Collaborative Approaches to Engineer Biology for Cancer Applications (U01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Funding Agency:
National Institutes of Health

This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) invites applications to develop and apply innovative synthetic biology approaches to address challenges across the spectrum of cancer research. Projects will be required to apply a technology, based on an engineered biological system, to an important and well-defined cancer research question. Collaborative transdisciplinary teams are expected with PIs representing expertise in cancer research, engineering, and other disciplines relevant to synthetic biology.


  • Letter of Intent Due Date(s): 30 days before application due date
  • Application Due Date(s): January 15, 2021

RFA-CA-20-054 Expiration Date January 16, 2021

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

Due to the transdisciplinary nature of the anticipated research and the focus on collaboration and expertise sharing, this FOA strongly encourages the use of the multi-PD/PI option. This FOA is open to all collaborating teams with formal training and expertise in both cancer research and engineering or other fields relevant to synthetic biology. Formal training and expertise can be established through undergraduate or graduate degrees or through a body of work that demonstrates contribution to the field. It is recognized that there may be instances where a single PD/PI will already have the combined expertise to bring a synthetic biology perspective to study an important problem in cancer research and may not need to use the multi-PD/PI option.

Amount Description

Application budgets are limited to $499,999 in direct costs per year and must reflect the actual needs of the proposed project.

The maximum project period is 5 years.

Funding Type





Engineering and Physical Sciences
Environmental & Life Sciences
Medical - Basic Science

External Deadline

January 15, 2021