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Consumer Guide to Peer Review
The NCI Consumer Guide to Peer Review has been prepared to serve first as an introduction and orientation to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and its Research Programs and second to define your role as a consumer in the Peer Review of applications that support extramural clinical/population-based research conducted by Cancer Centers, Cooperative Groups, Program Projects, and projects submitted in response to Requests for Applications (RFAs) and Program Announcements (PAs).
Dictionary for Peer Review
Cancer Dictionary for Peer Review is deigned to provide concise definitions of technical terms frequently used in applications for NCI-sponsored investigator-initiated research. The terms include those commonly associated with the molecular biology of cancer, immunology, and clinical oncology. These definitions, in association with the review process, will increase your familiarity and understanding of the biology and clinical aspects of cancer. We hope this will facilitate and make your participation in the Peer Review process more meaningful.
- Office of Advocacy Relations
- NCI Council of Research Advocates
- NCI Consumer Guide to Peer Review
- Awarded Research
The National Cancer Institute conducts and supports research, training, health information dissemination, and other programs with respect to the cause, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of cancer, rehabilitation from cancer, and the continuing care of cancer patients and the families of cancer patients. For more information or to view the Institute's mission statement, please go to the NCI website: https://www.cancer.gov/about-nci.
Information on the FY 2023 budget can be found on the NCI Office of Budget and Finance website https://www.cancer.gov/about-nci/budget.
In FY 2023, decisions on competing grants will continue to be based on review of individual applications. In FY 2023 peer review evaluation of scientific merit will remain the primary consideration in these funding decisions, which will be made by NCI Scientific Program Leaders (SPL) following discussions with program staff. The SPL will continue its efforts to support early career investigators and give special consideration to applications that fill a significant gap in the cancer research portfolio or propose an especially novel or promising scientific approach.
NCI will generally fund both categorical and modular non-competing grants at 98% of the committed level. This policy applies to all grants, with the exception of the NRSAs, Career, Cancer Education, Continuing Education, P30 Cancer Centers, Conference OHAM and other AIDS related grants, International Research Training Grants, Small Grants, Research Specialist, Pathway to Independence, SBIR, and STTR awards, which will be funded at committed levels. Non-competing grants that were awarded under the continuing resolution policy will be revised accordingly.
Traditional Research Grants - Experienced and New Investigator (R01) & Exploratory Development Grants (R21s)
Most Traditional (R01) Experienced and New Investigator applications with scores up to and including the 12th percentile and Exploratory Development (R21) applications with scores up to and including the 9th percentile will be funded without additional review. Final funding decisions on individual grants within this range are based on review of the applications by NCI program staff and grants management specialists and the negotiation of awards. Applications with higher scores require NCI division and Scientific Program Leader (SPL) approval before final funding decisions are made. Information on the outcomes of grant selections from recent years can be viewed at: Awards of R01 and R21 Grants
Early Stage Investigators (ESIs)
NCI is strongly committed to supporting early stage investigators (ESIs) and will place special emphasis on supporting these applicants. Most Traditional R01 selections submitted by ESIs with scores up to the 17th percentile will be funded without additional evaluation by the NCI Scientific Program Leaders (SPL). Eligible ESI applications within the regular R01 payline of the 12th percentile will be considered for conversion to the R37 Method to Extend Research in Time (MERIT) Awards: Merit R37 Conversion notice. Traditional R01 applications submitted by New Investigators who are not ESIs will generally be funded up to the 12th percentile (same payline as the more experienced investigators). Current definitions and additional information regarding New and Early Stage Investigators can be found on the NIH's Office of Extramural Research website at: New Stage and Early Established Investigator Policies.
Program Projects (P01s)
All P01 applications will be individually evaluated for funding selection by the NCI Scientific Program Leaders (SPL).
Small Grants (R03s) & AREA Grants (R15)
Small (R03) and AREA (R15) grant applications with scores up to and including 25 will likely be funded with no policy reductions. Applications with higher scores may be individually selected for funding depending on the availability of funds.
Large Dollar Amount R01s
All R01 applications with direct costs over $1,000,000 will be individually reviewed for funding selection by the NCI Scientific Program Leaders (SPL).
Request for Applications (RFA)
RFA applications are considered for funding by the NCI Scientific Program Leaders (SPL). Success rates for RFAs will depend on the scientific merit and programmatic priority of each application, the number of applications submitted, and the amount of funds available. NCI does not consider it obligatory to use all funds set aside for any RFA. Please contact the program director listed on your summary statement if you have questions.
Competing RPG Funding Policy Reductions
R01 & U01 Modular Applications: Competing renewals (Type-2s) will be funded with no policy reduction applied. New Modular (R01) applications (Type-1s) with a direct cost $175 thousand or less will generally be funded at a 6.5% reduction from the Initial Review Group (IRG) recommended level and awards with a direct cost over $175 thousand will generally be funded at an 8.5% reduction. Foreign applications with direct costs under $250 thousand will be treated as modular grants in applying funding policy reductions.
R01 & U01 Categorical (Non-modular) Applications: Competing renewals (Type-2s) will be funded with no policy reduction applied. New Categorical Traditional (R01) grants (Type-1s) will generally be funded at a 17% reduction from the Initial Review Group (IRG) recommended level.
R21 Applications: New (Type-1) applications requesting $175 thousand or less will generally be funded at a 6.5% reduction from the Initial Review Group (IRG) recommended level, and those requesting over $175 thousand in direct costs will generally be funded at an 8.5% reduction.
Other RPG Reductions (P01, UM1, R33): Competing renewals (Type-2s) will be funded with no policy reduction applied. New (Type-1) applications requesting $175 thousand or less will generally be funded at a 13% reduction from the Initial Review Group (IRG) recommended level, and those requesting over $175 thousand in direct costs will generally be funded at a 17% reduction.
No Policy Reduction: No funding policy reductions will be applied to the following grant awards:
- Small Grant (R03)
- Academic Research Enhancement Award (R15)
- Research Specialist Award (R50)
- Small Business Innovation Research (R43/R44)
- Small Business Technology Transfer (R41/R42)