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Learn the Essentials of the NCI Grant Process

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Author: NCI | Category: Of Interest | August 30, 2016

The NCI Grants Process

The NCI has just created a helpful PDF "The Grants Process, the Lifecycle of a Grant".

The NCI grants process is similar to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants process; it is rigorous and complex to ensure applications proposing promising scientific research projects are evaluated and awarded, and that the results are disseminated to the American public.

NCI grant applications follow a six-step process, as outlined below. This should provide a good understanding of the process and helpful resources.

Quick Overview

There are many individuals and teams involved in the NCI grants process. Learn more about the process in Application Development & Submission.

Recipient: An organization or individual awarded a grant or cooperative agreement by the NCI that assumes legal, financial, and scientific responsibility and accountability for both the awarded funds and the performance of the grant- supported activity. Also known as awardee or grantee.

Recipient Institution/Organization: Legally responsible and accountable to the NCI for the performance and financial aspects of the grant-supported activity.

Institutional Business Official (BO): Person working in a research organization’s business office who has signature or other authority. That person is the same as the Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) and the eRA Commons Signing Official (SO).

Principal Investigator (PI): Individual designated by the recipient organization to direct the project or activity being supported by the grant and is responsible and accountable to recipient organization officials for the proper conduct of the project or program.

NCI Program Directors/Program Officers: Individual responsible for the programmatic, scientific and/or technical oversight of a grant portfolio. This individual collaborates closely with Grants Management Specialists to provide oversight of the NCI grants program.

NCI Grants Management Officer (GMO): Individual responsible for all business management aspects of grants and cooperative agreements, including review, negotiation, award, and administration.

Grants Management Specialist: Individual selected by the GMO to oversee the business and other non-programmatic aspects of a portfolio of grants and cooperative agreements.

Institute/Center (IC): The NIH organizational component responsible for a particular grant program or set of activities. The NCI is an IC.

Take a quick glance at the essentials about the NCI grants process, including recipient eligibility, the different people involved, and information about funding.

Grant Process

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Step 1: Application Development & Submission

Developing your grant application takes time and focus and can range from two or three weeks for a small project application to as much as a year for a complex proposal.

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Step 2: Application Receipt & Assignment

After you develop and submit your application, the Center for Scientific Review (CSR) will assign your application to an Institute or Center (IC) at NIH based on the focus and mission of the IC.

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Step 3: Peer Review

After you develop and submit your grant application and the CSR and NCI have received and assigned it, it will undergo peer review.

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Step 4: NCI Funding Determinations

Around October 1st, the beginning of a new federal fiscal year, the NCI Scientific Program Leadership (SPL) Committee discusses program priorities and preliminary funding allocations.

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Step 5: Award Negotiation & Issuance

When an agency awards a grant, it is formalizing its partnership with the recipient (institution) to ensure compliance with federal laws, regulations and policies, and to protect the overall scientific endeavor.

There are many requirements that recipient organizations need to be aware of to ensure they are successful stewards of federal funds.

How to Submit a Grant Application

How to Plan Your Application

How to Write Your Application

How to Develop Your Budget

How to Apply

How to Track Your Application

Grant Document Examples

Grant Application Face Page

Summary Statement


More Information

This information was written by the National Cancer Institute. To see the original content, click


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