How We Support Principal Investigators

DCCPS Program Directors and Project Officers are recognized scientific experts who manage and monitor the scientific progress and programmatic aspects of grants, cooperative agreements, and research contracts. They provide input in the decision-making process that identifies DCCPS research goals and objectives, and recommend action for resource allocation. Program Directors and Project Officers collaborate and maintain effective liaisons with scientists in their program area and monitor technologic, scientific, and policy developments in order to consider future research priorities.

Program Directors and Project Officers are an important resource to grant applicants. They encourage the submission of quality applications that will be competitive for funding and help applicants understand and navigate the available options for NIH support. Program Directors and Project Officers are dedicated to ensuring that grants and contracts are fully implemented and evaluated. They review progress reports to determine whether sufficient progress is being made. They also encourage investigators to publish and disseminate research results at national and international scientific meetings.

The Role of Program Directors and Project Officers

  • Explain the NCI research priorities, and NIH grant and contract policies
  • Direct investigators to NIH funding opportunities that best fits their project idea
  • Describe grant and contract mechanisms most appropriate for the project and the experience of the investigator
  • Clarify Request for Applications (RFA), Program Announcement (PA), and Request for Proposals (RFP) solicitations
  • Describe the review process from application submission to follow-up after peer review
  • Provide advice on the current funded grant portfolio and programmatic and NCI research priorities
  • Identify research gaps and develop new concepts for RFAs and PAs
  • Initiate and plan workshops and conferences to facilitate research planning, priority setting, and dissemination
  • Review progress reports to identify exciting and compelling scientific results

Grants Process Overview

Image of the Grants Process Overview
Adapted from Everything You Wanted to Know About the NCI Grants Process, revised August 2005

Grant Process Overview

  1. PI initiates research idea and prepares application
  2. PI submits application
  3. NIH Center for Scientific Review assigns application to NCI and to study section
  4. Initial Review Group (NCI or CSR) evaluates for scientific merit
  5. NCI evaluates program relevance and need
  6. National Cancer Advisory Board recommends action
  7. NCI makes funding selections and issues grant awards
  8. PI manages funds and conducts research
  9. NCI monitors programmatic and business management performance of the grant