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Innovative research projects in radiation oncology invited for Radiation Oncology Institute seed funding initiative

Proposals due July 22 for high-risk, high-reward projects that inform policy or impact outcomes in cancer treatment

ARLINGTON, Va., May 31, 2016 – Researchers with novel ideas for high-risk, high-reward projects are encouraged to apply for the Radiation Oncology Institute’s (ROI) Innovative Projects in Radiation Oncology program, which will award grants of up to $50,000 to multiple projects that address the highest impact research questions for the field. Proposals are due July 22, 2016, for projects to be completed by October 2017, and awards will be announced September 25, 2016, in conjunction with the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) 58th Annual Meeting.

“Groundbreaking ideas with the potential to advance our understanding of radiation therapy and its role in cancer treatment are key to proeviding the best care for our patients,” said ROI President Deborah A. Kuban, MD, FASTRO. “This initiative is designed to find and support these innovative ideas which ultimately will impact on patient care on a daily basis.”

Eligible projects could address any aspect of radiation oncology that falls within the scope of the priority research topic areas identified in the ROI National Radiation Oncology Research Needs Assessment, which was conducted during the ROI’s formative years to determine the most pressing areas of need for research in radiation oncology. These priority research areas include:

  • Communication – identifying and developing communication strategies to improve awareness and understanding of radiotherapy by referring physicians, patients and others
  • Quality and safety – establishing general quality indicators for radiation oncology treatment
  • Comparative effectiveness – conducting comparative effectiveness studies that consider efficacy, toxicity (including quality of life) and other outcomes
  • Toxicity management – identifying best practices for management of radiation toxicity and other issues in cancer survivorship
  • Value – assessing the value of radiotherapy/radiation oncology relative to other treatment modalities

Proposals should address the highest impact research questions for the field of radiation oncology, inform policy development and/or enhance outcomes in cancer treatment. Special consideration will be given to proposals that are not otherwise fundable through traditional sources, as well as projects that would lead to important research with practical applications for radiation oncology professionals.

Multiple projects will be selected for funding, and with the goal of making awards to as many of the highest rated proposals as possible, special attention will be given to projects that demonstrate efficiency and economy of resources to pursue the research proposed. A typical budget for a project supported by this mechanism is expected to be limited to $25,000, though larger budgets will be considered with the firm limit that costs may not exceed $50,000.

Eligible applicants include individuals from institutions and organizations in the radiation oncology community; research consortia; and individuals from institutions or organizations with expertise and qualifications needed for specified research. Applicants enrolled in residency programs require a designated faculty mentor.

Criteria for evaluation of scientific and technical merit include overall impact, significance/importance, approach, innovation, investigators, research environment, and budget. Each completed proposal will be scored by a minimum of two qualified reviewers.

Detailed information about the Request for Proposal (RFP), the application process and evaluation criteria is available at

The Radiation Oncology Institute (ROI) is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) foundation created in 2006 by the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Board of Directors to support research and education efforts around the world that heighten the critical role of radiation therapy in the treatment of cancer. ROI strategically funds research on new and existing radiation therapy treatments to identify links between best practices and improved outcomes, to evaluate the efficacy and cost-benefit of radiation therapy and to foster multi-institutional research in radiation oncology. For more information, visit