publication date: Feb. 12, 2021

NCI Director’s Report

NCI raises paylines, commemorates 50th anniversary of the National Cancer Act of 1971

By Alexandria Carolan and Matthew Bin Han Ong

Pandemic notwithstanding, NCI is on track to reach the 15th percentile for the payline by 2025—a goal set by institute Director Ned Sharpless in response to a deluge of grant applications.

Congress’s support has allowed NCI to raise the payline for R01 research awards by 35% since 2019. For two consecutive years, we’ve raised grant paylines for [early-stage investigators] as well,” Sharpless said Feb. 11 in his director’s report at a virtual meeting of the National Cancer Advisory Board.

Last year, Sharpless set the goal of reaching the 15th perentile by 2025.

“You can see the [Early Stage Investigator] payline is now 16th percentile. That is the best payline for an R01 out of the NCI in a very long time. And we are also able to sustain continuing awards at 100th percentile.”

Sharpless’s upbeat assessment of the state of the National Cancer Program dovetails with recent developments:

On Feb. 8, NCI started its commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the National Cancer Act of 1971. The campaign, “Nothing Will Stop Us,” is a collaborative effort with over 600 organizations and individuals to raise awareness, and potentially, more funding, for cancer research. As a partner organization, The Cancer Letter has launched the Cancer History Project, an open-access historical resource curated by experts that is designed to grow in perpetuity.

On Feb. 3, Jill Biden stopped by the institute to reaffirm the Bidens’ pledge to “fight cancer as we know it”—an early signal that cancer research is near the … Continue reading NCI raises paylines, commemorates 50th anniversary of the National Cancer Act of 1971

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