Notice of Information: Guidance Regarding Minimum Level of Effort for NCI-Funded Awards
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

July 14, 2021

Related Announcements

NOT-CA-20-047 - Revised and Corrected Notice on Policy Regarding Minimum Level of Effort for NCI-Funded Awards (RESCINDED)

Issued by

National Cancer Institute (NCI)


This Notice describes the National Cancer Institute (NCI) guidance on the minimum level of effort that will be a part of the funding consideration for NCI-funded grants.

Please note that this Notice replaces NOT-CA-20-047 "Revised and Corrected Notice on Policy Regarding Minimum Level of Effort for NCI-Funded Awards".

In addition to previously established guidance for specific grant mechanisms that have been described in funding opportunity announcements (FOAs), Principal Investigators (PIs), including Project Leaders on multi-project grants, will be required to commit a minimum level of effort to be eligible for NCI funding through R01, U01, P01, and R21 grant mechanisms. Effective immediately, competing applications that do not meet the minimum criteria will not be considered for funding unless the level of effort is raised to comply with the guidance. In addition, a request to reduce the PI’s level of effort in subsequent years of funding will not be approved if the proposed level of effort falls below the minimum level. The minimum effort guidance described in this notice will not apply when the grant is in a no-cost extension.

Requisite levels of effort for grant mechanisms not listed in this table are stipulated in the FOA. Grant mechanisms without levels of effort listed in the table or stipulated in the FOA do not have a minimum requirement, e.g. R03, R15, etc.

Unless otherwise stated in an FOA, the minimum levels of effort are as follows:



Minimum Level of Effort in person months/year (%)


Single PI

1.8 months (15%)


1.2 months (10%) each

P01 1

Single PI

1.2 months (10%) 2


0.96 months (8%) each

Project Leader

1.8 months (15%)

Multi-Project Leader

1.2 months (10%) each

Core Leader

0.6 months (5%) 3


Single or Multi-PI

0.6 months (5%) each

1If applicants lead multiple project components, the minimum level of effort is additive. For example, the minimum level of effort for an applicant serving as the PI (1.2 months) and Project Leader (1.8 months) is 3 months.

2Includes effort as administrative Core Director

3Applicants should justify minimum effort, based on the proposed activities of the Core

The guidance will ensure that PIs devote the appropriate effort and attention to project leadership for the duration of the grant award.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Questions regarding NCI’s implementation of this guidance should be directed to the NCI Grants Management Specialist for the award. Questions of a programmatic nature should be directed to the NCI Program Official for the award.

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