Request for Information (RFI) Regarding Opportunities for New National Programs at the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

November 23, 2020

Response Date:
February 19, 2021 as per NOT-CA-21-029

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Issued by

National Cancer Institute (NCI)


The purpose of this Request for Information (RFI) is to seek input from members of the cancer research community on the most important needs and promising opportunities in cancer research that are difficult to address on an individual scale. The NCI supports a large portfolio of investigator-initiated research and a number of programs that assemble a network of researchers to address problems in cancer research too large for individual labs to tackle. The NCI recognizes that there also may be problems best addressed by a large, concerted effort that requires resources, technologies, and synergism with multiple partners beyond what is normally achieved through conventional funding approaches. An example of such a problem is the RAS initiative which was established to explore new approaches to targeting mutant, oncogenic forms of RAS proteins. The Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (FNLCR) housed the RAS initiative. This RFI is part of a planning effort to identify unique programs of national significance that the FNLCR could support in the interest of the entire cancer research community.

FNLCR is a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The laboratory addresses some of the most urgent and intractable problems in the biomedical sciences in cancer and AIDS, drug development and first-in-human clinical trials, applications of nanotechnology in medicine, and rapid response to emerging threats of infectious disease. The FNLCR is a shared national resource that offers access to a suite of advanced biomedical technologies, provides selected science and technology services, and maintains vast repositories of research materials available to biomedical investigators nationwide. It is the only U.S. national laboratory wholly focused on research, technology, and collaboration in the biomedical sciences- working to discover, to innovate, and to improve human health. Signature national programs run by the FNLCR, in addition to the RAS initiative, include the Genomic Data Commons, the NCI COVID Serology Network (SeroNet), National Cryo-Electron Microscopy Facility, and the HPV Serology Laboratory (

The purpose of this Request for Information (RFI) is to seek input from members of the cancer research community on the most important needs and promising opportunities in cancer research that are difficult to address on an individual scale or by a research network. Examples of the issues that FNLCR could address include overcoming drug resistance, predicting T cell receptor interactions with tumor epitopes, or targeting undruggable proteins.

Information Requested

The NCI requests that cancer researchers, clinicians, and other interested individuals share their perspectives on areas of research where a national program could support the research community and accelerate progress in understanding and treating cancer. Responses should include:

  • Background;
  • The problem to be addressed;
  • Why a national program is needed; and
  • Implications of success

As stated above, responses to this RFI will be used for consideration of research priorities and may help in the development of future funding opportunities.

Note: Do not include any proprietary or confidential information.

How to Submit a Response

Responses will be accepted through January 18, 2021, and should be marked with this RFI identifier "RFI Response". Responses are preferred in electronic format and should be e-mailed to

If you are willing to do so, you are encouraged to include the following optional information in your response:

  • Identification of the nature of your involvement and/or interest in cancer research (i.e., are you a biomedical researcher or clinician, or other);
  • If you are an investigator, please indicate your main area of research interest, including whether the focus is basic, translational, or clinical research; and
  • Your name and email address.

All individual responses will remain confidential. Any identifiers (e.g., names, institutions, e-mail addresses, etc.) will be removed when responses are compiled. Only the processed, anonymized summaries will be shared beyond NCI staff members and/or any scientific working groups convened by the NCI, as appropriate.

Respondents will receive an automated email confirmation acknowledging receipt of their response but will not receive any individualized feedback. This RFI Notice should not be interpreted as a solicitation or as an obligation on the part of the Federal Government, NCI, or FNLCR. No monetary awards will be made to pay for the preparation of any information submitted or for the Government’s use of such information. No basis for claims against the U.S. Government shall arise as a result of a response to this request for information or from the Government’s use of such information.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices