Cancer Center leadership is calling on members to submit their boldest ideas for future research projects and collaborations that will drive funding priorities and scientific emphasis over the coming decade.
Funding high risk-high reward ideas is how we really change things.
Alan Ashworth, PhD, FRS
This call for provocative questions and new research hubs is the latest phase of the center’s patient-centric strategic planning process, called Cancer Research 2030, launched in 2019 to map out scientific priorities through 2030.
Eric Small, MD, Deputy Director and Chief Scientific Officer for the Cancer Center, said leadership is looking to members for several things: bold scientific interrogations, innovative, collaborative research teams, and ideas for tools and resources useful to members as they consider how their research applies to the cancer center’s catchment area, which has been reduced from 48 Northern California counties to the 25 contiguous Bay Area counties from which most of the Cancer Center’s patients come.
“These broad, provocative questions will be the basis for future funding and future directions,” Small said. “We’re looking for high risk-high reward ideas, and we want people to be bold.”
The deadline for provocative ideas is July 31st. In August, leadership will select several for first-round, undisclosed but “substantial” funding.
Members can learn more, submit or comment on provocative questions at this link.
Regarding the call for research hubs, also eligible for funding, Small said they are distinct from existing programs groups and can be described in the following ways:
- Disease oriented and cross-cutting
- Long-standing interest groups
- New, self-identified groups
- Proposed by leadership
- Identified by the center-wide strategic planning process thus far
- Encouraged but not required to foster laboratory science, clinical research, and population science
- Premium placed on transdisciplinary research
Research Hubs (partial list)
For more information about new research hubs, contact Meredith Donnelly.
The cancer center’s risk tolerance for funding bold ideas stems, in part, from the National Cancer Institute’s Provocative Questions Initiative launched in 2011 to “to stimulate research in perplexing and underexplored areas identified by the cancer research community.”
“The other important part of this is that this cancer center has a history of setting the pace for global cancer research in a number of areas,” said Cancer Center President Alan Ashworth, PhD, FRS. “Any one of our members or teams can lead the center in a new direction, and in turn, do the same for the field. Funding high risk-high reward ideas is how we really change things.”