NCI designation process enters home stretch

Application due Sept. 25

When the calendar turned over to 2011, it meant employees at the KU Cancer Center entered the home stretch of their monumental push for National Cancer Institute designation.

The application is due Sept. 25.

Most of the push for NCI designation in recent years has focused on recruiting top researchers and upgrading research facilities. While those efforts continue this year, Director Roy Jensen and his staff are spending the next nine months writing and refining the application for NCI designation. It will be approximately 1,000 pages.

Among the key dates on the road to NCI designation:

• March 10-11 – The center’s external advisory board visits.

• April 21 – Cancer center leadership visit NCI in Washington, DC. The meeting will determine if the center is still on target to apply in September.

• June – Jensen shares a draft of the application with executives from other NCI-designated cancer centers. They’ll be asked to evaluate the draft based on their own experiences with the application process. “This critical feedback will be incorporated into our grant application,” Jensen said.

• Sept. 23 – Application filed.

• Early 2012 – A team of experts chosen by NCI visit to evaluate the cancer center’s scientific research and merit.

• Summer 2012 – The center learns if it received NCI designation.

Besides the application, there’s plenty other NCI-related work to keep cancer center employees busy. Plans call for at least two more researchers to be added to the team before October. Renovations of the Wahl and Hixon facilities continue, and the center has $50 million to go on its capital campaign to reach the $92 million goal. LINK TO DANNY WELCH STORY.

Still, the written grant is the most important part of the quest for NCI designation.

“The score is heavily dependent on your written report,” Jensen said. “It’s awfully difficult to recover from a bad submission of the written part of this process.”

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Susan Mercer, associate director, Institute for Policy and Social Research
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