Cancer/Pediatrics: NCI’s Pediatric Provocative Questions

R01 (also available: R21)

Research Answers to NCI’s Pediatric Provocative Questions:

The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to invite applications for research projects designed to use sound and innovative strategies to solve specific problems and paradoxes in childhood cancer research. These problems and paradoxes 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 selected from the list.

  • PPQ-1: What are the processes of normal development that are permissive to the development of specific pediatric cancers?
  • PPQ-2: What is the functional mechanism by which gains and losses of large segments of chromosomes contribute to childhood cancer development and response to treatment?
  • PPQ-3: What role do alterations in noncoding sequences play in the development of pediatric cancers?
  • PPQ-4: What are the molecular vulnerabilities for tumors of childhood identified through CRISPR or equivalent screens?
  • PPQ-5: What molecular and cellular mechanisms allow reactivation or bypassing of specific silenced tumor suppressor genes in pediatric cancers?
  • PPQ-6: How can mouse or other preclinical models be used to study how standard of care and investigational therapies affect normal tissue and lead to adverse events later in life?
  • PPQ-7: How can prediction models be developed and used to identify patients at highest risk of treatment-related complications?
  • PPQ-8: What are the molecular mechanisms that define how pediatric solid tumors (both tumor cell and stroma) evolve in response to standard pediatric cancer therapy?
  • PPQ-9: What are the underlying molecular mechanisms that cause accelerated aging seen in some pediatric cancer survivors?


  • Pre-Application Submission: 30 days before application submission due date
  • Application Submission: 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization, Jun. 23, 2017; Nov. 24, 2017

Companion Funding Opportunity:


Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) is invited to work with his/her organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH support.