Skip Navigation
National Cancer Institute U.S. National Institutes of Health
You are here: Home Workshops 10-9-2010 PQ Summary
Document Actions

10-9-2010 PQ Summary

by MaloneC — last modified 2011-01-05 15:33

October 9, 2010 Exploratory Provocative Questions Meeting


Thirty-six cancer researchers, representing a range of fields but with a predominance of individuals working on aspects of molecular oncology, assembled at the Cloisters on the NIH campus on October 9, 2010 for the first workshop of the NCI Provocative Questions initiative. The participants were invited by the project’s organizers to craft a list of interesting questions that might highlight potential new research directions among NCI-supported investigators or reinvigorate research in important areas that have been neglected, to discuss and evaluate some of the questions submitted by the participants prior to the workshop, to suggest subsequent activities that might enhance the project, and to think about the best ways to name and describe the initiative in hopes of clarifying the concept and maximizing its utility.

Over the course of several hours of presentations of proposed scientific questions and animated responses to them, followed up by email correspondence, the participants informally endorsed a number of conclusions:


i)   The format of a small workshop is a useful means to engage in conversations about questions that might stimulate innovative research on various aspects of cancer.


ii)   The discussions of novel questions about cancer research should be enlarged by:

  • hosting additional workshops (three more have been scheduled in February 2011);

  • inviting participants from many fields of cancer research, including several that were not well represented at the initial workshop (most of the invitees to the February workshops were drawn from these other fields);

  • creating and launching a publicly accessible web site that describes the initiative and allows interactive conversation about proposed questions as well as the means to offer new questions;

  • considering holding workshops at other sites around the country (this idea is under discussion at the NCI).


iii) A name that reflects the intention of the initiative should be found. Although many possibilities were considered, the consensus favored Provocative Questions, a title that conveys the goal of stimulating new work but does not suggest the need to include all questions being pursued with NCI support.


iv)  Several of the questions discussed at the workshop appear to meet the criteria established for Provocative Questions and should be posted on the web site to invite comments and conversation).


v)   NCI staff should consider ways to encourage pursuit of questions created by this initiative---for example, through program announcements with special review or through requests for proposals. Decisions about this matter have been deferred until further workshops are conducted in February.

Download Plugins: Download Plugin Adobe Acrobat Reader   Download Plugin Adobe Flash Player   Download Plugin Microsoft Word Viewer   Download Plugin Microsoft Excel Viewer   Download Plugin Microsoft PowerPoint Viewer   Download Plugin Real Player   Download Plugin Windows Media Player   Download Plugin Quicktime Player   Download Plugin WinZip
National Cancer Institute Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health