The COVID-19 pandemic is a global health crisis that has engaged the attention of researchers who want to be able to contribute their expertise and resources toward a better understanding of the impacts of SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 disease on cancer patients’ disease progression, response to therapy, care delivery, or survivorship.
NCI anticipates that in infrequent cases, NCI-funded investigators will have novel insights and research proposals of immediate relevance to SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19. In those cases, but only for the duration of the present crisis, NCI would consider requests from its funded grantees and cooperative agreement awardees to engage in limited COVID-19 related research using part of their existing NCI-funded resources under the following conditions:
- Any proposed COVID-19 projects would have to be novel, innovative, compelling, and scientifically meritorious. Projects should have cancer relevance and the potential for high impact.
- Proposed projects should not duplicate other efforts or be simple extensions or modifications of ongoing research.
- Proposed projects must be able to start immediately and be time limited, not to exceed 1 year.
- If the proposed research requires access to laboratories and facilities currently not available, the sponsoring institution must provide explicit concurrence that those facilities would be made available for the project.
- The investigator must have the resource capacity within the existing NCI grant to pursue the project.
The NCI must review and approve any proposed project and budget, in accordance with the NIH Grants Policy Statement 188.8.131.52 which states that grantees “must obtain prior approval for a change in scope.” A change in scope is a change in the direction, aims, objectives, purposes, and/or type of research training, as identified in the approved project.
The use of existing NCI funds would be only for immediate, short-term activities that directly address the crisis. Proposals for longer-term projects, those that require additional funds or those that cannot begin immediately should follow the guidance in NOT-CA-20-042 [Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): National Cancer Institute Announcement Regarding Availability of Urgent Competitive Revision and Administrative Supplements on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)] and should be directed to either:
- PA-18-935 [Urgent Competitive Revision to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Urgent Supplement - Clinical Trial Optional) for projects outside the scope of the parent award]
- PA-18-591 [Administrative Supplements to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Parent Admin Supp Clinical Trial Optional) for projects within the scope of the parent award].