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 but cannot receive funds. The CCR-DCEG Collaborative Award is also open to intramural DCEG PIs. Please click here for more specifics on who may apply.

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.

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. 

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 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 closely interacting and collaborating basic, translational and/or clinical scientists to perform high-impact collaborative projects. 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 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 with up to $175,000 per year to cover personnel and supply costs.


CCR Basic/Translational/Clinical Axis Award facilitate creation of research teams along the basic-translational-clinical spectrum. The objective is to perform high-impact collaborative research on translational/clinical projects working towards “bench to bedside” and/or “bedside to bench” advances. These teams must be composed of teams of at least one basic, one translational and and one clinical PI 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. 



Invited Proposals are due on December 2, 2020