Anna Diaz Font and Charlotte Constable Fernandez, from World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) International's Research Funding team, share their thoughts on this year’s grant programme, which is open until 4 October 2018.
WCRF International’s mission is to eradicate preventable cancers that can be attributed to diet, nutrition or physical activity. Our research grant programme is an important element of how we fulfil that mission.
Alongside our Continuous Update Project (CUP), the grant programme funds external researchers looking into the effects of diet, nutrition and physical activity on cancer prevention and survival; complementing and broadening the research in the CUP.
Our latest cancer prevention report, Diet, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Cancer: a Global Perspective, identified six knowledge gaps and areas where further research is this field is needed. Our grant programme is focusing on four of these research areas:
- Biological mechanisms by which diet, body composition and physical activity affect cancer processes.
- The impact of diet, nutrition and physical activity throughout the life course on cancer risk.
- Stronger evidence for the impact of diet, nutrition and physical activity on outcomes in cancer survivors.
- Globally representative research on relevant exposures and cancer.
Our job in the Research Funding team is to deliver the grant programme; from the opening of the call for applications to supporting our awarded researchers. We are very excited to see what applications are made this year and to work with our Grant Panel members who specialise in nutrition and cancer research. We hope this year’s programme will provide some exciting insights into the future of cancer prevention and survival work.
Changes to our grant programme
This year, our grant programme has had a slight change making it more flexible. We are now accepting applications proposing the use of animal models and cell lines as part of the project; to reflect this we have broadened the expertise of our Grant Panel.
Collaboration across countries
Our grant programme accepts applications from anywhere in the world except the Americas (North America, Central America including the Caribbean, and South America), which has its own programme. We continue to encourage international collaborations and research from low- and middle-income countries, with the aim of strengthening the capacity of cancer prevention and survival research from under-represented regions. Unfortunately, less evidence is available from low- and middle-income countries. Therefore, research from these areas is encouraged to gain globally representative evidence on cancer and the effects of nutrition and physical activity.
We look forward to receiving many interesting proposals this year and hope that the knowledge we gain from the research we fund will have real world impact. Applications must be submitted online by 5pm British Summer Time (BST) on 4 October 2018.