2017 FUNDING ROUND ANNOUNCEMENT

As we further establish Yorkshire Cancer Research as a prominent funder of patient focussed cancer research, we continue to define the areas of greatest need for the people and patients of Yorkshire. By detailed analysis of the latest data and information on cancer outcomes in the region (see Cancer in Yorkshire Report) we have identified thematic areas to be addressed in this year’s Funding Round consistent with our mission to help the people of Yorkshire to avoid, survive and cope with cancer. 

As part of our commitment to invest £100m over a 10 year period in cancer research for the benefit of Yorkshire people, we have allocated £8 millon for the 2017 Funding Round to support work in the following priority areas:

Living with and beyond cancer

1. Preventing recurrence and promoting better quality of survival for people living with and beyond cancer in Yorkshire

Lifestyle interventions - We are particularly interested in proposals which incorporate individualised approaches and can evidence clinical endpoints within the timeframe of the proposed study.

Interventions to support patient self-management - We encourage projects that support patients' self-management during and after active treatment. This may include:

  • Adherence to medication regimens
  • Improved patient knowledge of signs and symptoms of recurrence and late effects of treatment
  • Self-management of cancer treatment-related consequences including late effects
  • Better patient understanding of routes back into the system 

2. Interventions to address inequalities in access to survivorship services

Inequalities are known to exist across the cancer pathway during and after active treatment. We seek to have a significant impact on the availability and uptake of support services which are thought to vary across Yorkshire by:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Geography
  • Deprivation
  • Ethnicity

3. Living with and managing advanced cancer

There is a gap in knowledge about understanding the needs of patients with metastatic, advanced cancer. Proposals could encompass the optimal clinical management of advanced cancer patients or understanding the psycho-social needs of this patient group, including patients that have declined active treatment or those treated without curative intent.

Early diagnosis

4. Interventions which improve the awareness of cancer signs and symptoms, and translate this awareness into action, targeted towards at-risk populations

We seek to have a significant impact on the earlier diagnosis of cancer in Yorkshire by supporting interventions involving those at higher risk of developing cancer due to:

  • Lifestyle issue - such as smoking, unhealthy diet or weight, or low levels of physical activity
  • Geography - due to living in areas of higher deprivation, or in rural areas without good access to cancer services
  • Ethnicity - specifically black and minority ethnic groups and those that have large communities within Yorkshire

5. Developing and delivering interventions that can achieve a significant stage shift in diagnosis

Our 10 year goal is by 2025 at least 2,000 fewer people in Yorkshire will die from cancer every year. Because late stage cancer diagnoses have worse survival rates than those diagnosed at early stages (see NCIN 2012 publication), if we can achieve a significant stage shift in diagnoses we will have a major impact on lives saved. We would be most interested in interventions in the most common cancers where outcomes are heavily influenced by stage of diagnosis. Applying best practice and innovation within the health services would be encouraged.

6. Addressing variations in cancer screening uptake at a local level

CCGs show significant variations in their cancer screening uptake rates at the level of individual GP practices despite ongoing pilots both in the UK and abroad. Interventions should aim to improve screening rates in the National Cancer Screening Programmes in lower performing areas to meet or exceed the national minimum targets. While interventions might be delivered at the CCG level, measurement of the efficacy of the interventions would be expected to be evaluated at CCG and/or GP practice level to demonstrate an impact in the poorly performing areas. Innovations to roll out successful pilots within Yorkshire are encouraged, including those using new technologies such as social media and electronic messaging.

Clinical trials

7. Expanding clinical trials in Yorkshire for wider-scale patient benefit

Evidence shows that patients involved in clinical trials have better outcomes overall. Therefore, expansion of clinical trials in the region may be expected to not only speed up the process of moving research from the laboratory into clinical application, but also to benefit those patients involved in the studies themselves. We seek to increase the number of clinical trials for cancer treatments including surgery and radiotherapy as well as trials which examine transitions in care pathways or quality of life. We are interested in trials involving the most common cancer types and stages where poorer outcomes have the potential to achieve the greatest gains.

Important considerations for all applications

All applicants must demonstrate clearly how their proposal aligns with one or more of the 7 funding priorities which are the focus of the current Funding Round. Any application must also address specific cancer problems in Yorkshire. Applications must outline how, if the research were to be successful, the work would help people in Yorkshire avoid, survive and cope with cancer. 

Rigorous evaluation of any interventions must be an essential component of any proposal, including baseline measurements wherever possible. We encourage community-based approaches that incorporate co‑design involving the target population as well as involving commissioners at the outset of any project.

There is a specific requirement to contact the Charity before making an application to check that your proposal is in scope for the 2017 Funding Round.

To arrange a phone call please email research@ycr.org.uk

Applications will be accepted from any organisation in the UK that can deliver improvements in Yorkshire in the priority areas outlined above.

Supporting documents are available to download on our website.

Expert workshops

Many thanks to all those that participated in our 2016 and 2017 Expert workshops in Lung Cancer and Early Diagnosis (2016) and Living With and Beyond Cancer (2017). These events have been invaluable for us in order to better understand the research landscape and thereby informing our research priorities moving forward.

New Interim Chief Executive

Many of you may have already heard the news that Charles Rowett, Yorkshire Cancer Research’s Chief Executive of the past 4 years, has recently stepped down and that Kathryn Scott, our Director of Research and Innovation, is now also the Interim Chief Executive.

Charles led the Charity through a time of significant change with a redefinition of the Charity’s strategic objectives and a move towards a more patient focussed award portfolio. Under Charles’s tenure we also developed and are now delivering our Community Health Initiative engaging with people to reduce their cancer risks. We are sure you will join us in wishing Charles all the best in his new ventures. 

With this change we’re very pleased to welcome Kathryn to her new role. With her experience of 9 years heading up the Research Team Kathryn is well placed to provide continuity to the Charity during this transition.

We hope to announce the appointment of a new Chief Executive later this year so please keep an eye on our website for further news.

Changes for Award Holders

We have decided to make some changes to the obligations of Award Holders with respect to the Intellectual Property (IP) disclosure process and the timing of Key Performance Indicator (KPI) meetings for new Awards. If, after reading the information below, you have any queries about these changes, please contact research@ycr.org.uk.

Disclosure

As a result of the Charity’s recent strategic shift to focus on areas of investment closer to patients, we have undertaken a further careful analysis of our portfolio and any IP stemming from our funded work. In light of this review we have made the decision that we will no longer require a routine IP review of papers, abstracts, posters and talks deriving from research awards wholly or partly funded by the Charity. This process will now be replaced by a PR review as described below. Of course, if you do have potential IP issues with your Award which you’d like to discuss with us, please do contact us at research@ycr.org.uk and also get in touch with your Organisation’s own Technology Transfer Office. 

Effective immediately, all papers deriving from your funded work must be submitted to press@ycr.org.uk for scrutiny by our PR and communications team so that we can gain internal and external coverage on stories of interest to our donors, stakeholders and the general public. The manuscript should be accompanied by a Research Publicity Form which is downloadable from our website. Our Communications Team will be in touch directly if they decide to cover the work.

KPI meetings

For new Awards, KPI meetings will now be held at the start of the award, 6 months from the start date and subsequently at annual intervals. We will be in touch again soon with all Award Holders that are due a KPI meeting about setting up forthcoming meetings. Award Holders should plan to submit a revised KPI document and updated financial report one week prior to each KPI meeting.

Data Protection

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