Independent Researchers

How Investigators Can Use NCORP’s Network to Conduct their own Research

Accruing adequate numbers of study participants is a persistent challenge, especially for independent researchers. NCI has developed guidelines and processes to assist investigators in accessing NCORP's network, a nationwide consortium of community hospitals and physicians that participate in NCI-approved cancer treatment, prevention, screening, and control clinical trials as well as cancer care delivery studies.

These consortia can provide a rich resource of patients, families, and individuals at risk for cancer who may be interested in participating in studies. Using NCORP’s network, independent investigators can:

  • Collaborate with an established NCORP program and existing infrastructure to improve accrual;
  • Collaborate with one or more NCORP sites that have the population, personnel, expertise, and interest best suited for their research aims;
  • Subcontract with the NCORP Research Bases for data and statistical management of their federally funded projects; and
  • Conduct a wide variety of research studies (including descriptive, qualitative, survey, methods development, and/or epidemiology).

Clarification on Funding of NCORP Network Studies

The NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) Network is a cancer research network for conducting prevention, control, and treatment clinical trials. NCORP funding supports research bases and community clinical oncology practices affiliated with the research base; these funds are directed to management and oversight of clinical trials, recruitment and collection of self-report measures and standard of care medical data, and data management and analyses. The NCORP grants do not cover costs associated with the intervention, i.e., costs of experimental 'drugs,' procedures outside standard of care, or costs of interventionists in behavioral trials. These extra procedures need to be funded either from industry, foundation grants, or separate NIH grants (not the NCORP support grant). Investigators wishing to use the NCORP network for studies where additional funds outside of the NCORP grant are needed, they will need to seek separate funding, i.e., NIH, foundation support, industry.

For more information about symptom management, contact Ann O'Mara, PhD, RN, program director at omaraa@mail.nih.gov. For more information about cancer care delivery research, contact Kate Castro, RN, MS, AOCN, nurse consultant at castrok@mail.nih.gov.