The applications based on set criteria: the applicant’s merits, the quality of the research plan and the project’s cancer relevance.

CANCER FOUNDATION FINLAND’S GRANTS

How and with what criteria does the Cancer Foundation award research grants?

Grants for research and scientific activity are awarded annually in spring (travel grants) and autumn (research grants and dissertation grants).

The grant decisions are made by the Board of the Cancer Foundation. The Board takes a preliminary decision in January on the amounts to be used for the various types of grants. In November, it decides on the research grants and dissertation grants that were open for application in the summer.

The grant applications are reviewed by experts – active and distinguished cancer researchers, professors or docent-level researchers (adjunct professors) from different universities and research institutes.

  •  There are two evaluation committees: the Evaluation Committee for Clinical Research  and the Evaluation Committee for Basic Research . Both committees have seven members and a chair. The Evaluation Committee for Clinical Research is additionally supported by two experts in psychosocial and nursing research.
  • The evaluation committees rate the applications based on set criteria: the applicant’s merits, the quality of the research plan and the project’s cancer relevance.
  • The Grants Committee  consists of a chair and the chairs of both evaluation committees and some of their members. Based on the available funds and the ratings given by the evaluation committees, the Grants Committee will prepare a proposal on grantees for the Board of the Cancer Foundation.

Members of the evaluation committees, the Grants Committee and the Board of the Cancer Foundation may apply for grants from the Cancer Foundation. In such cases, their applications and the decisions on them will be processed following the disqualification principles laid down in the Finnish Administrative Procedure Act and the related party guidelines of the Foundations Act. Applicants will not participate in the discussions, rating or decision-making concerning their applications. Under the regulations on related parties, the grants of all persons associated with the Cancer Foundation are reported in the annual report.

TRAVEL GRANTS

The Cancer Foundation awards travel grants to cancer professionals for travel related to meetings and training. The grants are awarded based on the applicant’s merits as well as the cancer relevance of the meeting and its significance for developing the applicant’s professional skills.

Applications for travel grants are invited each year in February. The applications are reviewed by the Grants Committee. Based on the ratings given, the chair of the Grants Committee and the secretary general of the Cancer Society of Finland will decide the grantees by the beginning of May.

The travel grant is paid against supporting documents, and its size varies depending on the destination (Nordic countries, Europe, the rest of the world). Travel grants awarded in 2020 may be used until the end of 2021 due to circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

RESEARCH and DISSERTATION GRANTS

Syöpäsäätiö tukee Suomessa tehtävää kliinistä, epidemiologista ja psykososiaalista syöpätutkimusta sekä syöpään kohdistuvaa perustutkimusta. Rahoitettavalla tutkijalla tai hankkeella ei saa olla voimassa olevaa tai viimeaikaista tukea tupakkateollisuudelta.

The Cancer Foundation supports clinical, epidemiological and psychosocial cancer research in Finland as well as basic cancer research. Research grants are not awarded to researchers or research projects that have ongoing or recent funding from the tobacco industry.

The Cancer Foundation’s research grants are intended to support the work of research teams and are paid into the account of the host organisation (site of research). The research organisation may use the grant to pay for researcher salaries/grants, material, equipment or animal experimentation costs, travel expenses, etc. The Cancer Foundation does not directly award personal grants for research work.

The research grant sizes currently vary from one-year grants of 50,000 euros to a three-year major grant of 450,000 euros.

The Cancer Foundation’s dissertation grants are so-called incentive grants. The grant, currently 4,000 euros, can only be obtained once. It is intended for applicants whose dissertation work is already well advanced.

REVIEW AND DECISION-MAKING

Applications for the Cancer Foundation’s grants are invited each year in June–August. The exact dates are announced on the Cancer Foundation’s website in May.

After the call has closed, the applications are processed by the chairs of the evaluation committees and the Grants Committee and the research director of the Cancer Foundation. Four reviewers will be assigned to applications that meet the application criteria. The reviewers represent the committee to whose remit the applicant has assigned the project (clinical research, epidemiological research, psychosocial research or basic research).

Eight reviewers, four from each committee, will be assigned to applications for major grants.

The committee members review the applications assigned to them and rate them based on the applicant’s merits and the scientific quality and cancer relevance of the project.

After the review has been completed, the committees will meet and discuss the applications. After the discussion, a final score will be decided for each application, which the entire committee then approves.

Once the committees have decided the final scores, the Grants Committee will discuss them and prepare a final proposal on the grantees for the Board of the Cancer Foundation. The proposal contains a predetermined number of major grants as well as the grants for psychosocial cancer research, other research grants and the dissertation grants.

The Board decides the grantees based on a decision proposal by the chair of the Grants Committee. After the decision has been made, the grants are announced on the website, and the grantees are sent a personal grant letter complete with instructions on grant payment.

The processing of applications begins at the end of August after the call has closed. The Board of the Cancer Foundation decides the grantees in early November. The grants awarded are published on the website on the day after the Board’s decision.

The first instalments can be paid at the earliest in December following the decision.

Board of Cancer Foundation Finland

Academician Sirpa Jalkanen, Turku (chair)

Professor Tapio Visakorpi, Tampere (vice chair)

Professor Klaus Elenius, Turku

Professor emeritus Eero Kasanen, Helsinki

Petri Koivunen, Title of Docent, Oulu

Rector emeritus Kalervo Väänänen, Turku

Chief Medical Officer Liisa Sailas, Kuopio

Member of Parliament Sari Sarkomaa, Helsinki

Leading Specialist Kari Varkila, Helsinki

Executive Officer Riitta Pyhälä, Helsinki

Grants Committee:

Professor Klaus Elenius, Turku (chair)

Professor Sampsa Hautaniemi, Helsinki

Professor emeritus Helena Isoniemi, Helsinki

Professor Juha E. Jääskeläinen, Kuopio

Professor Veli-Matti Kosma, Kuopio

Professor Outi Kuittinen, Kuopio

Professor Pirjo Laakkonen, Helsinki

Professor Matti Nykter, Tampere

Janne Pitkäniemi, Title of Docent, Helsinki

Katri Pylkäs, Title of Docent, Oulu

Evaluation Committee:

Professor Juha E. Jääskeläinen, Kuopio (chair)

Annika Auranen, Title of Docent, Tampere

Professor Sampsa Hautaniemi, Helsinki

Professor emeritus Helena Isoniemi, Helsinki

Janne Pitkäniemi, Title of Docent, Helsinki

Katri Pylkäs, Title of Docent, Oulu

Maija Tarkkanen, Title of Docent, Helsinki

Professor Panu Jaakkola, Turku

Senior specialists in psychosocial and nursing research

Professor Katri Räikkönen, Helsinki

Professor emeritus Erkki Vartiainen, Helsinki

Professor Veli-Matti Kosma, Kuopio (chair)

Jussi Koivunen, Title of Docent, Oulu

Professor Pirjo Laakkonen, Helsinki

Professor Matti Nykter, Tampere

Merja Heinäniemi, Title of Docent, Kuopio