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CCR New Directions Award


Unanticipated discoveries are often made in the pursuit of ongoing investigations. Follow-up of these new directions is often difficult as they can fall outside the PIs research program and represent a considerable departure from the PI’s core research activities.

The CCR is seeking proposals for the pursuit of studies with high potential to lead to groundbreaking advances beyond the investigators immediate field and of importance to the broader biomedical community. Projects must represent a significant divergence from the PI’s research focus.

Projects may cover any area of investigation represented in the CCR ranging from basic, to translational and clinical work. The award is designed for individual investigators.

Selection Criteria

Key criteria for evaluation of proposals are:

  • Novelty and impact: The proposed studies should lead to conceptual or technological advances beyond the immediate field of study and should be relevant to the broad biomedical community at large.
  • Departure from PI’s core research program: The proposed studies must represent a clear departure from the PI’s core area of research. The distinct nature of the project must be clearly defined in the application.
  • Feasibility: By definition, these projects are high-risk. However, feasibility of the general approach must be demonstrated. The proposed project should be based on an initial experimental observation made in the PI’s laboratory, though providing preliminary data in the proposal is optional.
  • Milestones: The proposal should list clearly defined milestones and identify at least annual go/no-go decision points.


Applicants must be an NCI intramural Tenure-track PI, Tenured PI, Senior Clinician or Senior Scientist in the Center for Cancer Research.  Those in the Physician-Scientist Early Investigator (PEI) program can apply but must include a tenured PI as a co-PI. Staff Scientists who are site-visited and have independent budgets (CANs) are also eligible. Non-NCI researchers can act as collaborators but cannot receive funds. Please click here for more specifics on who may apply.


Funding will be provided for 3 years up to $125,000 per year to cover personnel and supply costs.

Review Process

Review of proposals will occur in two stages. After initial review of Letters of Intent (LOI), shortlisted proposals (approximately 20% of LOIs) will be invited for full review.

LOI and invited proposals will be evaluated by the CCR Science Board.

Application process and format

LOI and invited proposals are to be submitted to ProposalCentral.

Click for instructions on preparing an application.

Important Deadlines

Invited Proposals are due on December 2, 2020

Last updated by Linnekin, Diana (NIH/NCI) [E] on Oct 19, 2020