Notice of Special Interest: Administrative Supplements to Support Collaborations with the Drug Resistance and Sensitivity Network (DRSN)

Notice Number: NOT-CA-19-032

Key Dates
Release Date: March 15, 2019

Related Announcements

Issued by
National Cancer Institute (NCI)


As part of the Cancer Moonshot InitiativeSM, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) created the Drug Resistance and Sensitivity Network (DRSN), a collaborative network of centers of excellence (based on U54 cooperative agreement awards issued in response to RFA-CA-17-009), which is focused on using advanced techniques and models to accelerate understanding of issues of cancer resistance or extreme sensitivity to anticancer agents. Participants in the DRSN are working to solve issues of cancer drug resistance as part of the development of NCI investigational new drug (IND) agents (i.e., those that the NCI is developing in collaboration with pharmaceutical partners) in NCI-sponsored early phase clinical trials. With planned use of funds available from the Cancer Moonshot InitiativeSM, and pursuant to the NIH interest in accelerating cancer research, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) invites, through PA-18-591 in conjunction with this Notice of Special Interest (NOSI), the submission of administrative supplement requests (applications) to active NCI-funded grants and cooperative agreements for new interdisciplinary collaborations between outside (not-DSRN-U54-supported) investigators and DSRN U54-supported investigators to perform research within the scientific scope(s) of their active parent grant(s) and/or cooperative agreement award(s) that will lead to improved pre-clinical evaluations of novel discoveries in cancer drug resistance that could ultimately be tested in NCI-sponsored clinical trials. Non-network investigators can also propose to conduct collaborative studies to advance therapeutic concepts using the cancer drug resistance resources of the DSRN. Results from the additional mechanistic studies fostered through this opportunity could feasibly lead to clinical validations of concepts that identify and circumvent cancer drug resistance in patients.

Requests may include collaborative studies to advance discoveries and/or phenomena noted in cancer drug resistance studies by non-DRSN investigators. Eligible awardee/applicants may request assistance from investigators at a particular Drug Resistance and Sensitivity Center (DRSC, see:, based on common studies of tumor histology, resistance pathways or mechanisms, or access to specific advanced drug resistance technology or models at that DRSC. A request for collaboration or assistance in performing analysis of large data sets in drug resistance studies, using computational data center expertise at the DRSC would also be within the scope of this supplement. Proposed research projects must be within the scope of the ongoing parent award. All awardees must adhere to the policies of the Cancer Moonshot Initiative (e.g., data sharing policy).

In advance of preparation and submission of an administrative supplement request (i.e., application), inquiries from eligible awardee-applicants in response to this Notice (through PA-18-591), the related funding opportunity through PA-18-591, and any potential requests to appropriate NCI staff persons are encouraged.


To be eligible, the parent award must be able to receive funds in FY19 and be active throughout the 1-year project period of the administrative supplement. The parent award must not be in an extension period (e.g., no-cost extension).

Supplement budget requests cannot exceed $166,667 in total costs exclusive of Facilities and Administrative costs on sub-awards, and they cannot exceed the direct costs of the current parent award. Requests must reflect the actual needs of the proposed project. Administrative supplements can be used to cover cost increases that are associated with achieving certain new research objectives as long as the research objectives are within the original scope of the peer reviewed and approved project, or the cost increases are for unanticipated expenses within the original scope of the project.

Requests are permitted for 1 year of support only. The earliest anticipated start date is August 5, 2019.

NCI intends to commit $500,000 in FY 2019 to fund three awards.

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

Awardee/Applicant(s) must hold an active grant or cooperative agreement from the NCI and must be non-DRSN investigators. For supplements to parent awards that include multiple program directors/principal investigators (PDs/PIs), the supplement may be requested by any or all of the PDs/PIs (in accordance with the existing leadership plan) and submitted by the awardee institution of the parent award.

Submitting Applications

For administrative supplements to grants and cooperative agreements, supplement requests must be submitted in accordance with the parent program announcement PA-18-591, Administrative Supplements to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Parent Admin Supp Clinical Trial Optional). Administrative supplement requests (applications) for support of clinical trials will not be accepted and/or considered in response to this funding opportunity announcement.

Applicants should begin the supplement application abstract by stating This application is being submitted in response to the NOSI identified as NOT-CA-19-032.

Supplement requests should be submitted electronically if allowed by the parent mechanism. Applicants are strongly encouraged to notify the assigned program contact person 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.

A letter of support from investigators of the collaborating DRSC, sent to the applicant through the Program Directors/Principal Investigators of that U54 program, is required. Use the Add Other Attachments function to include the letter of support in PDF format.

Page Limits:

All page limitations applicable to the parent award as described in the Application Guide and the Table of Page Limits must be followed.

Due Date:

All requests, regardless of the parent award funding mechanism, must be received by 5:00 PM local time on July 1, 2019, for possible funding in FY 2019.

Evaluation Process:

NCI will conduct administrative reviews of applications and will support the most meritorious applications submitted for consideration, based upon availability of funds.

Critical Considerations:

NIH staff will consider the ability of the proposed supplement activities to increase or preserve the parent award’s overall impact within the original scope of award, including the degrees to which the administrative supplement request (application):

  • increases or preserves the likelihood for the project to exert a sustained, powerful influence on the research in cancer drug resistance;
  • describes and defines the cancer problem to be addressed, including the proposed mechanism of cancer drug resistance or hypersensitivity, the anticipated model systems required for the collaboration, the histology of tumor required, if necessary, the assays systems and analytic capacity required at the DRSC, and the potential for using the DRSC collaboration to answer a significant clinically-relevant question;
  • explains why DRSN resources are required to accomplish the research objectives;
  • contains relevant preliminary data in support of the proposed research project;
  • describes how the approach separates the work to be done at the applicant’s laboratory and the work proposed for the specified DRSC within the DRSN -- note that the collaboration can include any one of the DRSCs in the DRSN; and
  • describes a feasible path to clinical validation of the proposed project’s research findings.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Laurence Doyle, M.D.
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Telephone: 240-276-6112