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CCR FLEX Program

The CCR FLEX Program is an intramural funding mechanism. The objective is to facilitate the ability of CCR PIs to pursue high-risk, high-impact projects that cannot be accommodated within laboratory base allocations.

 The FLEX program seeks to promote all areas of cancer research. COVID-19 related projects will only be considered if they directly add to the understanding of cancer or the development of treatments for cancer patients.

 A list of projects that have been funded through the FLEX Program can be found at this Link.

Hallmarks of the FLEX Program are:

  •  Innovation and Creativity: FLEX Program projects should have a high degree of innovation and creativity.
  • High-impact: FLEX Program projects should lead to high-impact results.
  • Defined by milestones: FLEX Program projects are defined by clearly articulated milestones.
  • Time-limited: FLEX Program projects are time-limited, typically to 3 years.
  • Highly selective: FLEX Program projects will be selected in a two-stage open competition. 1) Evaluation of Letters of Intent (LOIs) and 2) Evaluation of invited full proposals (estimated ~20% of LOIs) by the CCR Science Board

 All CCR PIs are eligible to apply for FLEX Program funding. The primary PI for the proposed work in each award category must be a tenure-track investigator, tenured PI, senior clinician or senior scientist in CCR. 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 or co-PIs, but cannot receive funds. PIs from DCEG can serve as funded co-PIs on the CCR-DCEG Collaborative Award and the new Health Disparities Award.  Please click here for more specifics on who may submit a FLEX LOI as a primary PI.

FLEX Program funds can only be used for the proposed projects and cannot be rolled into the PI’s general lab budget. Projects will not be reviewed during the quadrennial site-visit but progress will be monitored periodically based on proposed milestones.

A project can be either an original submission (i.e. 1st time submission for consideration for a FLEX Award) or a resubmission of a project from a previous year. Please note that you are limited to an original submission and 2 additional resubmissions for the same project.

Below is some general information on each of the awards. Please use the links to each award to get important details on each of these awards, as well as information on preparing an application.  Please note that the Synergy and the Basic Translational Clinical Axis Awards have been combined and the Synergy Award now includes team projects in basic, translational, and clinical research.

CCR Technology Development Awards enable the development of ground-breaking new methods and technology in the PI’s laboratory, and can be in any area of biomedicine relevant to cancer ranging from basic research tools to clinical technology. Funding will be provided for three years and up to $125,000 per year to cover personnel and supply costs.

CCR Synergy Awardsupport the formation of research teams composed of basic, translational and/or clinical scientists to perform high-impact collaborative projects relevant to cancer. Basic research, as well as translational/clinical projects working towards “bench to bedside” and/or “bedside to bench” advances are encouraged.  Funding will be provided for three years with the possibility of a maximum two year extension and up to $350,000 per year to cover personnel and supply costs

CCR New Directions Awards facilitate the pursuit of studies with great potential to lead to groundbreaking advances beyond the investigator’s immediate field and with high relevance to the broader biomedical cancer community. Proposals must represent a significant divergence from the PI’s  research focus. Funding will be provided for three years with up to $125,000 per year to cover personnel and supply costs.

CCR-DCEG Collaborative Awards   foster integrative research that builds on DCEG expertise in population-based epidemiology and CCR expertise in basic biology and clinical research. Projects should be focused on high-impact problems in the areas of cancer mechanism, diagnosis, prognosis, susceptibility, predisposition, or prevention. Funding will be provided for three years to cover personnel and supply costs.  CCR PIs will receive up to $125,000 per year and DCEG PIs up to $85,000 per year.  


 CCR Health Disparity Awards may cover any area of cancer health disparity as defined by the NCI Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities.  This includes using basic, clinical, translational, and epidemiological approaches aimed at understanding and reducing any type of cancer health disparity. This can be an individual award or a team award for a lead PI and up to 2 co-PIs. DCEG PIs can also be funded co-PIs for this award. Funding will be provided for three years to cover personnel and supply costs.  CCR PIs will receive up to $125,000 per year and DCEG PIs up to $85,000 per year.  


Important Deadlines

More information will be available about the next round of funding in July of 2023 

 Please contact Diana Linnekin if you have questions

Last updated by Linnekin, Diana (NIH/NCI) [E] on Jan 23, 2023