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The American Cancer Society (ACS) is committed to improving the lives of cancer patients and their families by enhancing access to quality cancer care and ensuring that all people have an equal chance to prevent, detect, treat, and survive cancer.
Toward this goal, ACS is announcing AHEAD (Advancing Health Equity and Addressing Cancer Disparities) Awards intended to fund pilot, first-in-field, innovative strategies that increase quality cancer screening, clinical trials—and cancer care closer to home.
Webinar: Email the Program Contact to request a recording of last year’s webinar
Application Deadline: October 16, 2023
Application Review: January 2024
Funding Decisions: March 2024
Grant Activation: July 1, 2024
In this era of precision oncology, sophisticated technologies (including ’omic-based risk assessment, multi-cancer early-detection tests, and advancements in targeted and immune therapies) continue to drive progress against cancer. However, many people across the United States who need more personalized care are not benefiting from these innovations.
As the ACS boldly strives to end cancer as we know it for everyone, we recognize that a truly transformational impact on health equity in oncology requires investing in early-stage, and perhaps unconventional, approaches for meeting people where they live.
The spirit of our AHEAD Awards highly aligns with the Cancer Moonshot goal—to make the cancer experience less burdensome for patients and their families and caregivers. This special funding opportunity was inspired, in part, by successes made during the COVID-19 pandemic to pivot the delivery of medical care away from major health centers into communities and even the comforts of home. The COVID-19 pandemic also highlighted the value of facilitating home care in innovative ways, especially for immunocompromised cancer patients and other vulnerable populations.
AHEAD Awards will fund exploratory, novel research studies that seek to improve access to quality cancer screening and/or cancer care by bringing technologies to individuals rather than requiring travel to healthcare facilities. A scientist's proposed research may break new ground or strategize a new application of existing technologies or new intervention. We encourage the testing of high-risk, high-reward pilot projects to maximize the likelihood for breakthrough research and critical impact.
Examples of possible research areas:
The principal investigator must:
Each award is for 2 years with $125,000 direct costs each year plus 20% allowable indirect costs, for a total amount of up to $300,000.
All application materials are located on proposalCENTRAL under the ACS Discovery Boost Grant funding mechanism.
This funded exploratory/developmental research is expected to inform larger feasibility studies with the potential to advance health equity; build trust between patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers; and improve cancer outcomes for all.