How Target Ovarian Cancer awards a grant

Our grant review process is driven by an informed assessment of how the research being proposed is responsive to the needs of women with ovarian cancer and whether or not it proposes cogent approaches to solving specific ovarian cancer related scientific and clinical problems. To help us fund the highest quality research there are three elements to our review process; lay review by our Research Advocates, the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) and independent external peer review. 

The Scientific Advisory Board

The SAB will provide expert advice to Target Ovarian Cancer's CEO, Head of Research and Board of Trustees on:

  • development of the research strategy and grant giving programme
  • external reviewers for grant applications
  • assessment of external reviews and final recommendations on grant applications
  • annual review of funded projects

The SAB will review grant applications taking into consideration the written critiques provided by external reviewers (peer review) and the input from the lay reviewers. The SAB will then make recommendations for research funding to the Target Ovarian Cancer Board of Trustees based on the scientific or clinical merits of the grant applications and their relevance to Target Ovarian Cancer’s research strategy. To ensure no SAB members are compromised by applications they are associated with, Target Ovarian Cancer has developed a Conflicts Of Interest policy.

Scientific Advisory Board members

  • Professor Henry Kitchener, MD, FRCOG, Chairman
    Professor of Gynaecological Oncology, University of Manchester
  • Professor Michael Birrer MD PhD
    Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School. Director of Medical Gynecological Oncology and Director of the Gynecologic Cancer Research Program, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Professor Hilary Calvert MD FRCP
    Director of Cancer Drug Discovery & Development, University College London
  • Professor Jonathan Ledermann MD FRCP
    Professor of Medical Oncology University College London Cancer Institute and Honorary Consultant Medical Oncologist, UCL Hospitals
  • Professor Sam H Ahmedzai BSc, MRCP, FRCPS, FRCP                                
    Chair and Head of the Academic Unit of Supportive Care, Department of Oncology, Sheffield University
  • Professor Peter L Stern
    Professor of Immunology at the Institute of Cancer Studies, University of Manchester

The Peer Review process

External reviewers are responsible for writing formal critiques of the research proposals assigned to them in advance of the SAB meetings. External reviewers do not participate in the discussions of the SAB, whose decision to recommend or reject applications for funding is final. In line with requirements of the UK Association of Medical Research Charities, Target Ovarian Cancer requires that two external reviews are required for each grant application

The key criteria being assessed by peer review include:

  • Innovation—potential for change in paradigm or seminal discovery
  • Addressing a critical scientific gap
  • Likelihood of the proposal achieving its stated aims
  • Impact on accelerating discovery, development, or evaluation of ovarian cancer therapeutics
  • Likelihood of obtaining other funding