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 CCR Synergy Award


Many scientific projects rely on close collaborations across multiple areas of expertise.  Interdisciplinary efforts incorporating diverse expertise often offer opportunities for implementation of novel approaches and bring new perspectives to established problems. However, team projects involving personnel and technical infrastructure shared between laboratories can be difficult to accommodate within research allocations assigned to an individual PI.

The CCR is seeking proposals for the formation of research teams to perform high-impact collaborative research projects. These CCR Synergy Teams will be composed of closely interacting and collaborating basic, translational and/or clinical scientists.

Each Team consists of at least two Principal Investigators with clearly distinct and/or complementary expertise. The lead PI must be a CCR PI. Preliminary data to demonstrate impact and feasibility are recommended. Distinctiveness from ongoing PI-based activities needs to be clearly demonstrated.

Projects may focus on any area of CCR research from basic, to translational and clinical research or may span the basic-clinical spectrum.

Selection Criteria

Key criteria for evaluation of proposals are:

  • Potential impact: Successful projects will lead to ground-breaking new insights into basic and/or cancer-related biological problems or lead to the development of new diagnostic, prognostic or therapeutic approaches.
  • Synergy: The individual team members must create strong synergy by contributing expertise in complementary areas or methodologies. Each team member’s expertise and contribution to the project must be clearly defined.
  • Degree of innovation: The resulting research output must be highly innovative and have potential for transformational advance.
  • Feasibility: The PIs must provide evidence for the feasibility of the proposed studies and demonstrate relevant expertise amongst team-members. Preliminary data to demonstrate feasibility is encouraged, but not required.
  • Milestones: The proposal should list clearly defined milestones and identify at least annual go/no-go decision points.


Applicants must be a CCR 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.  Non-NCI investigators can act as collaborators but can not receive funds. Please click here for more specifics on who may apply.


Funding will be provided for 3 years with the possibility of a maximum 2 year extension with up to $350,000 per year to cover personnel and/or supply costs. A detailed budget is required to justify requested funds.

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