Open Calls for Research

The Eve Appeal Research Funding Calls: opening July 2018

  1. Early diagnosis and prevention of Womb Cancer
  2. Understanding the development of Small Cell Ovarian Cancer

Deadline: Thursday 20th September 2018

Introduction and Rationale

In the UK every year there are up to 21,000 women who are diagnosed with a gynaecological cancer, and 22 women die from these conditions each day. Although the five main gynaecological cancers of womb, ovarian, cervical, vulval and vaginal cancer account for 6% of all new cancer diagnoses, and 5% of all cancer related deaths, awareness of these diseases remains low. The Eve Appeal is determined to change this to a future where women are more aware of, fewer women develop and more women survive gynaecological cancers.

Research supported by The Eve Appeal is wholly focused on developing effective methods of risk prediction, prevention, the better diagnosis and early detection of all gynaecological cancers. With the ultimate aim of developing a more systematic and comprehensive screening for this group of cancers and significantly improving patient mortality.

The Eve Appeal has received private donations from people who have been personally affected by gynaecological cancer to support research restricted to two priority disease areas. The charity is now seeking innovative applications from the UK research community for work in either of these two discrete fields.

Call 1: To advance and improve the early diagnosis and prevention of Endometrial Cancer.

Call 2: To advance and improve our understanding of the development of Small Cell Ovarian Cancer.

These two restricted calls are open to individual researchers or teams affiliated to a university, hospital or other recognised research institution in the UK. The Eve Appeal is keen to increase the numbers of researchers working in the field of gynaecological cancers with the aim of improving the chances of new breakthroughs and the potential transfer of knowledge and findings from other cancer fields. Emerging evidence from other disease areas suggests there may be similarities across diseases in risk factors and mechanistic features, with potential opportunities to drive forward our understanding of the causes of individual cancers by encouraging research that works across, or learns from other cancer conditions.

The deadline for applications is 4pm Thursday 20th September 2018.

Research Priority Areas

  1. For the early diagnosis and prevention of Endometrial Cancer

9,000 women were diagnosed with womb cancer in 2015, and there were 2360 recorded deaths attributed to womb cancer. Endometrial cancer was the subject of a James Lind Alliance (JLA) priority setting exercise in 2017.  This exercise aimed to raise awareness of and prioritise research questions which are of direct relevance and potential benefit to patients and the clinicians who treat them.  A number of these priority questions align with the Eve Appeal strategic objectives and applicants are encouraged to respond to one or more of these aligned priorities. For further information and background to the JLA priority setting exercise – please click here.

The specific JLA Priority research questions aligned with the Eve Appeal strategic objectives are detailed below:

  • Is it possible to develop a personalised risk score which reflects a woman’s individual risk of developing endometrial cancer?
  • Which women with abnormal vaginal bleeding should be referred for specialist review?
  • Can we predict which women will benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy or radiotherapy and avoid ineffective treatments?
  • Are blood tests, including markers like CA125, useful in predicting duration of survivorship and/or recurrent disease?
  • What ways of raising public awareness about endometrial cancer are the most effective and cost-effective?
  • Can we predict the time of diagnosis which endometrial cancers and precancerous lesions will respond to hormone treatment? 
  1. Understanding the development of Small Cell Ovarian Cancer

Small cell is a rare but important type of ovarian cancer that predominantly affects young women, with a mean age of 24 years at diagnosis and often with a poor prognosis. It represents less than 1% of all ovarian cancer diagnoses, with fewer than 300 cases reported in the literature so far. The Eve Appeal currently supports the Small Cell Ovarian Cancer Project. This collaborative project aims to develop an International Patient Registry, consolidating the knowledge and experience of both patients and clinicians to provide a foundation for effective research into small cell ovarian cancer. Building on this unique dataset, we are particularly interested in research which aims to understand if we can identify factors that put women at risk of developing small cell ovarian cancer. Prospective applicants are advised to discuss their research ideas with the team at Cambridge University that is hosting the Small Cell Ovarian Cancer Project.

Outputs from these two priority research studies:

  • Annual reports detailing the progress made through the project to be submitted through the Researchfish reporting platform.
  • A final report submitted to The Eve Appeal describing the work undertaken and how it has addressed one or more of the challenges identified above.

Outcomes from the Study:

  • It is expected that the successful awardees will be in a stronger position to apply for longer-term funding from funders such as the MRC, CRUK, Wellcome Trust, industry, EU and other relevant funding bodies.
  • Through close working with The Eve Appeal, to help raise public comprehension of gynaecological (womb/small cell) cancers and so provide the basis for better understanding of all gynaecological cancer conditions.
  • These areas of research could open up new research avenues for all gynaecological cancer conditions.

Application and assessment process

Who can apply and what you can apply for:

  • The Principal Applicant must hold a permanent post at either a UK Higher Education Institution or within the NHS.
  • Though the applications should have a UK focus, collaborations with international partners are encouraged.
  • The award for Endometrial Cancer will be for up to £75,000 for up to 36 months with an expected start-date of January 2019.
  • The award for Small Cell Ovarian Cancer will be for up to £50,000, for up to 24 months with an expected starting date of January 2019.

Institutional Approval

Research involving patients, service users, care professionals or volunteers, or their organs, tissue or data must obtain Research Ethics Committee (REC) approval before any work can start. For any pre-clinical studies using animal models, The Eve Appeal is fully committed to the 3Rs principles (Replace, Reduce, Refine) and all funded research should abide by rules set out by the Home Office. Under this system, animals can only be used when there is no alternative.

The application must be approved within the host institution by both the Principal Applicant and the Head of Department or their equivalent.  The application form must also be signed by the Finance/Administrative Officer on behalf of the institution. Those signing must have the authority to sign on behalf of the institution. We will accept electronic signatures.

Assessment

This is a single stage application process.

Applications will undergo expert peer review. Assessment by lay people may also form part of the review process, as such, applicants should carefully consider the use of non-scientific language in the application form and particularly in the lay summary.

Depending on the number of applications, The Eve Appeal may undertake a triage stage based on peer reviewer feedback prior to the final scientific expert panel meeting. The panel of scientific experts will recommend funding awards to the Trustees of The Eve Appeal Charity.

The criteria used to assess applications include:

  • Relevance to the understanding of risk prediction and/or prevention, or the development of early and better diagnosis of these priority gynaecological cancers.
  • Involvement of people with gynaecological conditions in the proposed research.
  • Clear description and justification of how the project methodology will address the proposed study design and deliver the required outcomes.
  • Strength and make-up of the research team, including multidisciplinary collaboration and proposed management arrangements.
  • Applicants’ track record and ability to deliver the proposed research, and the facilities to conduct the proposed research.
  • Feasibility, the potential to deliver the stated outcomes within the timescales and budget.
  • Value for money.

Patient and Public Involvement

We believe that involving people affected by medical conditions strengthens the quality and relevance of medical research. We encourage applicants to consider how the quality, feasibility or practicality of their proposal could be improved by involving people affected by gynaecological cancer in its development and oversight.

Contact details and how to submit an application

To submit a proposal on one of these topics, please download the application form here.

Deadline for application 4pm, Thursday 20th September 2018

We will not accept applications after this deadline. If you have not received an acknowledgement of your application within three working days please contact: helen.hurman@eveappeal.org.uk

Planned notification of awards: December 2018

Planned project start dates: January 2019

For any enquiries on these calls, please contact: helen.hurman@eveappeal.org.uk