Request for Information (RFI): Seeking Stakeholder Input on Enhancing Cancer Health Disparities Research
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

April 22, 2021

Response Date:
June 25, 2021

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Issued by

National Cancer Institute (NCI)


The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is seeking information on enhancing progress on cancer health disparities research. This request for information (RFI) is part of NCI’s Equity and Inclusion Program convened to identify opportunities and priorities in three areas: 1) Enhancing Cancer Health Disparities Research; 2) Diversifying the Cancer Research Workforce; and 3) Ensuring an Inclusive and Diverse Community at NCI. This RFI is requesting input on Enhancing Cancer Health Disparities Research.


According to NCI, racial and ethnic minority populations experience striking disparities in incidence and mortality for certain types of cancer in the United States. Black/African Americans (B/AAs) experience a disproportionate burden of cancer incidence and mortality across most cancers. American Indian/Alaskan Natives (AI/ANs) have some of the highest incidence and death rates in liver and intrahepatic bile duct cancer as well as kidney cancer. Hispanic/Latino (H/L) women have higher cervical cancer incidence rates, and rates of liver cancer incidence and mortality in adult Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders (NH/OPIs) are double those of non-Hispanic white (NHW) adults. Furthermore, racial/ethnic populations are grossly underrepresented in cancer clinical trials, with participation as follows: 6% among B/AAs, 5% among Asian/Pacific Islanders and 3% among H/Ls. Without adequate representation of racial/ethnic populations in research and clinical trials, minority populations will not benefit from cutting-edge treatments and the promise of precision medicine.

NCI funding for Minority Health and Health Disparities research has remained relatively level over the years. To help enhance cancer health disparities research, the NCI Director has charged the Equity and Inclusion Program working groups to identify and develop strategies, opportunities, and timelines that will accelerate progress in cancer health disparities research. This RFI is intended to solicit input from stakeholders, including extramural researchers, clinicians, academic institutions, healthcare and community organizations, and the public, to develop actionable recommendations that will forge a path to enhance research in cancer health disparities.

Information Requested

NCI seeks information on research gaps, best practices, resources, and opportunities to enhance cancer health disparities research, and to promote equity and social justice within NCI extramural communities. NCI seeks comments on, but not limited to, any of the following topics:

  • Address scientific gaps, innovative designs, or approaches to enhance cancer health disparities research
  • Identify understudied scientific areas (e.g. social determinants of health, genetic admixture, etc.) crucial to addressing cancer health disparities
  • Identify emerging research strategies to prevent, diagnose, and address a wide range of CHD
  • Identify high-priority scientific areas to help reduce the unequal burden of cancer health disparities
  • Identify innovative study designs, approaches and data/resources that may be important to addressing cancer health disparities
  • Describe approaches to strengthen the science of community engagement
  • Identify ways to promote the utilization of Implementation Science
  • Identify potential approaches to redesign CTs (e.g. inclusion and exclusion criteria, etc.) and increase enrollment of racial/ethnic underrepresented groups
  • Identify strategies to harness big data, advance methods and measurements to improve research, and technology development on cancer health disparities
  • Identify potential methods and measurements critical for assessing and characterizing determinants of cancer health disparities
  • Identify potential innovative biomarkers that may be useful for cancer screening, early diagnosis, prevention, and treatment
  • Describe ways to increase representation of underserved populations in big “omics" data
  • Identify ways to promote data sharing from underserved populations to validate results and enhance generalizability
  • Describe how best to leverage novel technologies such as artificial intelligence, telemedicine, and imaging
  • Identify strategies to better prioritize and fund high-impact cancer health disparities research
  • Identify strategies to connect cancer health disparities research initiatives domestically and globally to:
  • Identify opportunities to accelerate the understanding of cancer health disparities globally
  • Standardize definitions, measures, and methods for cancer health disparities globally
  • Identify ways to develop/test innovative interventions and solutions (e.g. Implementation Science, etc.) that can be transposed across settings to reduce cancer health disparities globally
  • Catalyze scientific exchange between cancer health disparities investigators working domestically and globally

Comments and recommendations on additional issues relevant to cancer health disparities research that are not specifically mentioned above are encouraged.

This RFI is specific to NCI. Therefore, we encourage responses to this RFI even if another response was submitted to an RFI on similar topics including the RFI through the NIH UNITE Initiative (NOT-OD-21-066).

How to Submit a Response

Responses will be accepted through June 25, 2021. Please limit your response to two pages or less. Responses must be e-mailed to Please include NCI Cancer Health Disparities Research RFI and the Notice Number (NOT-CA-21-066) in the subject line. Responders are free to address any or all the categories listed above.

Responses are entirely voluntary and can be anonymous. If willing, you may indicate the environment to which your perspective pertains (e.g., academia institutions, extramural, intramural researchers, industry, and the public). No proprietary, classified, confidential, or sensitive information should be included in your response. 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 results will be shared internally with NIH staff members and any member of scientific working groups convened by the NCI, as appropriate.

This request is for information and planning purposes only and should not be construed as a solicitation or as an obligation on the part of the Federal Government. The NCI/NIH does not intend to make any awards based on responses to this RFI or to otherwise pay for the preparation of any information submitted or for the Government's use of such information.

The submitted information will be reviewed by NCI staff. Every respondent will receive an automated e-mail confirmation acknowledging receipt of a successfully submitted response but will not receive any individualized feedback (i.e., NCI will not provide comments to any responder's submission). The information provided will be analyzed and may be aggregated in presentations and reports. The Government reserves the right to use any non-proprietary technical information in any resultant solicitation(s).


Please direct all inquiries to:

National Cancer Institute (NCI)

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