In over fifty years, AIRC has refined the method by which the most deserving cancer research projects are selected. This method, the international standard of “peer review”, entrusts the evaluation of projects to international experts free of any conflict of interest.
In order to solicit laboratory results which may foster the development of effective cancer treatments, AIRC supports grants and fellowships selected by merit, whose applications are solicited by Calls of proposals with different goals and purposes.
One of our goals is to nurture a new generation of scientists devoted to cancer research, supporting them in an educational path that provides training opportunities at major research facilities in Italy and abroad, where they can learn from world leaders in cancer research. The strength of these grants also lies in creating the preconditions that will encourage researchers to come back to Italy, with fellowships such as the iCARE Marie Curie Reintegration cofunded by the European Union, the Start-Up grants and My First Airc Grant (MFAG). Thus, the knowledge acquired abroad can be put to use in our country.
Established senior scientists are supported with long-term programmes such as the Investigator Grants and the special programmes, ensuring constant support throughout the long process that leads to great scientific results.
The task of the Scientific Review Committee (CTS) and International reviewers is to identify the most promising research projects and to evaluate their results over time, hence offering the opportunity to measure and verify AIRC’s ability to put its funds to the best possible use. The project evaluation process lasts about nine months, and in 2018 it involved 408 international scientists within a panel of more than 600 international researchers and 28 CTS members. The selection of fellowship applications for Italy is entrusted to three CTS members, whereas the ones for abroad undergo the evaluation by two CTS members and an international reviewer. With regard to the selection of iCARE-2 grants, which are co-funded by the European Union, the evaluation involves two international reviewers and one member of the CTS. The peer review process is managed by the personnel of the peer review office, thanks to a web platform developed specifically for this purpose, ensuring the utmost efficiency throughout the process.
The major steps of any AIRC funding scheme is summarized in this diagram:
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