Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPOREs) in Human Cancers for Years 2021, 2022, 2023 (P50 Clinical Trial Required)

Funding Agency:
National Institutes of Health

Through this funding opportunity announcement (FOA), the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) invite applications for P50 Research Center Grants for Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE). The program will fund P50 SPORE grants to support state-of-the-art investigator-initiated translational research that will contribute to improved prevention, early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of an organ-specific cancer or a highly related group of cancers. For the purpose of this FOA, a group of highly related cancers are those that are derived from the same organ system, such as gastrointestinal, neuroendocrine, head and neck, and other cancers.  Other programmatically appropriate groups of cancers may include those centered around a common biological mechanism critical for promoting tumorigenesis and/or cancer progression in organ sites that belong to different organ systems. For example, a SPORE may focus on cancers caused by the same infectious agent or cancers promoted and sustained by dysregulation of a common signaling pathway. In addition, a SPORE may focus on cross-cutting themes such as pediatric cancers or cancer health disparities. The research supported through this program must be translational and must stem from research on human biology using cellular, molecular, structural, biochemical, and/or genetic experimental approaches. SPORE projects must have the goal of reaching a translational human endpoint within the project period of the grant.


  • Letter of Intent Due Date: 30 days before the due date
  • P50 Due Date(s): Jan. 25, May 25, Sep. 25

PAR-20-305 Expiration Date January 8, 2024

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

Investigators can only serve as a PI/multi-PI on one funded SPORE P50 at a time. However, investigators may have other roles (i.e., co-leader, Core director) on multiple SPORE P50s concurrently, even from more than one institution.

Minimum Research Base: In order for a SPORE application to be programmatically considered for award by NCI, the application must include four or more independent investigators who currently serve as PDs/PIs (or project leaders) on peer-reviewed research grants (e.g., R01, R21, P01, U01, U10, American Cancer Society [ACS], U.S. Department of Defense [DOD], or equivalent) or are overall chairpersons or site chairpersons on an active NCI-sponsored clinical trial. These activities must be directly related to the cancer(s) being investigated in the SPORE or the specific expertise required for the SPORE. PDs/PIs supported by the NCI’s non-mentored “K” career development grants or the R00 portion of the K99/R00 award can also be included in the research base requirement if the career award is directly relevant to the cancer(s) being investigated or the specific expertise required for the SPORE project. Please note that an investigator who is a PD/PI on multiple qualified grants or clinical trials counts only once towards the research base, and to qualify, the investigator must be the PD/PI on the highlighted activity. The qualifying investigators also must serve on the SPORE as a PD/PI, a multi-PD/PI, project co-leader or Shared Resources Core director.



    Amount Description

    Applicants may request a maximum of $1,400,000 direct costs/year, which excludes third-party indirect costs.

    Applications that include one or more qualified Early Detection, Prevention, or Population Science (qualified EPPS) project(s) may request up to an additional $120,000 direct costs/year to support this project(s) and supporting cores, if appropriate.

    The maximum budget period is 5 years.

      Funding Type





      Medical - Basic Science
      Medical - Clinical Science
      Medical - Translational

      External Deadline

      May 25, 2023