Request for Application: Pioneering global cancer care through the ICEC Coleman/Kaplan Mentorship Fund

The mission of the International Cancer Expert Corps (ICEC) is to reduce mortality and improve the quality of life for people with cancer in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), as well as the indigenous and geographically underserved populations in upper-income countries and regions worldwide. The ICEC addresses this mission through a mentoring network of cancer professionals who work with local and regional in-country groups to develop and sustain expertise for better cancer care. The underpinning of sustainable on-site expertise is a trusted network with exchange of ideas, flexibility and the enhancement of professional opportunity through innovative enabling technology.

Purpose

The purpose of this RFA granting mechanism is to accelerate the development of improving cancer care in LMIC by developing programs that enhance care delivery and outcome. There are a broad group of programs that are eligible for funding including mentoring programs, enhanced treatment delivery approaches, technological development, or other efforts that will enhance cancer care and network building. Cancer screening and prevention, although of great importance, are not the objectives of this initial pilot initiative. For this pilot initiative, radiation oncology related projects are preferred. ICEC has a specific interest in helping to develop careers in global oncology, especially of young investigators.

Eligibility

  1.  Individuals or groups, public and private entities, worldwide who are interested in improving cancer care delivery are eligible to apply.
  2. There must be a strong and direct connection with care delivery in a LMIC if the application is originating from a country that is high income (HIC).
  3. Grants can be submitted directly from individuals and institutions in LMICs with proposed mentorship in HIC or UMIC.
  4. There should be a demonstrated interest in improving cancer care in LMIC and evidence that this program is likely to be successful in its objectives.
  5. Individuals employed within academic or other institutions must document that they have institutional support for their efforts, and that they will have sufficient time and resources to complete the work of the grant.
  6. Appropriate letters of support are required.

Grants

Grants can be initiated from a LMIC, or from a HIC with direct and substantive relationships with individuals/institutions in a LMIC. The grant must have the long-term potential to affect a substantial number of cancer patients in the area of interest. Grants will be available in amounts up to $5,000 per year and are potentially renewable twice (for a total of three years). Renewals are not automatic but are contingent on a demonstration, through an annual report, of substantive progress in the grant objectives.

Applications

Applications should be a maximum of 4 pages in length (Calibri font, size 12). Supplementary material can be sent, but that information will be only for documentation or reference and should not contain any of the required grant materials. The following components must be included in order in the application.
  1. Abstract- 200 words or less
  2. Specific Aims-
  3. Background and significance- the project must address the broad issue of enhancement of cancer care in LMIC
  4. Partnerships- If the application is coming from a HIC, applicants should demonstrate strong and equitable engagement and partnerships with the LMIC institution(s), including relationships with the appropriate LMIC stakeholders. LMIC applications should include mentorship plans with individuals and institutions from HIC or UMIC. Any change in investigators or institution must be cleared with ICEC prior to the change.
  5. Preliminary data- Applicants should provide preliminary data (feasibility, acceptability, etc.) regarding the strategies to be utilized.
  6. Research proposal- The applicants should describe the rationale for the approach being proposed. They should describe the investigations that will be carried out in appropriate detail to allow the reader to evaluate the proposal. A timeline for the work should be provided as well as milestones for evaluating the work.
  7. Anticipated deliverables- What is the anticipated deliverable at the end of the project? Annual progress reports are required. It is recognized that these pilot projects may be the beginning of a longer-term project but there needs to be significant measurable progress over the grant period.
  8. A plan for presentation and/or publication of results (presentations must give recognition of the ICEC grant support).
  9. Budget- a maximum of $5,000/year is available and should be described using the supplied forms. No indirect costs will be paid. The maximum amount for administrative support is 7.5%. The budget can pay for support personnel, travel to the country of interest, necessary equipment, etc. Cost sharing or matching funds with a parent institution will be considered positively and should be described in the application. Funding for subsequent years is possible but is not guaranteed and will only be given after demonstration of good progress during the initial granting period(s).
  10. Applicant CVs- Should be included in the Appendix. (2 page maximum per person, maximum 5 people) these should be included for all relevant personnel.
  11. Resources- Information on relevant institutional resources should be included.
  12. Numbers 9 and 10 will not be included in the 4-page limit.
  13. Application due date is December 21, 2022, and should be submitted electronically to applications@iceccancer.org. Late applications will not be accepted. Awards will be announced on February 15, 2023, with funding to begin on March 15, 2023.

Application Review

All applications will be screened to be sure that they meet submission criteria. If there are questions regarding eligibility or other technical issues, those questions should be sent to applications@iceccancer.org. All applications will be reviewed by a committee of the ICEC, and their decision will be final. Issues that will be considered in the evaluation include:
  1. Significance- does the application address an important issue for cancer care delivery in a LMIC? Is the project related to radiation oncology?
  2. Investigators- Are the investigators in the HIC and the LMIC qualified to do the work that is proposed? Do they have the appropriate experience to carry out the work plan? Will this enhance a career in global oncology?
  3. Innovation- Are the approaches being proposed innovative? Are the approaches potentially transferable to clinical situations in other countries/clinics?
  4. Approach- Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the project? Are potential problems and alternative strategies well described? Are milestones for success presented? If the project is in the early stages of development, will the strategy establish feasibility, and will particularly risky aspects be managed?