Bringing In The Research Dollars! (BiRD)

Research Answers to NCI’s Pediatric Provocative Questions (R01)

Deadline: June 23, 2017; November 24, 2017

Amount: Application budgets are not limited but need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project. Maximum project period is 5 years.


Inviting applications for research projects designed to use sound and innovative strategies to solve specific problems and paradoxes in childhood cancer research identified by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) as the NCI’s Pediatric Provocative Questions (Pediatric PQs). These problems and paradoxes framed as questions are not intended to represent the full range of NCI's priorities in childhood cancer research. Rather, they are meant to challenge cancer researchers to think about and elucidate specific problems in key areas of pediatric cancer research that are deemed important but have not received sufficient attention.

The FOA includes 9 Pediatric PQs that represent diverse fields relevant to childhood cancer research, but all are framed to inspire interested scientists to conceive new approaches and/or feasible solutions. Each research project proposed in response to this FOA must be focused on addressing one particular research problem defined by one specific Pediatric PQ (see FOA link for list of pediatric PQ's for this FOA).

Regardless of topical area, most scientific problems underlying the corresponding PQs fall into one of three broad types:

  • Ignored or neglected cancer-relevant problems that are brought back into focus.  These problems typically relate to intriguing older observations or unresolved issues, for which satisfactory, rigorous research answers may open up qualitatively new research avenues and/or result in substantial progress in a given area.
  • More recent findings that are perplexing or paradoxical, revealing important gaps in current knowledge. Research answers to these problems are expected to have exceptionally high potential to re-shape current key conception and paradigms about cancer.
  • Problems of recognized high importance that were previously particularly difficult to explore but became more addressable because of recent scientific discoveries and technical advances.


  • This FOA encourages applications for well-developed research projects using the NIH R01 funding mechanism. The companion FOA, PAR-16-217, invites exploratory/developmental projects using the NIH R21 mechanism.

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