Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Serological Sciences Centers of Excellence
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:
May 15, 2020
Estimated Publication Date of Funding Opportunity Announcement:
June 10, 2020
First Estimated Application Due Date:
July 20, 2020
Earliest Estimated Award Date:
September 30, 2020
Earliest Estimated Start Date:
October 01, 2020
Related Announcements


Issued by

National Cancer Institute (NCI)


This Notice is associated with the COVID-19 Supplemental funding through the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (P.L. 116-139) which directs the National Cancer Institute of the NIH “to develop, validate, improve, and implement serological testing and associated technologies.” The National Cancer Institute (NCI) intends to publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) as a Request for Applications (RFAs) to solicit applications to establish Serological Sciences Centers of Excellence of collaborating investigators and an RFA for research projects. Specifically, both the Centers and the projects will identify and advance research opportunities to characterize the immune responses elicited by SARS-CoV-2 viral infection, especially as it relates to cancer patients.

The Serological Sciences Centers of Excellence and research projects will be components of the Serological Sciences Network which will be coordinated through the Frederick National Lab for Cancer Research (FNL). Other components of the Network will include the FNL Serology Lab and Serological Capacity Building Centers. It may also include SBIR grants and other grants and contracts related to serology associated with SARS-CoV-2.

This Notice is being provided to allow potential applicants time to develop responsive projects and meaningful collaborations.

The FOAs are expected to be published in June 2020 with expected application due dates in July 2020.

The FOAs will use the U54 and U01 activity codes (Clinical Trial Not Allowed).

Details of the planned FOAs are provided below.

Research Initiative Details

The planned FOAs solicit applications for U54 Serological Sciences Centers of Excellence that will consist of teams of investigators with relevant expertise and for U01 research projects, all of whom will work in the context of a collaborative research network, with the goal of identifying and advancing research opportunities to characterize the immune responses elicited by SARS-CoV-2 viral infection, understand the mechanisms driving the serological, humoral and cellular immune responses, and determine the serological correlates with disease pathogenesis and protection against future infection, especially as it relates to cancer patients.

Each proposed U54 must be focused on a comprehensive research program related to the serological response to SARS-CoV-2, other correlates of immunity, patient outcome and/or disease pathogenesis, especially as it relates to cancer patients and the development of novel serological assays for SARS-CoV-2.

Each U54 will be required to have 2-3 research projects, an administrative core, and could have a technical core. The research projects could be in one or more areas of basic, translational, clinical, prevention or population sciences research related to SARS-CoV-2 serology, with preference given to its relevance to cancer patients.

Each U01 applicant team will be required to propose a project that addresses a fundamental question(s) in serological sciences focused on SARS-CoV-2 with a preference for projects that have relevance to cancer (biology, survivorship, etc.).

Successful applicants will be expected to enter into collaborative studies with other components of the Network.

Funding Information
Estimated Total Funding

Up to $19 Million in fiscal year 2020

Expected Number of Awards

4-8 U54 Centers and 4-6 U01s

Estimated Award Ceiling

Each U54 application budget will be limited to $1.5 Million direct costs per year.

Each U01 application budget will be limited to $500,000 direct costs per year.

Primary CFDA Numbers
Anticipated Eligible Organizations
Small Business
Public/State Controlled Institution of Higher Education
Private Institution of Higher Education
Eligible Agencies of the Federal Government
Nonprofit with 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institution of Higher Education)
Indian/Native American Tribal Government (Federally Recognized)

Applications are not being solicited at this time.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Juli Klemm, Ph.D.

National Cancer Institute (NCI)


Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices