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

Notice Number: NOT-CA-20-014

Key Dates
Release Date: February 27, 2020
First Available Due Date: June 01, 2020
Expiration Date: June 02, 2020

Related Announcements
PA-18-591 Administrative Supplements to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Parent Admin Supp Clinical Trial Optional)

Issued by


As a part of the Cancer Moonshot Initiative, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) funded the Drug Resistance and Sensitivity Network (DRSN), a collaborative network of centers of excellence (based on U54 cooperative agreement awards issued in response to the RFA-CA-17-009), which is focused on using advanced techniques and models to accelerate understanding of issues related to cancer resistance or extreme sensitivity to anticancer agents. Investigators 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 Initiative, and in pursuant of the NIH's interest in accelerating cancer research, the NCI invites, through PA-18-591 in conjunction with this Notice of Special Interest (NOSI), the submission of request for administrative supplement to active NCI-funded grants and cooperative agreements. The goal is to encouragenew interdisciplinary collaborations between outside (non-DSRN-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). These collaborations between applicants and a U54 DRSN group are expected to lead to improved pre-clinical evaluations of novel discoveries in cancer drug resistance that could ultimately be tested in NCI-sponsored clinical trials. Non-DRSN investigators can also propose to conduct collaborative studies to advance mechanistic validation of their discoveries in cancer drug resistance using the cancer drug resistance resources of the DSRN. Results from the 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;, 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 (NOT-CA-20-014), the examination of the related funding opportunity through PA-18-591, and discussion with appropriate NCI staff persons about this NOSI initiative are encouraged.

Application and Submission Information

Applications for this initiative must be submitted using the following opportunity or its subsequent reissued equivalent

PA-18-591 - Administrative Supplements to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Parent Admin Supp Clinical Trial Optional)

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and PA-18-591 must be followed, with the following additions

Eligibility: To be eligible, the applicant’s parent award must be able to receive funds in the fiscal year 2020 (FY20) 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)

Application Due Date: All requests, regardless of the parent award funding mechanism, must be received by 5:00 PM local time on June 1, 2020, for possible funding in FY2020.

Budget: FY2020 supplement budget requests cannot exceed $166,667 in total costs exclusive of Facilities and Administrative (F&A) 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 and follow the guideline in the parent announcement (PA-18-591).

Requests are permitted for 1 year of support only. The earliest anticipated start date is September 1, 2020.
NCI intends to commit $500,000 in FY 2020 to fund three awards.
After the administrative supplements have been selected for funding in FY2020, each collaborating DRSC principal investigator will then be asked to apply for separate administrative supplement funding not to exceed $93,333 total costs for their collaborative research efforts with outside-DRSC collaborators.

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 (see eligible activity codes below). 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. Supplemental funds may be awarded to parent awards using any of the activity code(s) listed below.

Administrative supplement requests must be submitted on paper for the following activity codes:
P01 Research Program Projects
P30 Center Core Grants
P50 Specialized Center
U54 Specialized Center- Cooperative Agreements
UM2 Program Project or Center with Complex Structure Cooperative Agreement

Administrative supplement requests may be submitted electronically for the following activity codes:
R01 Research Project Grant
U01 Research Project Cooperative Agreements
UM1 Multi-Component Research Project Cooperative Agreement

Submitting Applications:

  • For administrative supplements to grants and cooperative agreements, requests must be submitted in accordance with the parent program announcement PA-18-591. NOTE: 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 Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) identified as NOT-CA-20-014.”
  • See the 'Activity Code' section in Part 1 of PA-18-591 to determine if electronic submission is an option for your activity code. In order to facilitate efficient processing of the request, applicants are strongly encouraged to notify Kim Witherspoon (, as well as the assigned NCI program officer for the parent award that a request has been submitted in response to this NOSI.
  • A letter of support written and signed by the principal investigator of the collaborating DRSC is required. For electronic submission, use the “Add Other Attachments” function to include the letter of support in PDF format. This support letter should corroborate the nature of the collaborative effort, as outlined in the application, and reiterate the specific work that will be done by the U54 DRSC group.
  • The application submitted in response to this NOSI (i.e., the administrative supplement request/application) should include a schematic or a table that outlines the plans for work to be performed by the applicant/awardee and work to be performed by the collaborating DRSC. The chosen approach should clearly separate the work that is planned for performance at the applicant’s laboratory from that proposed for performance at the specified DRSC. (Note: The collaboration can include any one of the five U54 DRSCs in the DRSN.) The application should also clearly show how the work planned for performance by each of the partners (i.e., by the applicant/awardee and by the DRSC) is intended to be collaborative.
  • Applicants should also discuss their application with the NCI Program Official of the parent award prior to submission of a supplement application in order to ensure that the content area of the supplement fits within the scientific priorities of the NCI and is within the scope of the parent grant. In addition to contacting the NCI Program Official for the parent grant, applicants are also strongly encouraged to contact Dr. Percy Ivy (, DRSN Program Official.
  • 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.
  • The process for Streamlined Submissions using the eRA Commons cannot be used for this initiative.

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 supplemental activities to increase or preserve the parent award’s overall impact within the original scope of the award, including the degrees to which the administrative supplement -

  • 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.

NOTE: For funding consideration, applicants must include “NOT-CA-20-014” (without quotation marks) in the Agency Routing Identifier field (box 4b) of the SF424 R&R form. Applications without this information in box 4b will not be considered for this initiative.



Please direct all inquiries to:

Kim Witherspoon
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Telephone: 240-276-6141

Percy Ivy, M.D.
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Telephone: 240-276-6565