4 Million 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 founded 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 call will offer up to a total of 4 million euros to support the best clinical and translational research projects that accelerate therapeutic innovation for children and adolescents with cancer.
 

The 2021-2022 supporting organisations from France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Italy are: 
 

Call Objectives

The Fight Kids Cancer programme (hereafter “FKC”) aims to catalyse and support pan-
European
innovative and relevant research initiatives in paediatric cancer to develop innovative research that improve the outcome for all children and adolescents with cancer. This call will cover the following non-exclusive objectives:

  1. To realise real impact on young patients: Improve their survival rate and reduce toxicity to restore young patients to full health after treatment
  2. To advance cutting-edge science to further the 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.

The FKC 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 to evaluate innovative therapies for children and adolescents with cancer The key elements of the proposals are:

  • Documentation for provision of investigational drug(s) must be provided
  • Demonstration that the trial is conducted and financed in at least 2 European countries 
  • Designs of early phase clinical trials which will rapidly and efficiently assess the innovative agents are strongly encouraged
  • 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
  • Immune oncology approaches are welcome
  • Study of the impact on the quality of life of the studied treatment regimen is strongly encouraged
  • Platform trials are welcome.

2.  Translational research projects addressing childhood and adolescent cancers. Proposals are encouraged on:

  • Projects identifying novel targets of action 
  • Projects that may result in innovative new therapies or better models of disease. 
  • Projects that are ancillary to ongoing/completed clinical trial
  • 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.
  • A clear pathway to a clinical trial should be included 

It is anticipated that submitted proposal should address more than one of the above criteria.

Call Schedule

A two-stage proposal process will apply, with an expression of interest submitted in end of December 2021. Only those proposals selected by the Programme Committee will be invited to go forward to prepare a full proposal which will close early April 2022. 

  • Announcement of the call: 08 October 2021
  • Close of Expression of Interest via online submission portal: 30 November 2021, 16:00 CET (UTC+1)
  • Deadline for full-proposals submission: 01 April 2022, 16:00 CET (UTC+1)

Evaluation

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 first a basic eligibility check. Secondly a independent expert review will be carried out to ensure excellent science and relevance to the philosophy and core values of the FKC programme. 
     
  • 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).

Eligibility

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.

Funding

For this call, funding limit are: 1) early phase clinical trials max EUR 1.5 million per project and 2) translational research project (max EUR 500 000 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
Expression of Interest template

Access to submission site: will be made active in November 2021

Programme Management

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