Canadian Cancer Society/Lotte and John Hecht Memorial Foundation Disruptive Innovation Grants in Cancer Research
The Disruptive Innovation Grants in Cancer Research program will provide a unique opportunity for researchers in cancer, or any other field or discipline, to test out their novel ideas for potentially game-changing impact in cancer prevention, detection or treatment. Disruptive Innovation Grants will be bold, high risk/high reward, early-stage projects for which preliminary data is not required. Projects will be rated on their novelty, feasibility and potential impact in the cancer field.
Disruptive Innovation Grants will address a largely unmet need in our funding ecosystem by supporting unique, disruptive, ideas inspired by imagination, serendipity, and hitherto unexplored connections across fields and disciplines, projects that would not normally be able to access “traditional” funding sources. Examples of the kinds of projects we are seeking would include the adaptation of breakthroughs in other health conditions, such as cardiovascular, neurological, metabolic and infectious diseases to the cancer field, or the harnessing of technologies from fields such as AI, robotics, engineering, chemistry, biology and ecology, or the opportunity to pursue serendipitous observations not supported by existing funding. If successful, Disruptive Innovation Grants will achieve what their name suggests - disruptions in the way we currently prevent, diagnose or treat cancer that will ultimately change the status quo. The funding opportunity is open to both independent researchers and teams, as appropriate for the work proposed.
The goals of this funding opportunity:
- To spur the development and/or application of truly novel “out-of-the-box” ideas to better prevent, diagnose and treat cancer and/or lead to new lines of future investigation.
- To provide a unique opportunity for researchers to follow up on serendipitous findings that they would not otherwise have the resources to probe.
- To facilitate the adaptation and repurposing of existing methods and technologies from other health fields and research disciplines with the potential to change the status quo in cancer prevention detection and treatment.
- To fund bold projects that, if successful, would lead to disruptions in current standards of care and replace the status quo in cancer prevention, detection and treatment.
Projects that would be considered ineligible for this competition include:
- Projects that focus on obvious next steps or incremental research associated with ongoing studies
- Projects for which validation already exists in the literature
- Projects with no obvious potential impact on cancer
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Letters of Intent should be completed here:
Only Letters of Intent submitted through this portal, by the deadline date, will be accepted. The LOI process is mandatory.
Letters of Intent (LOI) proposals are limited to 6000 characters including spaces with no references, graphs or figures. LOI submissions will include applicant details (Principal Investigators, Co-Applicants, Additional Authors, Host Institution) for administrative purposes, however these personal identifiers will be removed prior to review to enable the blue-ribbon panel to focus solely on the originality, feasibility, timeliness, and potential impact of the proposed idea.
All personal or institutional identifiers must be absent in the text of your LOI proposal. Failure to meet this requirement will result in the elimination of your application.
The purpose of the LOI is to provide the blue-ribbon panel with the following:
A public lay summary of the proposed study, which will be reviewed and evaluated for clarity and content. This section must be readily accessible to non-experts.
A clear description of how the proposal represents a novel, bold and intriguing idea that has not yet been explored.
A justification as to why now is the time to undertake this work and whyit has not been done previously.
A description of the areas of expertise brought together for this application and the identification of any new collaborations(by expertise only please, no names).
A high-level summary of the approach to be taken and the resources required.
A description of exactly how the proposed project could, if successful, revolutionize the prevention, detection and/or treatment of cancer.
Specific guidelines for the Letter of Intent are available and should be closely consulted during preparation of the application.
For this competition, there is a limit of one application per nominated Principal Investigator or co-Principal Investigator. Applications from Early- and Mid-Career Researchers (within 15 years of their first academic appointment) are strongly encouraged. In addition, researchers from non-traditional disciplines, outside the cancer field, are also strongly encouraged.
Only the most novel, creative and exciting Letters of Intent,as identified by the blue-ribbon panel, will be invited to submit a Full Application. We are anticipating that this step will be highly competitive.
Any significant changes to the proposed project or applicant team after the Letter of Intent deadline should be communicated to CCS (email@example.com) as soon as they are known. Substantive changes that significantly alter the overall goals and aims of the proposal relative to the Letter of Intent are not permitted.
The full applications do not need to be anonymized. The proposal should contain no more than 5 pages of single-spaced text and up to 2 pages of figures/tables/charts and associated legends. Specific guidelines for the online application will be available in May, 2024 and should be closely consulted during preparation of the application.
Full applications include the following:
A public summary in lay terminology of the proposed research that demonstrates how the research could lead to game-changing improvements in cancer prevention detection and treatment and why these changes are needed.
A clear description of how the proposed research represents a truly unique, original and previously untried approach that could dramatically improve the way we currently prevent, diagnose and/or treat cancer.
An explanation as to why now is the time to do this work.
A scientific abstract that clearly states the aims of the overall proposal, experimental design(s), methods and analysis plans.
A clear description on how any new collaborations formed for this project are key to its success.
A detailed proposal describing the work to be performed and an indication of which member(s) of the research team will be responsible.
Considerations regarding sex and/or gender and/or diversity.
A detailed description of any products expected to result from this funding (if applicable).
A detailed knowledge translation and mobilization strategy that chronicle potential next steps and which could include collaborations and partnerships with other research institutions, networks and/or sectors, as appropriate.
A detailed budget and justification for supplies, expenses, personnel and equipment to conduct the proposed research. This must include the number of personnel required to complete the work and a description of their experience and/or education level.
Full applications will be sent for expert review. Anonymized reviews will be shared with applicants who will have one week to provide CCS with any clarifications (max one page) deemed necessary in response to the reviews. The expert reviews along with any letters of clarification from the applicants will be made accessible to the blue-ribbon panel to provide a scientific assessment of proposals. This panel will meet to evaluate the proposals submitted at the full application stage, with the expert reviews in hand, and will score and rank the proposals according to novelty, scientific feasibility, and potential impact on cancer.
The review criteria for the applications will include but not necessarily be restricted to the following:
the originality,timeliness, and feasibility of the proposed work
the potential for disruption of the status quo in cancer prevention, detectionand/or treatment
the scientific rationale and unique aspects of the proposed research
the novelty and value of any new collaborationsacross different fields and disciplines
the appropriateness of the methods for the focus of the research
the appropriateness of the qualifications and experience of the investigators leading and participating in the project
the appropriate incorporation of sex as a biological variable and/or gender as a social determinant of health, where applicable
Applicants are reminded to review the eligibility and requirements page for details on scientific and financial reporting, funder acknowledgement, and Canadian Cancer Society policies. In addition, research applications may be related but cannot be identical to any other currently funded projects or pending grant applications. It is the responsibility of the applicant to notify the funding partners immediately should substantial overlap arise from new funding awards during the application and review process of this competition.