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The Front Line: Charles D. Blanke, MD, SWOG Chair

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New SEED Fund Awards will Support Preliminary Work

Nov 7, 2014 - If you follow Front Line closely, you'll have noticed I took a week's hiatus after our recent Group Meeting. With the addition of the TM retreat, it was the longest Group Meeting in several years; it seemed only fair to allow you all time to decompress. But it's now time to delve into the highlights and discuss SWOG's go-forward plans.

For me, one of the high points was SWOG Deputy Chair Anne Schott's presentation in Plenary I, detailing the range of research funding programs SWOG and The Hope Foundation offer. She announced a new juried award program that I want to mention here -- the SWOG Early Exploration and Development (SEED) Fund, designed to support preliminary projects that are the underpinnings of -- or pilots for -- larger proposed studies.

A key criterion a SEED proposal must meet is direct application to future, larger-scale SWOG research. SEED-fundable projects might include validating an outcome measure or questionnaire, gathering needed toxicity data, or testing the feasibility of an intervention for use in a proposed trial. Another example would be collecting pilot data to fortify a study concept already in development.

Though SEED projects should potentially translate to future SWOG research, they don't need to be linked to a specific ongoing or proposed trial. The award may also support smaller, self-contained projects, such as the development of a new research methodology or technology.

SEED awards are modestly robust, up to $65,000, to be spent over a one-year or two-year award period. Proposals will be accepted in two rounds annually, with deadlines of July 1 and December 1 (i.e., about three weeks from today).

Much else transpired at the Chicago meeting, and you'll hear about nearly all of it here in the coming weeks. For now, keeping in mind the imminence of the next submission deadline, you can find the SEED Fund RFA and application online. Please apply -- we don't want the funds to lie fallow.


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