Guidance for Investigators Planning to Submit a Program Project Grant (P01)

POSTED: March 18, 2024

The Research Program Project Grant (P01) supports investigator-initiated multi-project research programs with a major objective or theme relevant to cancer research. It involves large, multidisciplinary groups and shared resources. Each project is related to the common theme, aiming at a specific research goal.

Submission Steps

  1. Submit through NCI Program Project Applications funding announcement (PAR-23-059)
  2. Research investigator lead should contact relevant Program Officer (PO) to schedule a pre-submission meeting
  3. A Letter of Intent is needed before a P01 application can be accepted, please submit required materials to the PO
  4. Pre-Submission Meeting is required for new applications, resubmissions (01A1), and continuations (type 2s)

Pre-Submission Meeting for P01 Application

  • Schedule your meeting between 3-7 months before the anticipated receipt date. Standard receipt dates are January 25, May 25, and September 25

Purpose and Benefits of the Pre-Submission Meeting


  • Pre-submission Meeting Importance: It’s crucial for applicant to understand DCP’s mission and improve their P01 application
  • Alignment and Opportunities: Ensures the project meets NCI and DCP research priorities
  • Feedback on Application: Program provides feedback on program areas of strength and suggests improvement in alignment with P01 NOFO criteria

Goals and Discussion During the Meeting

  • Overall appropriateness for NCI/DCP
  • Alignment with P01 funding criteria and potential other funding opportunities 
  • Organizational structure of the grant
  • Research design and areas for scientific improvement
  • Program staff will provide feedback regarding integration, size and scope of the proposal
  • Program staff may provide tips to avoid common mistakes, and tips that might enhance the P01 application
  • Data/resource sharing plan per NIH policy
  • Scientific Review Officer (SRO) guidance for the review
  • This also provides an opportunity for the research team to ask any questions to improve their overall application

Who should attend? 

  1. P01 Principal Investigator (PI) and their team; Project Team Leaders and if possible, resource core providers, to present scientific strategies
  2. Extramural program staff (DCP and other DOC staff) who are subject matter experts (SME)
  3. SRO from Research Programs Review Branch of Division of Extramural Activities (DEA)
Meeting Note: DCP PO will provide a summary 2-3 weeks post-meeting; feedback is suggestive only.

Materials for P01 Pre-Submission Meeting

Submit a brief proposal (4-page max) to DCP POs two weeks before the pre submission meeting:

  1. Executive Summary:
    • The required Administrative Core
    • The unique role of any optional Shared Resource Cores
    • Details of planned coordination, interaction, and data sharing for productivity and progress
    • History of investigators working together
  2. Research Projects Include:
    • Titles, aims, and a brief description for each project (at least 3)
    • Investigators’ names and affiliations; suggested to provide biosketches of principal investigators
    • Target submission date
  3. Estimated Budget: Submit in a separate document
    • Include Sub-Total Direct Costs, Total Direct Costs, and Total Costs per year.
  4. Data Sharing Plan

Overall P01 Timeline

Consider the following timeline when planning to submit a P01 application to DCP:

Topic Action Timetable
  • PI sets up Meeting with DCP PO
  • 3-7 months before receipt date
If within 3 months, PIs should plan for subsequent receipt (due) date
  • 8 weeks prior to application receipt date
  • Submit >8 weeks prior to application receipt date if requesting ≥$500,00
  • PIs submit P01 Application per instructions in the active NCI Program Project Applications funding announcement PAR-23-059
  • By Standard Receipt Dates

Submission Guidelines for P01s

When preparing a P01 application, consider:

  1. Three Research Projects: Must be linked by a common theme, focus and/or objective (not including the core)
  2. Cores:
    • An Administrative Core is required for organizational management, plans for monitoring progress, and coordination and communication
    • One or more Shared Resource Cores may be proposed, if needed
      • Must provide support and enhance the productivity, cost-effectiveness, and/or research outcome of at least two of the projects
  3. Check PAGE LIMITS on NCI Program Project Applications PAR-23-059 and SF 424 Application Guide
  4. Contact your DCP PO for help