Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Metastasis Research Network (U54 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Notice Number: NOT-CA-20-028

Key Dates
Release Date: February 10, 2020
Estimated Publication Date of Funding Opportunity Announcement: April 15, 2020
First Estimated Application Due Date: July 25, 2020
Earliest Estimated Award Date: March 01, 2021
Earliest Estimated Start Date: April 01, 2021

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The National Cancer Institute (NCI) intends to publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) as a Request for Application (RFA) to solicit applications to build the Metastasis Research Network.

This Notice is being provided to allow potential applicants time to develop responsive projects and meaningful collaborations.

The FOA is expected to be published in April 2020 with expected application due dates in Summer 2020 and Winter 2021.

The FOA will use the U54 activity code (Clinical Trial Not Allowed). Details of the planned FOAs are provided below.

Research Initiative Details

The purpose of the FOA is to support the development of collaborative, multi-disciplinary basic research centers to elucidate and integrate a mechanistic understanding of the non-linear, dynamic, and emergent processes in metastasis. It is anticipated that each center will use systems-level approaches that encompass chronological progression and biological scales to derive a more comprehensive and cohesive picture of metastasis. Centers may derive new physiologically relevant models that capture the entire metastatic process or develop new experimental and analytical technologies or probes for tracking and monitoring the in vivo dynamics of metastatic cell states.

Each center should have two or three synergistic projects integrated by an overarching theme and aimed towards understanding the interplay between at least two of the following central elements in the metastatic process:

  • The likelihood, timing, and frequency of early dissemination;
  • The interaction and crosstalk of metastatic cells with the immune and nervous systems, vasculature, and/or the physical microenvironment;
  • The acquisition of, maintenance of, or emergence from metastatic dormancy; and
  • The response of metastatic cells, including those that are dormant, to therapies.
Funding Information
Estimated Total Funding : Up to $7.5 million in fiscal year 2021.
Expected Number of Awards: Five
Estimated Award Ceiling: Each U54 application budget will be limited to $1.5M total costs per year.
Primary CFDA Numbers: 93.393, 93.394, 93.395, 93.396,93.399

Anticipated Eligible Organizations

U.S. Territory or Possession
Public/State Controlled Institution of Higher Education
Nonprofit with 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institution of Higher Education)
Private Institution of Higher Education
State Government
Indian/Native American Tribal Government (Federally Recognized)
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entity (Foreign Organization)

Applications are not being solicited at this time.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Joanna Watson, Ph.D.
National Cancer Institute (NCI)