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Recruiting and Funding Scientists

As one way to continue the advancement of the entire cancer community, NCI is committed to training a future generation of American and international researchers dedicated to reducing cancer incidence, mortality, and suffering. Cancer researchers in the decades ahead will face a new landscape of challenges and opportunities. For this reason, NCI continually adapts its training programs to accommodate rapid developments in the frontiers of science and technology. NCI career development opportunities prepare the next generation of cancer researchers to meet the challenges of multidisciplinary research. NCI provides cancer research training and career entry points to high school, undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and physicians across the United States.

NCI devotes approximately four percent of its annual budget to institutional and individual research training and career development-related grants and programs. This investment provides support for scientists throughout their careers. NCI annually funds over 2,200 research training and career development awards. This number, however, represents only a portion of the training effort, which is also supported in Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grants, the intramural research program, and throughout the Research Project Grant (RPG) pool.

One of NCI's highest priorities in fiscal year (FY) 2009 is to support the training and mentored research of new investigators, who will enhance our country's scientific capacity for years to come. NCI will continue to support new investigators through programs such as the STAR R01 grant (traditional research grants for new investigators). Supporting new investigators is an effort that reaches across all Institutes and Centers that make up the NIH.

The largest portion of NCI's budget supports the research of scientists at universities, teaching hospitals, and cancer centers across the country. These extramural investigators submit proposals that are selected for funding by peer review, a process by which cancer experts identify the best science (most needed areas of discovery and emerging strategic opportunities). The NCI Intramural Research Program includes laboratory investigation, epidemiologic and genetics studies, translational research, and clinical research. The excellence of NCI scientists working within the intramural infrastructure enables the Institute to conduct high-risk and distinctive research, broadly distribute technology, and forge partnerships for the benefit of cancer patients and the scientific community. Together, NCI-supported extramural and intramural research advance the scientific knowledge needed to reduce the burden of cancer on the lives of Americans and the impact of cancer on our economy.

A Service of the National Cancer Institute
Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health