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The Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca sul Cancro (AIRC) believes that time has come to tackle this major issue. AIRC deems essential to better understand the fundamental mechanisms of metastatic process especially bearing in mind the goal of developing novel biology-based methods for early diagnosis and treatment of metastatic disease. To this end it launches this Special Program on Metastatic disease: the key unmet need in oncology and invites applications aimed at investigating metastatic disease.

The aim of the Call is to finance outstanding programs that can have significant impact on improving understanding metastatic disease and transferring the knowledge, within their duration, to the clinical setting.

It is expected the programs to be interdisciplinary in nature, requiring a team science approach.

Successful applications will be funded for a total of 7 years, with mid-term assessments and site visits at the end of the third and of the fifth year (3+2+2).

The total budget allocated for this Call is in the range of € 20 million/year; it is projected that 5-10 grants will be awarded.

In the initial phase of the Call applicants must submit a presubmission enquiry which includes a Letter of Intent (LOI). The selected applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal.

It is expected that proposals will be structured under the coordination of a single proponent/coordinator (hereafter referred to as the Principal Investigator, PI) with the participation of several Group Leaders (GLs) with competence in various specific areas. The PI and all GLs must have achieved scientific independence and leadership, and must have a strong track record in oncology as demonstrated by last-author publications in high level peer reviewed journals. In addition, the PI and all GLs, must be affiliated with and operate in Hosting Institution(s) in Italy from the beginning of the program and for the entire duration of the grant.

The Call is open to proposals both from single Institutions and multi-institutional.

Applicants (PI and GLs) must operate in Hosting Institution(s) located in Italy, whose primary goal is to independently conduct non-economic biomedical research and to disseminate its results.

In the full submission, a partnership plan addressing the following issues must be in place:

• Governance and organizational structure of the team;

• Advisory Board;

• Retreats;

• Procedures for resolving conflicts;

• Intellectual property.

Successful applications will be financed through the revenues of «5 per Mille» donations for a total of 7 years. The budget granted will be communicated directly to the PI, who will be the sole responsible for the year by year allocation of the budget to each Group Leader. The allocation of the budget to each Group Leader will be indicated to AIRC who, in the case of multi-institutional grants, will directly fund each single Institution.

Funding can be requested in all categories of expenses, including:

• personnel (for the duration of the project);

• direct research costs, services and supplies;

• instruments, including technological platforms necessary for the project. The acquisition of new platforms will be carefully evaluated during the reviewing process;

• indirect costs and overheads.

Once awarded, the grant is assigned to the PI and GLs to carry out the program described in the application. Funds will be made available to the Hosting Institutions under terms and conditions that AIRC will provide once the application is approved.

Deadlines for applications:

  • Presubmission enquiry (Letter of Intent), electronic submission deadline: July 17, 2017
  • Full Proposals (if presubmission approved), electronic submission deadline: December 4, 2017; paper submission (postmark) deadline: December 18, 2017.