BIG CAT (Beginning Investigator Grant for Catalytic Research)

About

The key objectives of the African Organization for Research and Training in Cancer (AORTIC) are to further research relating to cancers of relevance to Africa; to support training programs in oncology for health care workers and researchers, and to deal with the challenges of creating cancer control programs and to raise public awareness of cancer in Africa.

The U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) has been a long-standing supporter of AORTIC’s vision for enhancing cancer research and cancer control in Africa for the three (3) BIG Cat cohorts.

Purpose

The Beginning Investigator Grant for Catalytic (BIG Cat) Research, Cohorts I-III, a collaboration between AORTIC and NCI, was intended to support exploratory data collection by African scientists engaged in cancer research in Africa. The BIG Cat funding was not intended to support longer term research but to catalyze subsequent application for funding from NCI and/or other sources.

The grants are not intended for principal investigators outside of Africa, although collaborative research projects are encouraged. All funds provided must be spent in Africa. Research proposals are encouraged that span the cancer continuum (descriptive epidemiology, prevention, detection, diagnosis, and treatment including supportive and palliative care and behavioral research).

BIG Cat funding is intended to support research projects i.e., the funding is not intended to enhance or improve healthcare services directly but is for research aimed at forming a basis for reducing the burden of cancer in Africa.

The BIG CAT research funding is intended to support cancer research in Africa by African clinicians and scientists. The grant is $50 000 for a 2 year period.

To date BIG Cat Cohort I –  III have been completed and we are currently initiating BIG CAT Cohort IV.

ABOUT BIG Cat Cohort IV

AN AFRICAN ORGANISATION FOR RESEARCH AND TRAINING IN CANCER (AORTIC) PROGRAM Administered by AACR and in coordination with the U.S. National Cancer Institute Center for Global Health (NCI/CGH) and supported by Takeda Pharmeceuticals. Please read the Program Guidelines and Competitive Letter of Intent Instructions carefully before submitting a Letter of Intent. Final determinations of eligibility will not be made until the AACR is in receipt of the fully submitted Letter of Intent.

IMPORTANT DATES:

Letter of Intent Deadline: 12/15/2021 5:00 PM (UTC)

Letter of Intent Notification Deadline:  February 2022

Application Deadline: 3/29/2022 5:00 PM (UTC)

Decision Date:  June 2022

Grant Term:  2 years

Start of Grant Term:  07/01/2022

Grant Amount:  $55,000 USD

MORE ABOUT BIG Cat IV

BIG Cat is a premier initiative by the African Organization for Research and Training in Cancer (AORTIC) to build capacity for cancer research in Africa. The  goal of BIG Cat program is to aid the next generation of African cancer researchers to base their careers in their home countries and institutions, and to contribute to the overall expansion of capacity for research and training in Africa by generating evidence that will guide practice and policy. BIG Cat was initiated in 2010 by the US National Cancer Institute Center for Global Health (NCI/CGH), and it is now a collaborative effort of AORTIC, American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), and NCI/CGH, with funding support from Partners including academic, industrial and scientific organizations.

The research proposed for funding may be in any area of cancer research, including basic research, clinical research, population-based research and translational research across the cancer care continuum (prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment , supportive and palliative care, and survivorship). These grants are intended to catalyze subsequent application for funding from other funding sources, not to support longer term research. Each grant will provide US$55,000 over two years for expenses related to the research project, which may include salary and benefits of the grant recipient and any collaborator, postdoctoral or clinical research fellows, graduate students (including tuition costs), and/or research assistants, research/laboratory supplies, equipment, publication charges for manuscripts that pertain directly to the funded project, and other research expenses. Indirect costs is limited to no more than 10% of the total grant amount. Up to US$10,000 may be allocated from the grant to support travel applicable to the research project and relevant scientific meetings, including mandatory attendance at the 2023 AACR Annual Meeting and biennial AORTIC conference. The grants are not intended for principal investigators outside of Africa, although collaborative research projects are encouraged. All funds provided must be spent in Africa with the exception of limited support for travel to international scientific meetings and conferences.

  • Program Guidelines

Competitive Letter of Intent Program Guidelines and Application Instructions are available for download here.

  • Research Project Criteria

Research projects may be in any area of cancer research, including basic research, clinical research, population-based research and translational research
across the cancer care continuum (prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment and survivorship). Applicants are encouraged to be innovative in their
research proposals and demonstrate local relevance of their proposed research.

  • Eligibility Criteria

At the start of the grant term on July 1, 2022, the Principal investigator (PI) must:

  1. Be a beginning investigator, defined as a clinician or scientist who received his or her highest degree of study within the past ten years. An earned academic (or research) doctorate [such as a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)], or medical degree [such as a Doctor of Medicine (MD),Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) or Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery (MB ChB, MB BS, BM MCh, etc.)] which is considered the highest degree of study in most African countries. When an investigator has received multiple terminal degrees, the calculation will be based on the date of award of the most recent degree.
  2. Be a current member with AORTIC. Note: AORTIC membership is also mandatory at LOI stage.
  3. Reside in and be conducting research in Africa with particular relevance to the African cancer burden on the continent. Proof of residency is required.
  4. Have legal residency status in Africa.
  5. Not have received a BIG CAT award in prior years.

AACR is obligated to comply with U.S. laws and regulations regarding research and related transactions in countries subject to  US Government

enforcement of economic and trade sanctions for particular foreign policy and national security reasons.  If your proposed project involves

US Government sanctioned countries subject to restrictions, please contact the AACR’s Scientific Review and Grants Administration (the AACR’s SRGA) at

grants@aacr.org.

   

Citizen Requirements:

Applicants must have legal residency status in Africa. A list of eligible countries can be found in the Competitive Letter of Intent Program Guidelines and Application Instructions. Proof of residency is required.

AORTIC and AACR Membership:

AORTIC and AACR membership are required. Only AORTIC members in good standing will be eligible to submit a Letter of Intent. Nonmembers of AORTIC can apply for AORTIC membership online at aortic-africa.org/become-a-member/. If selected for submission of a full application, any nonmembers will need to also submit an application for AACR Membership, and be members in good standing, by the full application deadline. Nonmembers of AACR can apply for AACR membership online. Lapsed members can renew their membership through myAACR to bring their membership current. You will need your logon (email address) and password to access the member portal. If you require assistance logging in, please submit a help form. Lapsed members must be members in good standing by the full application deadline and should contact the Membership Department at membership@aacr.org for assistance.

Application Instructions:

Competitive Letter of Intent Program Guidelines and Application Instructions are available for download here.

The BIG Cat program requires applicants to complete an online Letter of Intent submission by 5:00 p.m. UTC (1:00 p.m. Eastern Time) on Wednesday, December 15, 2021, using the ProposalCentral website at https://proposalcentral.com/.

BIG Cat Press Release 2

BIG CAT COHORT I AWARDEES

NAME RESEARCH PROJECT TITLE COUNTRY
BIG Cat Cohort I
Adebola Adejimi (and C. Asuzu) Cancer & Traditional Healers Nigeria
Chibuike Chigbu Cervical Cancer Nigeria
Pedro Fernandez Prostate Cancer South Africa
Innocent Mutyaba Childhood Cancer Uganda
Michael Mwachiro Oesophageal Cancer Kenya
Karin Richter Cervical Cancer South Africa

BIG CAT COHORT II AWARDEES

NAME RESEARCH PROJECT TITLE COUNTRY
BIG Cat Cohort II
Gabriel Ogun Nasopharyngeal Carcinomas in Nigerians Nigeria
Fred Okuku Impact of clinical guidelines for Kaposi’s Sarcoma in Uganda Uganda
Caroline Dickens Breast Carcinoma Receptor subtypes in HIV+ & HIV- women South Africa
Lindsay Farrant Life-limiting progressive malignant disease South Africa
Elijah Onwudiwe Treatment of women who tested positive to VIA and VILI Nigeria
Seth Wiafe Knowledge, Attitudes & Practices – early detection breast Ghana

BIG Cat Cohorts III Awardees

NAME RESEARCH PROJECT TITLE COUNTRY
BIG Cat Cohorts III
Sengayi, Mazvita Burden of cancers attributable to HIV in South Africa (2005 – 2015) South Africa
Guisseve, Assucena Hormone receptors and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 in breast cancer in Mozambique: patterns of expression and relation with etiology, management and prognosis Mozambique
Kayamba, Violet Gastric cancer in Zambia: analysis of risk factors and strategies for early detection Zambia
Kirimunda, Samuel HLA class in burkitts lymphoma diagnosed East African minors Uganda
Masamba, Leo Incidence of neutropaenia and its complications in chemotherapy patients at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Blantyre-Malawi Malawi
Kassaman, Diana The cancer related health literacy status, information & education needs of patients in Kenya in respect to cancers of the cervix and breast Kenya
CRDF Global press release