Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Collaborative Approaches to Engineer Biology for Cancer Applications (U01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:
August 21, 2020
Estimated Publication Date of Funding Opportunity Announcement:
October 01, 2020
First Estimated Application Due Date:
January 15, 2021
Earliest Estimated Award Date:
September 30, 2021
Earliest Estimated Start Date:
October 01, 2021
Related Announcements


Issued by

National Cancer Institute (NCI)

National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)


NIH intends to publish a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) to solicit applications that develop and apply innovative synthetic biology approaches to address challenges across the continuum of cancer research.

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 October 2020 with expected application due dates in January 2021.

The FOA will use the U01 activity code (Clinical Trial Not Allowed).

Details of the planned FOA are provided below.

Research Initiative Details

The planned FOA intends to support synthetic biology approaches for cancer research that will expand technology development, promote transdisciplinary partnerships, and spur new efforts to advance mechanistic understanding of cancer and possibilities for cancer prevention, detection, and management. Projects will be required to define an important cancer research question and then approach that question with a synthetic biology technology, based on an adapted biological system that can sense an input, apply logic to determine a response to the input, and initiate a response. The emphasis is on both the significance of the cancer research question and the innovation and potential of the technical approach. Multi-PI applications are encouraged and transdisciplinary teams are expected with a requirement for expertise in cancer research and engineering or other disciplines relevant to synthetic biology.

Funding Information
Estimated Total Funding

Up to $4.2 million in fiscal year 2021

Expected Number of Awards

4-6 awards

Estimated Award Ceiling

Application budgets are limited to $499,999 in direct costs per year and must reflect the actual needs of the proposed project.

Primary CFDA Numbers

93.286; 93.393; 93.394; 93.395;93.396; 93.399

Anticipated Eligible Organizations
Eligible Agencies of the Federal Government
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
Small Business
For-Profit Organization (Other than Small Business)
State Government
Indian/Native American Tribal Government (Federally Recognized)
County governments
Indian/Native American Tribally Designated Organization (Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
U.S. Territory or Possession
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entity (Foreign Organization)
Regional Organization

Applications are not being solicited at this time. 


Please direct all inquiries to:

Michelle Berny-Lang, PhD
National Cancer Institute (NCI)

David Rampulla, PhD
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
Telephone: 301-451-4774

Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices