Comprehensive Cancer Center Membership & Guidelines

The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center (OSUCCC) is a network of five interdisciplinary cancer-related research programs: Cancer Control, Translational Therapeutics; Leukemia Research; Molecular Biology and Cancer Genetics; and Molecular Carcinogenesis and Chemoprevention.

These programs collectively comprise more than 300 scientists representing 12 of the 15 colleges at Ohio State. Their shared goal is to reduce cancer morbidity and mortality through basic, clinical, prevention and population research that translates to innovative patient care and cancer-prevention strategies.

Ohio State is one of only 45 comprehensive cancer centers as designated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The university has maintained this designation since 1976 through five-year competitive reviews by NCI surveyors. The designation was most recently renewed in 2015, when the NCI rated Ohio State’s cancer program as “exceptional,” its highest descriptor, for the second time in 10 years. With each re-designation comes a multi-million dollar NCI support grant that finances OSUCCC administration and 20 shared resources that facilitate collaboration among cancer researchers at Ohio State.

Several hundred thousand square feet of laboratory, office and clinical facilities are under total or shared control of the OSUCCC in buildings on the main campus and at Polaris Innovation Center a few miles north of campus.

The adult patient-care component of the OSUCCC is the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute, a 21-story, 1.1-million-square-foot, 306-bed facility that opened in December 2014 as a transformational hospital that more closely integrates research and clinical care than ever before. The new facility—the largest cancer hospital in the Midwest and third-largest in the nation—replaced Ohio State’s original James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, which opened in July 1990.

Membership Guidelines


The control and periodic review of appointments of individuals as members of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center (OSUCCC) resides solely with the cancer center’s deputy director, who reviews membership annually to ensure compliance with cancer center policy. Membership approval by the OSUCCC director annually coincides with the Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG) Progress Report.

Membership Criteria

All individuals applying for OSUCCC membership must have an active faculty appointment at The Ohio State University or an affiliated university and be eligible for principal investigator (PI) status on research proposals (i.e., at the rank of research scientist or higher).

Associate Member: To obtain associate membership status in the OSUCCC, an investigator must be seeking to develop or significantly contribute to cancer-focused research. The term of an associate member is two years, which may be renewable. During this period, an associate member must seek National Cancer Institute (NCI) or other peer-reviewed funding in cancer research as a PI. Significant contributions could be serving as a PI of a cancer trial, being an essential member of a cancer-focused team project or being an essential contributor to authoring cancer-focused manuscripts. The NCI defined cancer-focus as follows: “Selection of members for a center’s programs is one of the most critical decisions made by leadership. Functional and productive programs select individuals for their scientific excellence and, just as importantly, for their commitment to work together to further the scientific goals of the cancer center. Some program members may not hold peer-reviewed grants but contribute to the research objectives of the center in other important ways (e.g., development and implementation of the center’s clinical activity, including authorship of clinical protocols, accrual of patients on interventional trials, and leadership roles in NCI National Clinical Trials Network studies. These contributions should be recognized.

The associate member is also expected to participate in program meetings, present research seminars, work collaboratively on research projects within and among the OSUCCC programs, use the OSUCCC Shared Resources, attend the annual scientific meeting and, if applicable, fully participate in the center’s mission to accrue patients to clinical trials. Renewal will be based on the level of participation in the program and the contribution to cancer research that the investigator has demonstrated.

Full Member: To obtain full membership status in the OSUCCC, an investigator must have an established cancer-focused research program and be a PI on an actively funded NCI or other peer-reviewed, cancer-focused research grant or project within a multi-investigator grant (as defined by NCI guidelines). Alternatively, a full member may be an investigator who makes significant contributions to cancer research. Significant contributions could be serving as a PI of a national or investigator-initiated cancer trial, being an essential member of a cancer-focused team project or being an essential contributor to authoring high-impact, cancer-focused manuscripts.

Full members must participate in program meetings, present research seminars, work collaboratively on research projects within and among the OSUCCC programs, use the OSUCCC Shared Resources and attend the Annual Scientific Meeting.

Application Procedure

To apply for membership in the OSUCCC, an investigator must submit the following information to the OSUCCC director of research operations:

  • Completed OSUCCC membership application
  • CV
  • Current research funding information

This information will be reviewed by the appropriate OSUCCC program leader and, subsequently, by the OSUCCC associate directors and the deputy director for final approval.

NOTE: Any individual accepting funds directly from the tobacco industry will be ineligible to apply for membership in the OSUCCC. Further, members who possess or accept such funding from the tobacco industry will immediately forfeit their membership and all associated privileges within the OSUCCC. Per OSUCCC policy, tobacco industry funding includes: funds from a company that is engaged in or has affiliates engaged in the manufacture of tobacco produced for human use; funds in the name of a tobacco brand, whether or not the brand name is used solely for tobacco goods; funds from a body set up by the tobacco industry or by one or more companies engaged in the manufacture of tobacco goods.

The following do not constitute tobacco industry funding per OSUCCC policy:

  • Legacies from tobacco industry investments (unless the names of a tobacco company or cigarette brand are associated with them)
  • Funding from a trust or foundation established with assets related to the tobacco industry but no longer having any connection with the tobacco industry even though it may bear a name that (for historical reasons) is associated with the tobacco industry

The above is adopted, in part, from a draft resolution of the American Cancer Society.

Program Alignment

Full OSUCCC members are usually aligned with only one OSUCCC research program. If the research efforts and funding of a member cross two programs, the director or his designate may allow alignment with more than one research program. Associate members may align with only one program.

Members wanting to transfer between OSUCCC research programs must submit a detailed written request to the deputy director, who will consult with the appropriate program leaders and render a decision.

Membership Benefits

  • All members have multiple opportunities to interact within and among each OSUCCC research program through events such as monthly program meetings, special seminars, PPG and SPORE Development groups, and the Annual Scientific Meeting.
  • Biosketches on all members are maintained and reviewed by the OSUCCC Awards Committee. This committee helps target young and established investigators for potential cancer-relevant regional/national and international awards.
  • All members have access to the OSUCCC Shared Resources and services that are underwritten by the Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG). This includes preferential scheduling for all CCSG-sponsored shared resources.
  • All members are eligible to apply for research space. Full members are given priority in the assignment of laboratory space within the OSUCCC. Note: All grants/contracts for members in cancer center research space are managed through the OSUCCC Administrative Office.
  • All members are eligible to apply for internal OSUCCC funding opportunities, including Intramural Research Program (IRP) and Research Enhancement Assistance Program (REAP) awards.
  • All members are placed on the e-mail distribution list that provides information about internal and external funding opportunities, special seminars and updates to other OSUCCC activities.

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