The US National Cancer Institute (NCI), a division of the US National institutes of Health (NIH), is partnering with Cancer Research UK, the world’s largest independent cancer research charity, to create Cancer Grand Challenges. The initiative aims to stimulate scientific creativity through highly competitive funding opportunities. Beginning in October 2020 and continuing through April 2021, expressions of interest will be accepted. From these, a small number of multidisciplinary teams will be selected to receive pilot funds, fueling final applications. Final funding recipients will be notified in June 2021 and announced in 2022. Final funding will come in the form of approximately four awards for each round, with each winning research team receiving approximately $25 million over 5 years. Three rounds of awards are anticipated, with new challenges presented every-other year. According to the press release, NCI plans to use annual funding currently allocated to the Provocative Questions initiative and plans to fund Provocative Questions and Cancer Grand Challenges in alternating years.
Challenges and timelines will be updated on the Cancer Grand Challenges page of the NIH’s cancer.gov website.