Strategic Methods for Building the Science

DCCPS uses a variety of tools and methods to facilitate expansion of a scientific area. The steps along any given pathway may differ depending on which strategy will have the most impact or allow for greatest flexibility or efficiency.

Regardless of which method is used, input from the research community and collaboration with our numerous partners are inevitably key components of that strategy.

Soliciting Input from the Research Community

DCCPS has always greatly valued and relied upon the expertise, insight, and contributions of our research community, both within and outside NIH. Soliciting and gathering the ideas and input of that community is of critical importance and an integral part of the division’s scientific planning efforts.

In addition to supporting a large portfolio of investigator-initiated research, the division gathers information from the community on the most important needs and promising opportunities in cancer research through such methods as Requests for Information (RFI) and resulting reports, focus groups, and presentations at largely attended global conferences, NCI board meetings (Board of Scientific Advisors and National Cancer Advisory Board), and our annual New Grantee Workshop. DCCPS also participates in NCI initiatives, such as Provocative Questions, which included town halls around the United States to gather ideas. In addition, DCCPS has sponsored numerous special journal issues and a monograph series in tobacco control, supported relevant National Academy of Medicine (formerly Institute of Medicine [IOM]) reports, and conducted conferences focused on key priority areas (e.g., cancer survivorship and implementation science, in collaboration with key partners).

Numerous mechanisms are used to ensure we hear from the research community formally. Less formally, DCCPS program officers reach out to and listen to our researchers on a daily basis. The DCCPS Committee ON NCI-Extramural Communication Tools and Support (CONNECTS) has developed a suite of activities aimed at promoting exceptional levels of staff and investigator engagement and satisfaction with DCCPS’s grant-related communication and outreach policies, practices, and tools. Examples of these activities include a survey about the extramural community’s experience and information needs, a fact sheet for investigators on communicating with DCCPS staff along the grants process, and a motion graphic video highlighting key information about the grants process, with additional activities planned as we monitor the success of our outreach and bilateral communication.


Partnerships, both those across government agencies and those with nongovernmental agencies, are a critical element of the cancer control research enterprise and another key component of the division’s strategy for building the science of cancer control. Since the creation of the division in 1997, DCCPS has sought out, nurtured, and leveraged these partnerships to capitalize on shared goals, transdisciplinary expertise, infrastructure, and resources.

The listing of interagency agreements below portrays the division’s collaborative work with numerous NIH institutes, centers, and offices on research areas of shared interest, to ensure taxpayer investments are maximized and to quicken the pace of research progress. Later in this report, we also list the nearly 70 Requests for Applications (RFAs) from other NIH institutes and centers on which we have collaborated. All such efforts, whether led by DCCPS or another institute, center, or agency, involve vetting and input from multiple sectors, including NCI leadership and advisory boards.

Recognizing that nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), including professional organizations and community partners, are hugely influential and impactful in research funding and implementation, DCCPS has also entered into dozens of partnerships with NGOs. In addition to unique agreements and specific partnerships focused on specific strategic goals in particular research priority areas, DCCPS also plays a leadership role on behalf of NCI in the Comprehensive Cancer Control National Partnership (CCCNP), an influential group of 19 leading cancer organizations that utilize their combined strengths and resources to change the trajectory of the cancer burden in the US.

DCCPS Partnerships with Federal Agencies*

  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • CDC National Center for Health Statistics (CDC NCHS)
  • Census Bureau
  • Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
  • Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  • Department of Energy (DOE)
  • Department of Interior/National Business Center (DOI NBC)
  • Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
  • Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
  • Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) Center for Tobacco Products (CTP)
  • Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
  • Indian Health Service (IHS)
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
  • National Science Foundation (NSF)
  • Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC)
  • Program Support Center (PSC)
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
  • Social Security Administration (SSA)
  • United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

*DCCPS has multiple agreements with most of these agencies, including more than 50 with CDC alone.

Continue To

Scaling up Areas of Research: Centers of Excellence Initiatives