Research strategy

Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca sul Cancro (AIRC) uses its funds to support cancer research in Italy. AIRC's mission is to understand, prevent and cure cancer through research and outreach activities. AIRC aims to find solutions to challenges in cancer research, awarding grants to the most deserving projects, as well as supporting training fellowships. AIRC is collaborating with other international cancer research charities and organisations to accelerate the attainment of its mission.

Excellence is our standard of choice

A crucial part of AIRC's work is deciding which projects to fund out of the numerous proposals received. This is a lengthy, rigorous and transparent process that AIRC has gradually fine-tuned over the years.

A project worthy of funding must be innovative. It must have aims with a substantial impact for cancer patients, and it has to be feasible, as proven by preliminary results and by the scientific qualifications of the applicants.

To review proposals according to these criteria and draw up a scale of merit, AIRC relies on a Scientific Committee whose 28 rotating members are chosen from among the top cancer experts in Italy and cover all the main areas of research. They include both laboratory scientists and doctors who work side by side with their patients.

Working in parallel with the Scientific Committee are about 600 foreign researchers, selected from the top echelons of cancer research. Every proposal, then, is first examined by two reviewers outside the country. Each reviewer evaluates all proposals concerning his or her area of expertise, and prepares a comparative ranking. The members of the Scientific Committee do likewise. This process takes about four months. The committee then meets for several days to study the rankings and decide which projects to fund, and submits its recommendations to the Board of Directors.