In over fifty years, AIRC has refined the method by which the most deserving cancer research projects are selected. With the internationally recognized “peer review”, the evaluation of applications is carried out by international experts free of conflicts of interest, thus ensuring fairness and independence in the selection process.
What we fund
In order to solicit laboratory results, which may foster the development of effective cancer treatments, AIRC supports grants and fellowships awarded based on merit. Researchers request grants and fellowships applying to one of several AIRC Calls of proposals, each one 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.These training programs are reinforced by funding schemes that encourage the return of researchers to Italy, so that the knowledge and skills acquired abroad can be put to use in our country. It is in this spirit that the iCARE-2 Reintegration fellowships cofunded by the European Union, the Start-Up grants and the My First AIRC Grants (MFAG) have been devised.
We also support the research activities of established investigators throughout their careers with individual grants like the Investigator Grant (IG), which provide support for basic, translational and clinical studies, and with special multi-unit grants, designed to help bring the results of basic research closer to the clinic through multi-disciplinary collaborative efforts.
A rigorous selection based on merit
The AIRC Scientific Review Committee (CTS) and a panel of about 600 international reviewers are tasked to identify the most promising research projects among those submitted in response to our yearly calls, and to evaluate their results over time. The mid-term reviews are meant to verify that grantees are on the right track to meet the stated goals of their research projects and that AIRC funds are put to the best possible use.
The evaluation process of our applications takes between six and twelve months, depending on the funding scheme.
The peer review is managed by the staff of the AIRC peer review office; a web platform has been developed specifically for this purpose and is used by applicants, reviewers and AIRC staff, thus ensuring the utmost efficiency throughout the process.
The major steps of all AIRC funding schemes are summarized in this diagram:
Results of the Peer Review process 2022, updated in May 2023 to include statistics from the first edition of the Next Gen Clinician Scientist and the Southern Italy Scholars Grant Calls, are available here