Notice of Availability of Administrative Supplements for Geospatial, Multilevel, and Contextual Approaches in Cancer Control and Population Sciences

Notice Number: NOT-CA-19-029

Key Dates
Release Date: March 12, 2019

Related Announcements

Issued by
National Cancer Institute (NCI)


This Notice informs current National Cancer Institute (NCI) awardees that NCI is interested in administrative supplement applications that seek to address the complex nature of cancer occurrence and outcomes by examining the role of two or more etiologic agents at multiple levels, one of which must include social and/or built environmental factors measured at the geographic level. Multilevel analysis involves addressing two or more of the following levels: individual factors (e.g., carcinogenic exposures, lifestyle behaviors); family, school, workplace, and community structure; natural, built, and social environments; and biology (e.g., biomarkers of effect, early damage, etc.).

Through this administrative supplement opportunity, NCI expects that applicants will be able to further their currently funded aims by adding social and/or built environmental data to examine factors that affect cancer occurrence and/or cancer outcomes.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to use existing data sources, including data linkages, but are not prohibited from collecting new data if the research aims can still be met given time and budget limitations. NCI encourages collaborative research among transdisciplinary research teams that include (but are not limited to) epidemiologists, geographers, basic scientists, and/or behavioral and social scientists. NCI also encourages data sharing and integration of data resources to enable novel approaches to investigate the multifactorial nature of cancer etiology and outcomes across multilevel contexts.


Cancer is etiologically complex, and its causes are multifactorial. Etiologic factors assessed at a single level have been informative in our understanding of the causes of cancer but are limited in scope and do not fully explain cancer incidence in the general population. This underscores the importance of integrating multiple levels of data (e.g., contextual, individual, and biologic) to better understand cancer risk and outcomes.

Epidemiologic studies investigating the role of social and built environments in cancer risk and outcomes are sparse, despite the number of findings that indicate that place of residence is a stronger predictor of health outcomes compared to other factors, such as genetics. In most cases, the effects of these contextual variables on the complex interplay between biology, individual, social, and built environments on cancer have not been examined, which highlights an important gap in our knowledge. Moreover, a multilevel approach to address the complex nature of cancer necessitates a deeper characterization of the role of social and built environments throughout the life course, either as etiologic factors or factors that modify or mediate effects.

Research Objectives:

Investigators may request supplement support for the integration and analysis of multilevel data in relation to cancer risk and outcomes and must be within the scope of the currently awarded project. All multilevel analyses must include broader social and/or built environmental factors measured at the geographic level. In addition, supplement requests should include conceptual or theoretical models that support proposed hypotheses and operationalize the impact of multilevel data on cancer risk and outcomes. Examples of topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The impact of contextual variables on biologic processes associated with the development of cancer and/or studies that examine the mechanisms by which contextual factors can become biologically embedded
  • The geographic distribution of risk factors and cancer and/or studies that integrate various types of data to measure environmental and community contexts with lifestyle and biologic factors
  • Leveraging existing resources to examine the effects of changing environmental contexts associated with change in residence over time on cancer risk and outcomes, taking into consideration individual-level factors that may confound or modify any observed associations
  • Insights into social variables that represent important sources of variance and increase understanding about how physiologic pathways for cancer may be modified, constrained, or moderated by environmental influences


To be eligible, the parent award must be able to receive funds in FY19 (Oct. 1, 2018-Sept. 30, 2019) and is not in an extension period.

Supplement budget requests cannot exceed $150,000 in total costs. Requests must reflect the actual needs of the proposed project. Requests are for one year of support only. Modular and categorical budgets are permitted.

The earliest anticipated start date is July 1, 2019.

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

This Notice informs current NCI awardees that NCI is interested in administrative supplement applications to currently funded projects supported by NCI. Projects funded by other NIH institutes/centers will not be considered for funding under this program.

This announcement is limited to NCI grants funded through the following mechanisms: R01, R37, R15, R21, P01, U01, U19, UM1, UG3, UH3.

Individual(s) must hold an active grant or cooperative agreement. For supplements to parent awards that include multiple PDs/PIs, the supplement must be submitted by the awardee institution of the parent award.

Submitting Applications:

Supplements to Grants/Cooperative Agreements:

For administrative supplement to grants and cooperative agreements, supplement requests must be submitted in accordance with the parent program announcement: Administrative Supplements to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Parent Admin Supp Clinical Trial Optional) PA-18-591.

Applicants should begin the supplement application abstract by stating“This application is being submitted in response to NOT-CA-19-029”

Page Limits: The Research Strategy should be approximately 5 pages, not including the abstract.

Supplement requests should be submitted electronically if allowed by the parent mechanism. Applicants are strongly encouraged to notify the program contact at the Institute supporting the parent award that a request has been submitted in response to this FOA in order to facilitate efficient processing of the request.

Due Date:

All requests, regardless of the parent award funding mechanism, must be received by 5:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time (P.D.T.) on May 15, 2019 for funding in FY 2019.

Scientific Review Process:

Each IC will conduct administrative reviews of applications submitted to their IC separately, and will support the most meritorious applications submitted for consideration, based upon availability of funds.


1. Will the administrative supplement increase or preserve the likelihood for the project to exert a sustained, powerful influence on the research field(s) involved?

2. Are the aims appropriate for the goals of the supplement program?

3. Does the work proposed have scientific merit?


Please direct all inquiries to:

Armen Ghazarian, PhD, MPH
Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Telephone: 240-276-7305