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NCI Funding Policy for RPG Awards FY13

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:


NCI’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 appropriation of $4.78 billion reflects about a $293 million decrease from FY 2012. This decrease is attributable in large part to sequestration (5.1% reduction), with the remainder due to further reductions mandated by DHHS to support various Departmental obligations. Information on the Fiscal Year 2013 appropriation can be found on the NIH Office of Budget website:


To maintain funds for new and competing renewal research project grants (RPGs), NCI will make appreciable reductions in budgets for ongoing grants (non-competing). Competing grant selections will continue to be based on individual consideration of a broad range of applications. 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 give special consideration to applications that fill a significant gap in the cancer research portfolio or propose an especially novel or promising scientific approach.


Both Categorical and Modular non-competing grants will be awarded with a 6% reduction from the committed level. No cost of living (COLA) adjustment will be awarded to any FY 2013 non-competing grants; however, adjustments for special needs (such as equipment and added personnel) will continue to be accommodated. This policy applies to all grants, except NRSA, Careers, Cancer Education, Conference and STTR awards which will be awarded at committed levels, and non-competing SBIRs which will be awarded at a 3.9% reduction from the committed level.


FY 2013 awards that were issued prior to the implementation of this policy will be revised to adjust the award level accordingly.


Traditional Research Grants (R01) & Exploratory Development Grants (R21s)

TAlthough there will be no guaranteed paylines, Traditional (R01) and Exploratory Development (R21) applications up to the 9th percentile will be funded this fiscal year with only rare exceptions. Individual applications beyond the 9th percentile will be considered for funding by the SPL on a case-by case basis as described in the “Strategy” section above.


New Investigators

NCI has a strong commitment to new investigators. As with the experienced investigators, R01 applications that receive scores up to the 9th percentile will be funded this year with only rare exceptions. For Traditional R01 selections beyond the 9th percentile, the SPL will give special consideration for new investigators, particularly those who are in an early stage of their careers. The current definition of New Investigators can be found on the NIH’s Office of Extramural Research website at: The definition of Early State Investogarots can be found at


Program Projects (P01s)

All P01 applications will be considered for funding by the SPL on a case-by-case basis. This has been NCI’s policy for many years.


Small Grants (R03s) & AREA Grants (R15)

Most of the Small (R03) and AREA (R15) grant applications up to the priority score of 25 will be funded. Applications with scores beyond that may be selected for funding on a case-by-case basis.


Large Dollar Amount R01s ($700,000 or more in direct cost requested in any year)

All Large R01s will be selected on a case-by-case basis by the SPL. This has been NCI’s policy for many years.


Request for Applications (RFA)

NCI is committed to the review of applications submitted in response to RFAs previously announced and solicited for competition in FY 2013. 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 consult the Program Director listed on your summary statement if you have questions.


Amended Applications (all mechanisms)

Amended applications submitted for the February/March, 2013 receipt dates (September 2013 NCAB), will be considered for funding under FY 2014 budget plans, which have not yet been determined and may be different from the FY 2013 announced levels. FY 2014 begins on October 1, 2013.


Competing Policy Reductions (all mechanisms)

FY 2013 competing renewals (type-2s) will be funded on average at the current level and the new grants (type-1s) will be funded on average at a 17% reduction from the Initial Review Group (IRG) recommended level. Any competing grants that were awarded at more reduced levels while the Institute was operating under the initial Continuing Resolution will be restored to the full year policy level.



Funding Policy for RPG Award Archive