NCI Research Specialist (Core-based Scientist) Award (R50 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Funding Agency:
National Institutes of Health

This notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) invites grant applications for the Research Specialist Award (R50) in any area of NCI-funded cancer research. This NOFO is specifically targeted toward core/shared resource/central scientific support scientists.

The Research Specialist Award is designed to encourage the development of stable research career opportunities for exceptional scientists who want to continue to pursue research within the context of an existing NCI-funded basic, translational, clinical, or population science cancer research program, but not serve as independent investigators. These scientists, such as researchers within a core/shared resource/central scientific support, are vital to sustaining the biomedical research 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 for career continuity.

Companion FOA: PAR-23-242 , R50 Research Specialist Award (Laboratory-based Scientist)


  • Letter of Intent Due Date(s): 30 days prior to the application due date
  • Application Due Date(s): November 2, 2023; November 1, 2024; November 3, 2025

​PAR-23-243 Expiration Date November 04, 2025

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

The Research Specialist must be the PD/PI of the application. The Unit Director must not be the PD/PI.   However, the Unit Director must be included as Senior/Key Personnel participating as an Other Significant Contributor. 

Both the Research Specialist and the Unit Director must include a NIH Biosketch.

See Additional Information on Eligibility for requirements for the Unit Director.

Additional Eligibility Requirements:

  • The Research Specialist must have an advanced degree (e.g., Masters, Ph.D., D.V.M., D.D.S., or M.D.) in an area of biomedical science or biomedical engineering and have demonstrated research accomplishments in their primary discipline.
  • At the time of application submission, the Research Specialist must have been contributing to the Unit Director's NCI-funded research for at least the previous 2 years.
  • The Research Specialist must have a full-time, non-tenure track position at the academic or research institution.
  • For new applications/resubmissions, the Research Specialist must be supported (including salary) for not less than  6 person-months effort on the Unit Director's NCI-funded research grants (where the Unit Director is the PD/PI) during:  
    • Federal Fiscal Year 2023 for a November 2023 submission
    • Federal Fiscal Year 2024 for a November 2024 submission
    • Federal Fiscal Year 2025 for a November 2025 submission
  • Specific to Renewals:The institution Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) must provide verification of effort on NCI grants if the Research Specialist was not listed as a participant on the Unit Director's NCI-funded research grants during relevant Federal Fiscal Year stated above .
  • The Research Specialist will be required to commit a minimum of 6-person month effort on NCI-funded research grants during the life of the R50 award. The Research Specialist may engage in other duties as part of the remaining  effort not covered by this award.
  • The Research Specialist must have demonstrated professional accomplishments consonant with his or her career status and must have demonstrated cancer research experience in the areas of behavioral, biomedical (basic or clinical), computational or bioengineering research that is relevant to the NCI mission.
  • The Research Specialist must not have held or applied for independent investigator grant support (e.g., including but not limited to: R00; R01; R03; R21; R43; R44) within the past 5 years.  

Amount Description

Application budgets may request the following two expenses in direct costs per year:

1) salary support for the Research Specialist commensurate with their level of funded effort (not less than  6 person-months) on NCI-funded research grants during:

  • Federal Fiscal Year 2023 for a November 2023 submission
  • Federal Fiscal Year 2024 for a November 2024 submission
  • Federal Fiscal Year 2025 for a November 2025 submission 

2) travel costs to attend research meetings/conferences not to exceed $2,500 per year

Funding Type



Medical Fellow/Resident


Engineering and Physical Sciences
Environmental & Life Sciences
Medical - Basic Science
Medical - Clinical Science
Medical - Translational
Social Sciences

External Deadline

November 2, 2023