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Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program

Consortia to Advance Collaboration in Epidemiologic and Cancer Research

EGRP's Definition of Consortia

The National Cancer Institute's (NCI) Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program (EGRP) defines a consortium as a group of scientists from multiple institutions who have agreed to participate in cooperative research efforts involving activities such as methods development and validation, pooling of information from more than one study for the purpose of combined analyses, and collaborative projects. Consortia are able to address scientific questions that cannot be addressed otherwise due to scope, resources, population size, or expertise. This cooperation usually involves multiple projects over an extended period of time. Consortia can also be referred to as collaboratives.

The creation of a consortium is independent from NCI and NIH funding mechanisms. Groups participating in a consortium may partner in the writing of research grant applications, but consortium activities are not limited to a specific grant/project.

For sources of support, view our compilation of NCI and NIH funding opportunities that are relevant to cancer epidemiology or contact an EGRP program director.

NCI Cohort Consortium

The mission of the NCI Cohort Consortium is to:
  • Foster communication among investigators leading cohort studies of cancer;
  • Promote collaborative research projects for topics not easily addressed in a single study; and
  • Identify common challenges in cohort research and search for solutions.

The NCI Cohort Consortium is an extramural-intramural partnership formed by NCI to address the need for large-scale collaborations to pool the large quantity of data and biospecimens necessary to conduct a wide range of cancer studies. The Consortium, through its collaborative network of investigators, provides a coordinated, interdisciplinary approach to tackling important scientific questions, economies of scale, and opportunities to quicken the pace of research.

The NCI Cohort Consortium includes investigators responsible for more than 50 high-quality cohorts involving more than 7 million people. The cohorts are international in scope and cover large, rich, and diverse populations. Extensive risk factor data are available on each cohort, and biospecimens including germline DNA collected at baseline, are available on approximately 2 million individuals. Investigators team up to use common protocols and methods, and to conduct coordinated parallel and pooled analyses.

Learn more about the NCI Cohort Consortium, including membership, their signature initiatives and projects, the process for proposing new collaborative projects, and their annual meetings.

Cancer Epidemiology Consortia

The list below provides links to information about research consortia that may be of interest to cancer epidemiologists. It is not an exhaustive list. Access to resources is dependent on procedures outlined for each individual consortium. Consortia interested in being included in this list should contact

Key to Acronyms Used in Consortia Pages
  • EGRP - Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program
  • CDC - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • DCB - Division of Cancer Biology
  • DCEG - Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics
  • NCI - National Cancer Institute
  • NHGRI - National Human Genome Research Institute
  • NIEHS - National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
  • NIGMS - National Institute of General Medical Sciences
  • NIH - National Institutes of Health
  • OCS - Office of Cancer Survivorship
  • OD - Office of the Director

Additional Research Consortia

A number of additional research consortia conduct research to better understand determinants of various health outcomes in human populations, which may influence cancer risk. Some of the collaborations in which EGRP staff participate include:

Role of EGRP in Consortia

EGRP fosters consortia through the following activities:

  • Advising investigators on the formation of new consortia
  • Advising consortia on policies and processes related to funding, data sharing, and collaborations
  • As appropriate, participating on steering or executive committees or working groups.

Questions about EGRP and Consortia can be sent to

Data Sharing Expectations for Consortia

EGRP supports compliance with the NIH Data Sharing Policy and Genomic Data Sharing Policy. Data sharing is essential for expedited translation of research results into knowledge, products, and procedures to improve human health. To help investigators comply with these policies, NCI and NIH support a number of data repositories to help facilitate efficient data sharing, including the database of Genotypes and Phenotypes (dbGaP).