Request for Information (RFI): Seeking Input on Technology Needs for Cancer Control and Population Sciences Researchers
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

October 26, 2021

Response Date:
January 15, 2022

Related Announcements

Issued by

National Cancer Institute (NCI)



Advances in technology play a critical role in accelerating cancer research. Through this Request for Information (RFI), the National Cancer Institute (NCI) is soliciting input from the cancer research community regarding technology needs in cancer control and population sciences including healthcare delivery research, surveillance research, behavioral research, and cancer epidemiology, and population-scale genomics research.


The NCI administers two unique programs focused on technology development research that offer the transformative potential for advancing cancer research. The Innovative Molecular Analysis Technologies (IMAT) program supports highly innovative, data-generating platforms and methodologies and the Informatics Technologies for Cancer Research (ITCR) program supports powerful data analysis, management, and visualization technologies.

While the NCI has been successful in soliciting novel technology development proposals that focus on advancing basic biological research and clinical cancer research, there have been fewer applications received that are specifically aimed at addressing technology gaps that might accelerate research for investigators focused on cancer control and population sciences including cancer healthcare delivery, surveillance, behavioral, epidemiology, and population-scale -omics research. The NCI expects that a better appreciation for the technology opportunity landscape in these areas will help advance development of appropriate new technologies.

In this regard, examples might include (but are not limited to) the following technologies geared to:

  • Advance research in healthcare delivery;
  • Support cancer patients and survivors, such as novel communication tools and testing platforms for underserved populations or for use in rural and remote areas;
  • Monitor and analyze environmental variables including air pollution and other exposures;
  • Support assessment of cancer-related behavioral risk factors (e.g. dietary intake, exercise, cancer screening, etc.)
  • Improve data collection, consolidation, quality, and analysis for cancer surveillance;
  • Advance image analysis (e.g. extracting behavioral and environmental information from images (e.g. street-level digital images, aerial images, medical images, etc.));
  • Accelerate and automate geospatial data cleaning, processing, and analysis;
  • Accelerate population-scale genomics research, such as sample acquisition and processing as well as data management, harmonization, and analysis;
  • Predict the trajectory of patients after diagnosis; and
  • Ameliorate treatment toxicities or to facilitate symptom management.

Information Requested

The NCI seeks input on emerging opportunities where technologies could be developed that offer the potential to help advance cancer epidemiology and population science research in areas including, but not limited to those listed above. Comments submitted in response to this RFI could describe specific technologies or broader areas that could use development of new technologies. As such, the NCI seeks comments on any or all of, but not limited to, the following:

  • Specific technologies that are already developed, but need to be adapted and validated for use in cancer healthcare delivery, surveillance, behavioral, epidemiology or population-scale -omics research;
  • Population scale research studies that have been held back by lack of technologies to enable this area of research;
  • Description of technologies that would be useful for facilitating research in cancer healthcare delivery, surveillance, behavioral, epidemiology or population-scale -omics.

How to Submit a Response

Responses to this RFI must be submitted electronically to

Responses must be received by 11:59 p.m. on January 15, 2022.

Responses to this RFI are voluntary. Do not include any proprietary, classified, confidential, trade secret, or sensitive information in your response. The responses will be reviewed by NIH staff, and individual feedback will not be provided to any responder. The Government will use the information submitted in response to this RFI at its discretion. Any identifiers (e.g., names, institutions, e-mail addresses, etc.) will be removed when responses are compiled. The Government reserves the right to use only the processed, anonymized results on public NIH websites, in reports, in summaries of the state of the science, in any possible resultant solicitation(s), grant(s), or cooperative agreement(s), or in the development of future funding opportunity announcements.

This RFI is for information and planning purposes only and shall not be construed as a solicitation, grant, or cooperative agreement, or as an obligation on the part of the Federal Government, the NIH, or individual NIH Institutes and Centers to provide support for any ideas identified in response to it. The Government will not 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 RFI or from the Government’s use of such information.

The NIH looks forward to your input and we hope that you will share this RFI document with your colleagues.


Please direct all inquiries to:

For general inquiries:
Kelly Crotty, Ph.D.
National Cancer Institute (NCI)/ Center for Strategic Scientific Initiatives (CSSI)
Telephone: 240-760-7997

For IMAT-specific inquiries:
Tony Dickherber, Ph.D.
National Cancer Institute (NCI)/ Center for Strategic Scientific Initiatives (CSSI)
Telephone: 301-547-9980

For ITCR-specific inquiries:
Juli Klemm, Ph.D.
National Cancer Institute (NCI)/ Center for Strategic Scientific Initiatives (CSSI)
Telephone: 202-853-7889