-based Research to Optimize the Screening Process". Through this Notice, the NCI announces the plans to publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for the PROSPR Research Centers.

The PROSPR initiative targets the screening process for three selected cancer types: cervical, colorectal, and lung. The intent is to fund 3 Research Centers, one for each cancer type targeted. Accordingly, each PROSPR Research Center proposed must be focused on the screening process for one of the three eligible cancer types. In addition, each PROSPR Research Center must be able to study the cancer screening process in at least three different healthcare systems. Therefore, appropriate collaborative arrangements with providers of screening/diagnostic services will be required. The participating healthcare systems should be chosen to reflect a variety of settings in which healthcare is provided in the United States (e.g., safety-net, managed care, primary care networks).

This Notice is being provided to allow potential applicants sufficient time to develop collaborations and responsive applications.

The FOA is expected to use the UM1 cooperative agreement funding instrument and be published in Fall 2016 with an expected application due date in Winter 2017.

Research Initiative Details

The overall goal for the PROSPR Research Centers is to enhance understanding of cancer screening as a complex process involving multiple steps that may affect screening quality and outcomes. Steps in this process include determination of eligibility, recruitment for screening, performance of the screening test and interpretation of results, diagnostic follow-up of those with abnormal screening examinations, and referral for treatment. The supported research is expected to help improve the cancer screening process in community settings in the United States.

This Notice encourages investigators with expertise in epidemiology, healthcare delivery, behavioral science, implementation science, bioinformatics, health information technology, and other relevant disciplines to begin to consider applying for this new FOA. Because of the nature of this research, strong support from the clinical providers and organizational leaders of the included healthcare systems is also required.

Each Research Center proposed must be focused on a research program that will address key scientific questions related to screening for one of the three cancer types targeted by PROSPR (i.e., cervical, colorectal, or lung cancer). This research program is expected to initially concentrate on observational research. This initial research should evaluate multilevel factors (spanning patient, provider, and healthcare system levels) that affect the quality and outcomes of the screening process for the selected cancer type, with a special focus on factors that may be modified to improve the process. Research to better understand variability in the screening process according to racial, economic, and educational characteristics is also of particular interest. The initial, observational research should lead to the development of at least one intervention to improve the screening process that will be pilot-tested in each of the participating healthcare systems during the project period.

In addition, each Research Center will be expected to collaborate with the other PROSPR Research Centers and with the PROSPR Coordinating Center (to be supported by companion FOA, see Notice NOT-CA-16-064) to develop common measures of healthcare system factors that impact the screening process, as well as common measures of the quality of cancer screening, and to participate in research that uses these measures to evaluate the screening process across multiple cancer types. The PROSPR Coordinating Center will have overall responsibility for the conduct of cross-network efforts that involve more than one cancer type.

The announced FOA will be open to all qualified applicants with expertise in multi-institutional, trans-disciplinary research on cancer screening in community healthcare settings.



Please direct all inquiries to:

V. Paul Doria-Rose, DVM, PhD
National Cancer Institute
Telephone: 240-276-6904