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

Funding Agency:
National Institutes of Health

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) invites grant applications for the Research Specialist Award (R50) in any area of NCI-funded cancer research. This FOA is specifically for 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-19-291, NCI Research Specialist (Laboratory-based Scientist) Award (R50 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)


  • Letter of Intent Due Date(s): 30 days prior to the application due date
  • Application Due Date(s): October 18, 2019

​PAR-19-290 Expiration Date October 19, 2019

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

Multiple PDs/PIs are not permitted for the Research Specialist Award. Only single-PD/PI Research Specialist applications are allowed. Applications with multiple-PD/PI Research Specialists will not be accepted.

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. See Section IV.2 SF424(R&R) Senior/Key Person Profile 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 and be supported (including salary) for at least 6 person-month effort on the Unit Director's NCI-funded research grants (where the Unit Director is the PD/PI) during Federal Fiscal Year 2019.
    • 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 6 person-month effort not covered by this award.
    • The Research Specialist must have demonstrated professional accomplishments consonant with his or her career status, and should 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 (at least 6 person-months) on NCI-funded research grants during Federal Fiscal Year 2019; and,

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

October 18, 2019