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The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is looking for bold new approaches to answer 12 perplexing scientific questions identified by the community.

  • Applications due June 29, 2015; October 29, 2015; June 29, 2016; October 28, 2016

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NCI Director Harold Varmus, M.D., discusses the Provocative Questions Project and urges researches to tackle the "perplexing" questions in cancer research.

What is the "Provocative Questions" Initiative?

The provocative questions initiative has assembled a list of 12 important questions from the research community to stimulate the NCI's research communities to use laboratory, clinical and population sciences in especially effective and imaginative ways to answer the questions.

We welcome additional provocative questions from the research community via Community Dialog. Questions should build on specific advances in our understanding of cancer and cancer control, address broad issues in biology of cancer that have proven difficult to resolve, take into consideration the likelihood of progress in the forseeable future (e.g. 5 to 10 years), and address ways to overcome obstacles to achieving long-term goals. Learn more about the Provocative Questions initiative.