Since launching their new grant funding model last May, the response they’ve received has been incredible. Kinloch shared that they received over a hundred expressions of interest from some of the most promising young researchers in Australia, all of whom are eager to pursue their novel research and develop new ways to treat cancer.
“We are incredibly proud to be supporting the future of cancer research,” said Cure Cancer CEO Nikki Kinloch.
Cure Cancer is a charity dedicated to building the best foundation for early career researchers in Australia. They offer essential seed funding to kick-start careers and nurture career development through networking symposiums and mentoring programs. Over the last 55 years, Cure Cancer has funded 540 research projects from more than 350 researchers and continues to grow its extensive alumni network.
Caroline Ford, Chair of Cure Cancer’s Research Committee, is optimistic about the contributions of early career researchers in the academe. She was a recipient of a Cure Cancer grant in 2011 for her research targeting a new epigenetic therapy for ovarian cancer and received the Women’s Agenda Award for Female Leader in Science, Medicine & Health in 2018.
“The application process is also arduous, often requiring dozens of pages of administrative and highly technical writing that can take months to write. This is time that is not spent on life-saving research,” added Ford.
Cure Cancer’s new grant program seeks to address this by having a highly efficient, light-touch expression of interest first, followed by a shortlisted full application process that has an expected success rate of 50%. The shortlisted candidates receive the results of their full application in just over a month. This two-step process ensures that we fund the best researchers, while substantially reducing the impact on the sector.
“We are very pleased with the results from this grant process in its pilot year,” adds Kinloch.
“Researchers typically wait almost a full year for grant outcomes; and in the meantime, they are in the dark whether they have the funding to continue working.”
With Cure Cancer’s new program, they’ve been able to give outcomes to EOI applicants within six weeks, and those invited to submit full
applications received theirs in just over a month.
“Our aim is to not only increase the level of funding for early-career cancer researchers but to make the process for applying for grants, quicker, simpler and more transparent.”
Menchie Khairuddin is a writer Deputy Content Manager at Akolade and content producer for Third Sector News. She is passionate about social affairs specifically in mixed, multicultural heritage and not-for-profit organisations.