Funding Overview

The Innovative Molecular Analysis Technologies (IMAT) Program, which is aimed at the development and integration of novel and emerging technologies in the support of cancer research, diagnosis, and treatment, encompasses an array of closely related Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs).

Funding opportunities for the IMAT program have been issued with the following due dates: February 22, 2021; May 27, 2021; and September 29, 2021.  Contact Tony Dickherber with questions about new opportunities:

Matrix of IMAT RFAs and Outline of their Characteristics



Budget Cap

Molecular/Cellular Analysis

Cancer-relevant Biospecimen Science



$400,000 total
up to 3 years

RFA-CA-21-003 RFA-CA-21-005


Advanced Developmentb

up to 3 years

RFA-CA-21-004 RFA-CA-21-006


Small Business Innovation Research
Phase I Exploratorya
Phase II Advancedb

$225,000 total for Phase I (6 months)
$1,500,000 total for Phase II (2 years)




Integration & Validation

up to 2 years (cannot go past end of parent grant)


aWhile no preliminary data are necessary, the applicants must demonstrate the innovative nature of the particular technology and/or approach proposed for development.

bDetailed preliminary data must be provided in support of the feasibility of the technology or approach that is proposed for development. Such data may reflect successful completion of a previous R21 grant and associated performance measures.

The NCI Center for Global Health (CGH) is seeking to stimulate exploratory research on technology platforms relevant for global oncology and appropriate for use in low-resource settings globally. CGH is prepared to support meritorious R21 applications submitted to IMAT RFAs with the goal of helping drive innovation in this field. Read the Notice of Special Interest, NOT-CA-21-025, for more information.

The individual IMAT Requests for Applications (RFAs) utilize the following mechanisms to support this research:

  1. R21 – Conduct highly innovative, exploratory research with substantial allowance for risk towards demonstration of technical feasibility.
  2. R33 – Conduct advanced development and technical validation of a technology/application for which proof of concept has been achieved. 
  3. SBIR (R43/R44) – Conduct technology demonstration and validation with clear commercial potential to address unmet needs across basic through clinical cancer research.
  4. Revisions (to R01, U01, U54, P01, P50 and U2C awards) – Facilitate independent validation and acceleration of ongoing basic and clinical research through collaborations involving the integration of emerging IMAT-supported technologies.

All IMAT Research Project Grants (RPGs) are open to investigators from both academia and industry, and applications representing multiple principal investigators are welcome.

Please note that for comprehensive information on all the submission requirements (including page limits and special sections), set-aside funds for each FOA, and the anticipated number of awards, it is absolutely essential that every applicant read the selected individual IMAT FOA page before preparing and submitting an application in response to the selected FOA. Quantitative performance measures for each specific aim must be provided as a way of determining whether an applicant has successfully reached the specified goal during the technology development project and at its completion. Performance measures should be clearly stated as numerical specifications (i.e. quanitative) for relevant measures/properties. Please note that all IMAT applications must be submitted electronically using Standard Form 424.

Note on Other Related Programs: Researchers who emphasize the assessment of in vivo imaging technologies as the primary focus of their grant applications should contact the Cancer Imaging Program for information on appropriate funding opportunities. Researchers focusing on applying new bioinformatics or statistical techniques as the primary focus of their applications should consider one of the Informatics Technologies for Cancer Research (ITCR) opportunities.