DF/HCC Limited Opportunity: NCI Research Specialist (Clinician Scientist) Award R50 PAR-21-306

October 04, 2021


Jointly run by the NCI Office of Cancer Centers and the Coordinating Center for Clinical Trials, this mechanism will provide salary for persons who are instrumental in carrying out NCI-funded clinical trials but don’t pursue independent research funding of their own.

Applications are limited to one per NCI-designated cancer center per receipt date (Feb 8, Jun 7, Oct 6 in 2022 and Feb 7, Jun 6, Oct 6 in 2023). Because we are allowed to choose a single DF/HCC applicant for each receipt date, please inform DF/HCC of your interest in applying so we may coordinate submissions (contact Deborah Goff, Deborah_goff@dfci.harvard.edu).

Through this Funding Opportunity Announcement, NCI invites applications for the Research Specialist Award (R50) specifically for clinician scientists supporting NCI-funded clinical trials research. The Research Specialist Award is designed to encourage the development of stable research career opportunities for exceptional clinician scientists who want to continue to participate in the NCI clinical trials networks through leadership in the 1) development of national clinical trials, 2) implementation of NCI clinical trials in their institutions, and 3) national service to the NCI clinical trials networks through participation in the scientific review committees, monitoring committees and other activities, but not serve as principal investigators of research project grants. These clinician scientists are vital to sustaining the NCI-funded clinical trials enterprise. The Research Specialist Award is intended to provide salary support and sufficient autonomy so that individuals are not solely dependent on NCI grants held by others or other sources of support for cancer research career continuity.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Eligible applicants will be clinician scientists who have a clinical degree (M.D., D.O., D.D.S., D.M.D., O.D., D.C., PharmD., N.D., D.V.M.), possess active licensure, and are actively practicing in an oncology clinical setting. Individuals with a Ph.D. or other doctoral degree that have direct contact with patients or healthy subjects in clinical disciplines such as clinical psychology, nursing, clinical genetics, speech-language pathology, audiology, or rehabilitation are also eligible.
  • At the time of application, the applicant cannot hold as a Principal Investigator current R01, P01, or other significant NIH funding (past funding does not affect eligibility). Support from P50 Career Development awards, R03, R21, P30 funding, or national network funding will be allowed, as long as the total NCI support does not exceed 6 person-months. Future substantial independent NIH funding will require the awardee to forfeit the R50.
  • The applicant must be engaged in the conduct of NCI-funded cancer clinical trials research at an academic medical center and have a record of involvement in NCI-funded cancer clinical trial-related activities.
  • At the time of application, the Research Specialist must have been at the institution for at least the previous two years.
  • The Research Specialist must have a full-time position at the institution.
  • The Research Specialist must commit 2.4 to 4.8 person-months to NCI-funded clinical activities during the life of the award.
  • The Research Specialist may engage in other duties as part of the remaining 9.6 to 7.2 person-month effort not covered by this award. The maximum funded effort allowed on all NCI grants, including the R50, will be capped at 6 person-months.
  • The Research Specialist must have demonstrated professional accomplishments consonant with his or her career status, and should have demonstrated cancer clinical research experience relevant to the NCI mission.

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