How We Fund
Each year we place a call for applications for funding into oesophageal cancer research.
In total, OCF has raised €2.6 million euros and has provided almost €1.4 million euros of this for Clinical research in the main clinical academic cancer centres for upper gastrointestinal cancers across Ireland. In addition we run our annual fund raising and public awareness campaign, Lollipop Day at the end of February each year. So far we have allocated approximately €1 million euros for public awareness programmes.
The Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) of the OCF was established in order to oversee the process of grant fund allocation for scientific pro-ject applications received from researchers interested in any aspect of oesophageal cancer. The SAC reports to the Trustees of the OCF. The Trustees determine when and how much funding is to be made available and the SAC is re-sponsible for overseeing the application process from announcement of call for applications through to making its recommendations back to the Trustees. The primary role of the SAC is to ensure the scientific validity of the applications received.
The SAC is also responsible for providing advice to the Trustees about the research themes most likely to make a positive impact across the entire spectrum of the disease of oesophageal cancer within the context of the overall aims and direction of the OCF. The SAC works along with the Trustees to promote collaborative research on a nationwide basis whenever possible.
The SAC is co-chaired by a clinician with an expertise in oesophageal cancer treatment and research with no vested interest and by one of the Trustees. The composition of the SAC committee includes four medical and four lay members with legal, business, accountancy and publicity backgrounds. The OCF welcome applications from potential researchers seeking funding for their projects as they arise. In addition, when the Trustees make funds available, the SAC will advertise and oversee a formal round of applications for either project or programme grants.
A Project Grant will usually be awarded for a single study and run for one or two years. Typical funding for a Project Grant is in the region of €100,000. Programme Grants are awarded for a period of three years and are designed to help fund infrastructural programmes of a national and collaborative nature that will provide future resources for further research.
Typical funding for a Programme Grant is in the region of €300,000 - €500,000. Funding will only be made to institutions and not to individual researchers.
A call for research applications will be advertised in the national news-papers and through the relevant professional organisations. A closing deadline for receipt of applications will be set at a minimum of four weeks after the date of advertisement. Applications will be not be con-sidered after the deadline is set. Template forms for applicants are downloadable from the OCF website. When a call is made for a Pro-gramme Grant the applicant will be required to submit a full application and all applications meeting the criteria and documentation in order will be reviewed by the SAC and sent for Peer Review. In the case of a call for Project Grants the applicant will be requested to submit a summarised outline application in the first instance. After review by the SAC, selected applicants will be requested to complete a full formal application that will be sent for Peer Review before a decision is subsequently made by the SAC.
The Peer Review process obtains a structured objective assessment of each application by three independent academic clinicians with an in-ternational profile in the field of oesophageal cancer research. The pri-mary role of the Peer Review is to obtain an independent assessment of the scientific validity and merits of each application within the context of the aims of the OCF. Secondarily, advice is obtained about suggestions for improving applications should funding be made available. Based on the outcome from the Peer Review process the SAC then makes its recommendation to the Trustees as to which project/programme best meets the search criteria, has scientific validity and is likely to deliver within budget and timeframe. The SAC aims to make its recommenda-tion to the OCF Trustees within three months of the closing date for applications.
Successful applicants will be required to submit annual reports to the SAC outlining progress and accounts. Any outcomes from the research e.g. presentations and publications, will be required to be noti-fied to the OCF and funding from the OCF acknowledged. In the case of Programme Grants the continuance of the funding from year to year will be dependent on the review of the annual report form the research team to the SAC.