Fight Kids Cancer 2020-2021 Call for Proposals

European childhood cancer NGO’s are calling for innovative treatments to improve survival and quality of life

The Fight Kids Cancer programme is an exciting venture supported by three European NGO’s that have joined forces to launch an opportunity to support academic research for paediatric cancers. 

Our vision is to cure all children and adolescents with cancer through the development of better targeted and less toxic therapies. Fight Kids Cancer’s mission will be to catalyse and accelerate European research that results in innovative and impactful new therapies that improve the outcome for all children and adolescents with cancer.

This second call will offer a total of 3 million euros to support the best clinical and translational research projects that accelerate therapeutic innovation for children and adolescents with cancer. Our founding organisations are: 


Call Objectives

The Fight Kids Cancer programme aims to catalyse and support pan-European innovative and relevant research initiatives in paediatric cancer to develop innovative research that improves the outcome for all children and adolescents with cancer. This call will cover the following non-exclusive themes:

  1. To realise real impact on young patients: Improve survival rate & reduce toxicity to restore young patients to full health after treatment
  2. To produce cutting-edge science to advance knowledge of paediatric malignancies.
  3. To support improved interdisciplinary knowledge, methods and collaborations for tackling the issues of today.
  4. To strengthen collaboration and the development of scientific capacity across Europe.

This call aims to prioritise areas that will effectively benefit young patients by: 

  • improving their survival rate 
  • improving their quality of life during and after the treatments
  • improving our knowledge on cancer causes and treatment resistance 

The Fight Kids Cancer call for projects aims towards overcoming the structural lack of research dedicated to paediatric cancers by ensuring a recurring endowment that will be granted to the best European research projects every year. An additional ambition is to foster closer working ties between basic researchers and clinicians. 

Call Options

Projects are expected to propose research on either Early phase clinical trials or Translational research. Applicants to both categories are encouraged to address innovative interventions or approaches towards novel treatment (such as innovative drugs, artificial intelligence, imaging, radiotherapy, surgical approaches…)   

The two categories of projects are:

1.  Early phase clinical trials into evaluating innovative therapies for children and adolescents with cancer addressing either haematological malignancies, solid paediatric and adolescent cancers.

*NEW Specifications in green added on 18 November 2020

  • Documentation for provision of investigational drug(s) must be provided
    • Platform clinical trials: Two or more letters of support or commitment from the biopharmaceutical company(ies) for the platform trial being proposed 
    • Other clinical trials: Letter(s) of commitment from the biopharmaceutical company(ies) to supply the investigational drug(s) for the proposed research 
  • Demonstration that the trial is conducted in at least 2 European countries and that institutions from at least 2 countries will receive funding  
  • Co-funding of clinical trials is possible, however precise details, justification and timeline must be provided
  • Enrolment of patients must commence not later than 12 months from the start of funding

2. Translational research projects addressing either haematological malignancies, solid paediatric and adolescent cancers. Proposals are encouraged on:

  • Projects identifying novel mechanisms of action 
  • Projects that may result in innovative new therapies or better models of disease. 
  • Pre-clinical projects including high-risk / high return proposals, 
  • Projects that leverage paediatric tumour models, will be considered. 
  • Multi-disciplinary or multi-institution collaborations are strongly encouraged.

Call Schedule

A two-stage proposal process will apply, with an expression of interest submitted early December 2020. Only those proposals selected by the Programme Committee will be invited to go forward to prepare a full proposal which will close mid-March 2021. 

  • Announcement of the call: 30 September 2020
  • Close of Expression of Interest via online submission portal: 06 December 2020, 17:00 CET (UTC+1)
  • Deadline for full-proposals submission: 15 March 2021, 17:00 CET (UTC+1)


The evaluation process will maintain a separation of the project types. Notably the second stage evaluation will be composed of two evaluation panels, one to handle Clinical Trial proposals and the second one for Translational proposals.

The research proposals will be evaluated across the following criteria:

  • Stage 1:  the FKC programmed committee will carry out: (i) a basic eligibility check and (ii) fit to the scope of the call;
  • Stage 2: an independent expert review will report on (i) excellence; (ii) quality and efficiency of the implementation and (iii) impact (including societal / policy relevance and approaches to stakeholder engagement).


Fight Kids Cancer funding is aimed at supporting new research projects across Europe. The lead institution must be from the list of eligible countries, with preference given to institutions with a strong track record in paediatric cancer research. Other project partners are encouraged and can be from related fields of expertise, providing they operate as not-for-profit. See Guidance for Applicants for details.

Eligible countries included are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom.


For this Fight Kids Cancer call, 3 million euros will be awarded for clinical trials (with a maximum of 1,5 million per project) and translational projects (with a maximum of 500 000 euros per project).

Call Documents

Please consult the complete Guidance for Applicants document for all details related to the call, budget eligibility and further information on procedures and evaluation criteria. 

Download the call documents:

Guidance for Applicants (Last update:18 November 2020)
Ethics self-assessment (only necessary at full proposal stage)
Full proposal template (only for invited applicants)

Submit here


Programme Management

Fight Kids Cancer programme support and management is provided by the European Science Foundation, which is the intermediary with the funding organisations.  

For further information about this announcement of opportunity please contact:
Fight Kids Cancer secretariat at ESF: fightkidscancer[at]esf[dot]org