The call target is paediatric cancer treatment. Every year, several hundred children and young people in the Nordic countries are diagnosed with cancer, and there is a need for new knowledge to further develop satisfactory treatment services. There is a need for solutions that not only ensure higher survival rates but also facilitate good quality of life for children after completed treatment.
The expanding field of genomic medicine has empowered personalised cancer treatment. This entails giving each patient treatment that is more specifically customised to his or her individual biological characteristics. Not everyone with the same type of cancer should necessarily receive the same treatment - instead, the biological conditions will determine the treatment regime.
When treatment is more personalised, the patient groups become smaller. As a result, each Nordic country on its own often has too small a patient base to conduct national trials. However, the Nordic countries together can provide a solid foundation for numerous types of research of high international scientific value. By joining forces, the Nordic countries can become an attractive arena for new trials and treatment regimes. Paediatric medicine is an area with ongoing disciplinary cooperation that would clearly benefit from increased Nordic cooperation.
This call for projects aims to support Nordic researcher projects in cancer medicine or expansion of ongoing national projects into Nordic ones. A study at the Nordic level should lead to benefits beyond those of a single country study. The study should exemplify personalised paediatric cancer treatment and user perspectives should be taken into account.
Projects of interest may focus on e.g. new drugs, new indications for existing drugs, new personalised applications of old treatments, and development of new medical devices. Evaluation of new treatments and new methods including new or revised surgical procedures will also be of relevance.
The Nordic countries have access to a unique collection of health data information, including register and biobank data. A deeper understanding of mechanisms underlying disease can be studied using trajectories of health and social conditions throughout the life span for patients and controls. Projects supported under the call are expected to utilise data from existing Nordic health data resources (e.g. quality registers, medical records, omics and biobank data) to support the different clinical study phases.
Projects should give special attention to documenting any cross-border obstacles (including administrative hindrances and time-consuming processes) to Nordic collaboration and propose ways to overcome these.
The projects awarded funding under this call should aim to establish Nordic competence networks within clinical research on paediatric cancers. Projects are expected to set up procedures for knowledge sharing in and between the Nordic countries in order to support quality improvement in health care services for this particular patient group.
Projects awarded funding are also expected to consider cooperation with existing Nordic e-Infrastructure and paediatric medicine initiatives.
The total budget for this call is maximum NOK 38 million, and the maximum funding amount that may be sought is NOK 10 million. Funding will be granted for a period of three to five years.
Funding may be used for:
- Running costs (including sample handling, drug costs);
- Data collection, analysis and curation;
- Research positions; study support personnel;
- Administrative expenses related to project management;
- Travel and mobility;
- Meeting costs;
- Communication and dissemination activities.
The application must be submitted in electronic format via the NordForsk application portal no later than 3 October 2018.
Who is eligible to apply?
Researchers and research groups at universities, hospitals and other research-performing institutions in the Nordic countries are eligible to apply for funding. The Nordic countries are defined here as Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Aaland Islands, Faroe Islands and Greenland. The formal applicant must be an institution, organisation or other legal entity based in one of the Nordic countries.
Joint applications with shared public-private sponsorship are welcomed, however, applicants should note that private companies are not eligible to receive NordForsk funding.