Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Cancer Target Discovery and Development (CTD2) (U01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:
May 24, 2021
Estimated Publication Date of Funding Opportunity Announcement:
July 01, 2021
First Estimated Application Due Date:
October 06, 2021
Earliest Estimated Award Date:
July 01, 2022
Earliest Estimated Start Date:
July 30, 2022
Related Announcements


Issued by

National Cancer Institute (NCI)


The National Cancer Institute (NCI) plans to publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) as a PAR (i.e., Program Announcement with special receipt, referral, and/or review considerations) for the "Cancer Target Discovery and Development (CTD2)” Initiative (U01). CTD2 will promote efforts to radically improve our understanding of the underlying etiology of cancer initiation, progression, and metastasis and to exploit this knowledge in clinically relevant context which includes intra-tumor heterogeneity, tumor microenvironment and other factors that result in "innate" or acquired treatment resistance.

Specifically, the program is focused on identifying and understanding pathways that influence cancer phenotypes (including understanding the function of the genes/targets which are essential in cancer transformation and maintenance); perturbagens that can modulate such pathways; biomarkers predicting responses to treatments, prognosis, and other aspects of cancer etiology that need to be understood in order to develop effective treatments in the future and how to predict them.

This Notice of Intent to Publish (NOITP) is being provided to allow potential applicants sufficient time to develop meaningful collaborations and responsive projects.

The PAR is expected to be published in Summer of 2021 with an expected application due date in Fall of 2021.

The PAR will utilize the U01 Research Project Grant activity code. Details of the planned PAR are provided below.

Research Initiative Details

Research projects proposed in response to this FOA must combine informatics and complementary experimental approaches. While a single PI for each U01 is acceptable, the team needs to have the depth and balance of needed expertise (informatics, experimental and disease experts). The applications are envisioned to address the scientific questions, develop strong leadership and organizational structure, and support from critical resources that would enable investigation of the proposed research goals. Sharing of data and resources across the program and with the larger scientific community is required. Where appropriate, informatics should be combined with high throughput assays in experiments designed to demonstrate that affecting identified targets can lead to the desirable outcomes such as the abrogation of the cancerous phenotype, the reduction of metastatic potential, and/or selective eradication of cancer cells even for heterogeneous tumors. Informatics may also facilitate the development of probes that specifically affect the function of the prospective targets and other experimental approaches relevant to their characterization. The functional agents (e.g., small molecules, molecular glues, proteolysis targeting chimeras) can be developed and investigated either as phenotype perturbagens in combination with other and novel perturbagens with minimal side-effects for target characterization, validation and/or as prototypes for therapeutics in cell heterogeneous tumors. This research should aim to identify:

a) potential therapeutic targets and validate their relevance;

b) understand the wiring of these proteins within specific cancer(s) context;

c) to develop probes or perturbagens for pathways that are important in the etiology of cancers; and is appropriate; and

d) explore if the results are dependent on the defined genetic background (either germline or somatic) of the patient.

The PAR will be open to all qualified applicants, including new and early-stage investigators, who can establish and lead a multi-disciplinary, multi-Principal Investigator research projects to enable the fulfillment of the intended program goals.

More details will be outlined in the forthcoming FOA.

Funding Information
Estimated Total Funding


Expected Number of Awards
Estimated Award Ceiling

Each U01 application budget will be limited to $750,000 direct cost per year for a total of five years.

Primary Assistance Listing Number(s)

93.395; 93.396

Anticipated Eligible Organizations
Public/State Controlled Institution of Higher Education
Private Institution of Higher Education
Nonprofit with 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institution of Higher Education)
Small Business
For-Profit Organization (Other than Small Business)
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entity (Foreign Organization)
Eligible Agencies of the Federal Government

Applications are not being solicited at this time. 


Please direct all inquiries to:

Daniela S. Gerhard, Ph.D.

National Cancer Institute (NCI)


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