National Institutes of Health
The NCI Research Specialist (Clinician Scientist) Award (R50) - PAR-21-306

This is a limited submission program.

Applications are limited to one per institution per receipt date (three applications per institution in a calendar year) including resubmissions (A1); NCI-designated cancer center consortia are considered one institution.

Internal submission deadline: December 10, 2021

See Internal Submission Guidelines for more details.


Limited funding opportunity - a university-wide internal selection process is required. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) invites applications for the Research Specialist Award (R50) specifically for clinician scientists supporting NCI-funded clinical trials research. The Research Specialist Award is designed to encourage the development of stable research career opportunities for exceptional clinician scientists who want to continue to participate in the NCI clinical trials networks. This is a Career Development award.


Stanford Cancer Institute internal deadline: December 10, 2021 (see the internal submission guidelines below)
Date applicant to be notified by SCI to proceed with his/her application: January 7, 2022
Institutional representative (RPM/RMG or CGO/OSR) deadline: February 1, 2022
Sponsor deadline: February 8, 2022

 Program Guidelines

 Amount of Funding

Application budgets may request the following two expenses in direct costs per year: 1) salary support for the Research Specialist commensurate with their level of effort on NCI funded clinical trials with a minimum of 2.4 and a maximum of 4.8 person-months funded by this award; and 2) travel costs to attend research meetings/conferences not to exceed $2,500 per year. The total award project period may not exceed 5 years.


  • Eligible applicants will be clinician scientists who have a clinical degree (M.D., D.O., D.D.S., D.M.D., O.D., D.C., PharmD., N.D., D.V.M.), possess active licensure, and are actively practicing in an oncology clinical setting. Individuals with a Ph.D. or other doctoral degree that have direct contact with patients or healthy subjects in clinical disciplines such as clinical psychology, nursing, clinical genetics, speech-language pathology, audiology, or rehabilitation are also eligible.
  • At the time of application, the applicant cannot hold as a Principal Investigator current R01, P01, or other significant NIH funding (past funding does not affect eligibility). Support from P50 Career Development awards, R03, R21, P30 funding, or national network funding will be allowed, as long as the total NCI support does not exceed 6 person-months. Future substantial independent NIH funding will require the awardee to forfeit the R50.
  • The applicant must be engaged in the conduct of NCI-funded cancer clinical trials research at an academic medical center and have a record of involvement in NCI-funded cancer clinical trial-related activities.
  • At the time of application, the Research Specialist must have been at the institution for at least the previous two years.
  • The Research Specialist must have a full-time position at the institution.
  • The Research Specialist must commit 2.4 to 4.8 person-months to NCI-funded clinical activities during the life of the award. The Research Specialist may engage in other duties as part of the remaining 9.6 to 7.2 person-month effort not covered by this award. The maximum funded effort allowed on all NCI grants, including the R50, will be capped at 6 person-months.
  • The Research Specialist must have demonstrated professional accomplishments consonant with his or her career status, and should have demonstrated cancer clinical research experience relevant to the NCI mission.
  • See program guidelines for additional requirements.

 Purpose and Award Details

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) The Research Specialist Award is designed to encourage the development of stable research career opportunities for exceptional clinician scientists who want to continue to participate in the NCI clinical trials networks through leadership in the 1) development of national clinical trials, 2) implementation of NCI clinical trials in their institutions, and 3) national service to the NCI clinical trials networks through participation in the scientific review committees, monitoring committees and other activities, but not serve as principal investigators of research project grants. These clinician scientists are vital to sustaining the NCI-funded clinical trials enterprise. The Research Specialist Award is intended to provide salary support and sufficient autonomy so that individuals are not solely dependent on NCI grants held by others or other sources of support for cancer research career continuity.

 Internal Submission Guidelines

By December 10, 2021, please submit one PDF file containing the following, in the order listed below, via email attachment to:

Gayle White
Stanford Cancer Institute

File name: Last name_NCI_R50.pdf

Institutional representative: not applicable. You do not need to submit your internal proposal through your institutional official for approval. You may submit your internal proposal directly to Gayle White.

1) Title page

NCI Research Specialist (Clinician Scientist) Award (R50) - PAR-21-306
PI name, title, department, email address
Title of proposal

2) 2 page research proposal

References and figures are not included in the page limit.
Font: Arial, Times or Times New Roman, 11 point minimum; Margins: 0.75 in minimum.

3) PI NIH biosketch

4) Approved Career Development PI Waiver (if applicable)

Stanford faculty in the early stages of independent careers are eligible for this program. Full-time staff researchers with clinical degrees may also serve as PI. Per Dr. Ruth O’Hara and Dr. Harry Greenberg, PD/PIs without PI eligibility (UTL, UML, and NTLR appointments) must obtain approval by requesting a Career Development PI Waiver. Please submit the PI waiver request to Kathleen Thompson, Executive Director, Research Management Group at to obtain approval. The waiver template may be found on RMG’s PI Eligibility and Waiver Processwebpage. Submit the PI waiver request packet by December 3, 2021. 

Selection process:

Proposals will be reviewed by a Stanford Cancer Institute review committee. That committee will select the applicant to represent Stanford.


Institutional representative: not applicable. You do not need to send your internal proposal to your RPM/RMG or your CGO/OSR for institutional review and approval. For inquiries regarding the internal selection process, please contact:

Gayle White
Stanford Cancer Institute