NCI Method to Extend Research in Time (MERIT) Award for Early Stage Investigators (R37)

Notice Number: NOT-CA-18-037

Key Dates
Release Date: January 23, 2018

Related Announcements

Issued by
National Cancer Institute (NCI)


Through this Notice, the NCI announces its use of the Method to Extend Research in Time (MERIT)(R37) Award to provide longer term grant support to Early Stage Investigators (ESIs). By providing such an opportunity for longer term support to ESIs, the NCI intends to give them flexibility and opportunity for creativity and innovation and additional time to successfully launch their careers and to become more established before having to submit renewal applications.

The objective of the NCI's ESI MERIT Award is to allow eligible investigators the opportunity to obtain up to 7 years of support in two segments, with the first being an initial 5-year award and the second being based on an opportunity for an extension of up to 2 additional years, based on an expedited NCI review of the accomplishments during the initial funding segment.

Investigators may not apply for an ESI MERIT award. ESIs who have submitted a single-Principal Investigator (PI) R01 application that received a score within the NCI payline are eligible for consideration for the award. NCI program staff members will identify eligible candidate applications for the ESI MERIT Award and submit them to the members of the National Cancer Advisory Board (NCAB) for consideration. If recommended by the NCAB and approved by NCI leadership, the ESI R01 will be converted to an ESI MERIT (R37) for the initial 5-year funding segment.

The ESI MERIT award extension application will be submitted to the NCI 18 months prior to the end of the initial 5-year project period. The extension application will be reviewed by NCI staff and submitted to the NCAB for review and recommendation. If an extension is granted, the ESI MERIT awardee will be notified of the length of time of the extension and the approved budget. If a proposed award does not receive an extension, the awardee may submit an application for review as a regular competing research grant application.

NCI's ability to help ensure that the nation remains a global leader in scientific discovery and innovation is dependent upon a pool of highly talented scientists from diverse backgrounds, particularly those from underrepresented groups, who will help to further NCI's mission. Fostering diversity by addressing underrepresentation in the scientific research workforce is a key component of the NCI strategy to identify, develop, support, and maintain the quality of our scientific human capital (NOT-OD-18-122).


Please direct all inquiries to:

Please direct programmatic and science-related inquiries to:
Christine Siemon
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Telephone: 240-276-6266

Please direct general inquiries to:
Referral Officer
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Telephone: 240-276-6390

Please direct budget-related and procedural inquiries to:
NCI Grants Management Specialist (assigned to the R01 application in question)
Office of Grants Administration
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Telephone: 240-276-6277