Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): National Cancer Institute Entrepreneurial Education Programs to Facilitate Commercialization of Cancer Relevant Technologies
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

November 7, 2023

First Available Due Date:
January 25, 2024
Expiration Date:
January 08, 2027

Related Announcements

  • September 29, 2023 - Cancer Research Education Grants Program - Courses for Skills Development (R25 Clinical Trial Not Allowed). See NOFO PAR-23-276

Issued by

National Cancer Institute (NCI)


This Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) serves to encourage applications for entrepreneurial education programs that are aimed at developing the skillset of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers, as well as early-career master’s, Ph.D., M.D., M.D./Ph.D., and Dr.P.H. scientists, in fields relevant to the NCI mission. Applications that propose innovative, state-of-the-art education programs spanning from initial translational research to the commercialization of products are encouraged. The overarching objective of this NOSI is to expand the skillset of the upcoming generation of research trainees and facilitate the commercialization of cancer relevant technologies.


The Center for Cancer Training (CCT) and the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Development Center at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) recognize the needs of the current labor market and are seeking applications for innovation-focused educational programs that prepare graduate students and PhD-trained scientists for careers in entrepreneurship. Through this NOSI, the NCI Cancer Training Branch in the Center for Cancer Training, and SBIR Development Centeraim to support institutions in preparing the next generation of scientists for careers in entrepreneurship, particularly in areas related to the NCI’s mission.

Applicants are encouraged to consider participation from diverse backgrounds, including those from groups that are underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences, per the NIH Interest in Diversity NOSI NOT-OD-20-031. The skillset and knowledge base should focus on increasing the understanding of the cancer entrepreneurship landscape, which can include but is not limited to: regulatory and reimbursement pathway knowledge, ability to identify unmet market needs, define value propositions, and a clear understanding of cancer product development path for drugs, devices and/or digital health solutions. The goal of the NOSI is to spur new innovative education programs in entrepreneurship. As such, it is anticipated that the applications include how the proposed course differs from other entrepreneurial training courses available at their institutions, if applicable.

Courses for Skills Development

  • Courses for Skills Development: Courses for skills development receptive to this NOSI can include courses in the field of entrepreneurship, including, but not limited to, cancer drug development; technology transfer; regulatory affairs; corporate and venture finance; customer discovery; and SBIR/STTR grant writing. Since this NOSI focuses on preparing applicants for careers in entrepreneurship, a mix of courses, workshops, and internships related to entrepreneurship, product development, and commercialization will be important.

A structured education that combines entrepreneurship and business development training with cancer translational research will be important.

Partnering with existing NIH-funded, or other federally funded resources and programs and leveraging existing entrepreneurial training activities from both federal and private-sector partners,  such as the Economic Development Administration; National Science Foundation; the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences' Clinical and Translational Science Awards; and the NIH Proof of Concept Network is encouraged.

Non-Responsive Applications

Applications with one or more of the characteristics listed below will be considered non-responsive and will not be reviewed:

  • Proposed course is not cancer-focused.
  • Proposed course activities are not completed within a 12-month period.
  • Proposed course is not offered each year that R25 support is requested.
  • Proposed course is an adaptation of a current or previous NCI R25-funded course that focuses on a different target population.
  • Proposed Evaluation Plan describes collecting data from individuals other than course participants, such as their supervisors or patients, which is not considered appropriate for an education program and may require IRB approval at participants' institutions.

Research education programs may complement ongoing research training and education occurring at the applicant institution, but the proposed educational experiences must be distinct from those training and education programs currently receiving Federal support. R25 programs may augment institutional research training programs (e.g., T32, T90) but cannot be used to replace or circumvent Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) programs.

Application and Submission Information

This notice applies to due dates on or after January 25, 2024, and subsequent receipt dates through January 7, 2027.  Submit applications for this initiative using the following funding opportunity or any reissuance of this funding opportunity through the expiration date of this NOSI:

  • PAR-23-276: Cancer Research Education Grants Program - Courses for Skills Development (R25 Clinical Trial Not Allowed) - please note that this NOFO expires January 7, 2027

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and the funding opportunity used for submission must be followed, with the following additions:

  • For funding consideration, applicants must include “NOT-CA-24-001” (without quotation marks) in the Agency Routing Identifier field (Box 4b) of the SF424 R&R form. Applications without this information in Box 4b will not be considered for this initiative.

Applications that are nonresponsive to the terms of this NOSI will not be considered for the NOSI initiative.

Applications nonresponsive to terms of this NOSI will not be considered for the NOSI initiative.


Please direct all inquiries to the contacts in Section VII of the listed notice of funding opportunity with the following additions/substitutions:

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

For questions related to the SBIR Development Center research interests
Saroj Regmi, PhD
National Cancer Institute (NCI)

For questions related to the R25 funding opportunity requirements
Nastaran Zahir, PhD
National Cancer Institute (NCI)

Peer Review Contact(s)

Referral Officer
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Telephone: 240-276-6390

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Amy Bartosch
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Telephone: 240-276-6885