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Grant Giving Model and Committees

Grant Giving Model and Committees

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is proud to be the Scientific Partner of Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), the groundbreaking initiative dedicated to moving lifesaving therapies from the laboratory to the patient in an accelerated time frame. The AACR administers the process by which SU2C fosters research through “Dream Teams” of top researchers, and through other programs.

AACR works with SU2C primarily on:

Working with the AACR, a blue-ribbon Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) reviews Dream Team and Research Grant proposals, makes recommendations on funding, and oversees the recipient’s progress throughout the grant cycle. Joint Scientific Advisory Committees (JSACs) are formed to review applications for grants funded jointly by SU2C and partner organizations. Proposals for Innovative Research Grants are reviewed by the Innovative Research Grants Review Committee.

In addition to these research programs, SU2C also funds collaboration among grant recipients through the SU2C Phillip A. Sharp Innovation in Collaboration Awards, named in honor of the SU2C Scientific Advisory Committee Chair.

Funding Mechanisms

Dream Teams and Research Teams
Functions: Dream Teams and Research Teams support the pursuit of collaborative, novel, and groundbreaking cancer research projects that address critical problems in patient care and are designed to deliver near-term patient benefit.

Funding: Recipients are given sufficient resources to support the required focused, intense, goal-directed, team-oriented attack on the cancer problem. Funding of recent Dream Teams has ranged up to $22.25 million over three years, while Research Team recipients have received up to $3.6 million over three years.

Composition: The research conducted by the Dream Teams and Research Teams must be translational in nature. That is, they emphasize taking important new findings from the laboratory to the patient bedside. In order to maximize creativity and innovation.

Dream Teams and Research Teams include laboratory and clinical researchers in scientific and technical fields that are relevant to the research project, and senior investigators and young scientists alike. The top two leaders of the team must be senior scientists who have not worked together in the past. This is to ensure that different perspectives will be brought to bear, and that scientists from different institutions will collaborate in a common search for new solutions.

Process: The AACR issues a “Call for Ideas ” for each available grant, asking the research community for proposals. Finalists are selected from the proposals submitted. The finalists meet face to face with a committee of SAC/JSAC members, who listen to each proposal, ask questions directly of the researchers, and then deliberate to select a team to be recommended for funding.

Follow-up: The selected Dream Team or Research Team Grant recipient submits progress reports to the AACR every six months to ensure that the research program is staying on track. In conjunction with the progress reports, site visits are conducted by members of the SAC and JSAC and representatives of SU2C, their funding partners, and the AACR.

Innovative Research Grants
The Innovative Research Grants (IRG) program supports the kind of research not usually funded by conventional sources – the kind with a high level of risk but also a high level of potential impact on the prevention or treatment of cancer. The program was established in honor of the late Judah Folkman, MD, who was one of the great innovators in cancer research, an outstanding teacher of young investigators, and an early contributor to the mission of SU2C.

The IRG program has provided 46 awards of up to $250,000 per year for three years in both clinical and basic research. Since inception of the program, four classes of IRG awards have been made – 13 in 2009, 13 in 2011, 10 in 2016, and 10 in 2017.

Page updated 4/3/2020