publication date: Jul. 6, 2018

BSA approves 10 NCI concepts, including six Moonshot RFAs

By Jordan Williams

The NCI Board of Scientific Advisors approved 10 concepts, including eight new concepts and two re-issued Requests for Applications in a joint meeting with the National Cancer Advisory Board on June 26 and 27.

New concepts from the NCI Office of the Director:

Pathway to Independence Award for Outstanding Early-Stage Postdoctoral Fellows (RFA)

This RFA creates a two-phased transition award (K88/R00) for early-stage postdoctoral fellows—who have less than two years of postdoctoral research experience and are committed to individual cancer research—to help them launch their independent careers and reduce the time from independence to obtaining R01.

The original version of the RFA requested that two discipline-specific RFAs be offered: eight awards per year for population and behavioral scientists, and another eight awards per year for data scientists. The BSA voted [X-X] to remove discipline specificity, making these awards available to all qualified applicants.

In the K88 phase, the awardees will have protected time to participate in career development activities that prepare them for independence. Once independent, R00 awardees will have the assurance of a competitive startup package and protected time to focus on developing their research programs.

Submitted by the NCI Center for Cancer Training, the K88/R00 extends the NCI individual postdoctoral K-Award portfolio to support postdocs at all stages of training, who aspire to transition to independence.

“This will demonstrate NCI’s strong commitment to young investigators seeking independent research careers,” the authors for the concept proposal wrote. “As the primary pipeline for future NCI PIs, this K-Award portfolio provides NCI more control over the supply of future NCI RPG PIs.

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