By Gita Suneja, MD, MSHP
The Radiation Oncology Institute (ROI) is pleased to offer new grant opportunities to investigators who are studying how to expand access to radiation therapy. As the only nonprofit foundation dedicated to funding research to improve outcomes for cancer patients being treated with radiation therapy, the ROI is focused on leveraging its resources to make the most impactful grants to our field’s best and brightest investigators. The ROI is committed to finding solutions to the challenges that all of us face in our practices and, since the foundation’s earliest days, has collected ideas and opinions from radiation oncology professionals about the most important research topics that could benefit from additional funding resources.
The National Radiation Oncology Research Needs Assessment,
which involved hundreds of ASTRO members and leaders and was published by the ROI in 2012, helped launch the Institute’s successful research program and still serves as the basis for the ROI’s research agenda. Given the rapidly changing health care landscape, the ROI decided to once again seek feedback from the radiation oncology community by inviting attendees of the 2017 ASTRO Annual Meeting to answer the question: “How do we improve our ability to get radiation to the patients who need it?”
The Annual Meeting ROI Question was a resounding success with many valuable ideas shared about the barriers preventing patients from accessing radiation therapy. Thank you to everyone who communicated their ideas with the ROI. The ROI has taken this important feedback and developed the Innovative Projects in Radiation Oncology request for proposals (RFP) for research projects that will address the topics identified by respondents as the areas of greatest need. They are:
- Financial toxicity and cost – investigations of the financial toxicity associated with radiation therapy and the development of interventions to mitigate its effects and lower costs.
- Access to treatment and support services – studies to understand disparities in access to radiation therapy and the development of solutions to address them.
- Awareness, education and marketing – novel methods to inform patients and referring physicians about the benefits of radiation therapy.
- Hypofractionation and SBRT – generation of evidence or development of programs that support their use.
Through this RFP, the ROI is seeking proposals for high-risk, high-reward projects and/or seed funding necessary to demonstrate proof of concept before applying for larger grants. Up to $200,000 in grants will be awarded in late spring 2018. A typical budget for a project is expected to be limited to $50,000. However, larger budgets will be considered up to a maximum of $100,000. Special attention will be given to projects that demonstrate efficiency and economy of resources to pursue the research proposed, with the goal of making awards to as many of the highest rated proposals as possible.
All applications must be submitted through ROI’s portal on proposalCENTRAL
. The deadline to submit proposals is Thursday, March 1, by 5:00 p.m. Eastern time
. For more information about the Innovative Projects in Radiation Oncology RFP, visit the ROI’s website
The ROI is looking forward to seeing many inventive ideas for groundbreaking research in radiation oncology to address the pressing needs identified by members of our field. This is an opportunity to pursue research that may not be fundable by more traditional mechanisms. The ROI is investing in research to build a better future for radiation oncology, and you can be a part of it by submitting your innovative project proposal today.
In the comments, let us know what you think of these four proposal topics. What questions do you have about improving accessibility to radiation therapy?