The mission and responsibilities of the NCI DEA in some way affect all extramural scientists receiving research or training support from the NCI. The DEA is centrally involved in all aspects of grant development and tracking, from the original conception of research and training programs for introduction in the extramural community, to the issuance of announcements of such programs, to the receipt and referral of incoming applications, to review and approval of the final award, and to follow up after disbursement of funds. In brief, the DEA was established to:
In essence, the DEA is the organizational component of the NCI that coordinates the scientific review of extramural research before funding, and provides systematic surveillance of that research after awards are made. In this latter role, the DEA assists the NCI in its goal of achieving a balanced portfolio of research in biology; behavior; epidemiology; cancer control, prevention, detection, diagnosis, and treatment; as well as long-term survival/survivorship; rehabilitation; and end-of-life issues. In addition, the DEA serves as a focal point for information about the NCI's peer review and grants policies. It maintains a comprehensive web site providing detailed information and links to the application procedures and announcements regarding funding opportunities (see http://deainfo.nci.nih.gov/funding.htm).
- Provide advice and guidance to potential applicants
- Refer incoming grant applications to appropriate programs within the NCI
- Provide the highest quality and most effective scientific peer review and oversight of extramural research
- Coordinate and administer advisory activities, such as the National Cancer Advisory Board (NCAB) and Board of Scientific Advisors (BSA), related to the various aspects of the NCI mission
- Establish and disseminate extramural policies and procedures, such as requirements for inclusion of certain populations in research, actions for ensuring research integrity, or budgetary limitations for grant applications
- Track the NCI research portfolio (more than 7,000 research and training awards) using consistent budget-linked scientific information to provide a basis for budget projections, and to serve as a resource for the dissemination of information about cancer.