Call for applications

The sixth call for applications under the GACD banner focuses on primary and secondary prevention of cancer. Please check details on funding requirements below. Before submitting your application, please read the additional information for the funding agency you are applying to.


Specific Challenge

The Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases (GACD) funding call will focus on implementation research proposals for the primary and/or secondary prevention of cancer in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) and/or in populations facing conditions of vulnerability in High-Income Countries (HICs).

Cancer is becoming one of the most important public health problems worldwide and a leading cause of premature death. In 2018, an estimated 18.1 million people were diagnosed with cancer and 9.6 million died from it. Predictions suggest that 30 million people will die from cancer each year by 2030, of which 75% will be in LMICs. This increase may be attributed to aging societies, high prevalence of cancer risk behaviours, as well as the epidemiologic transition and socio-economic inequalities that result in untimely care seeking, care provision and poor quality care in many LMIC settings.

It is estimated that 30 – 50% of all cancers are preventable. Specifically, one-third of global cancer deaths are attributable to behavioural risk factors, such as tobacco and alcohol use, low fruit and vegetable intake, obesity and lack of physical activity. Tobacco use alone accounts for around 22% of cancer mortality. Around 25% of cancer incidence in LMICs is attributable to vaccine-preventable infections (HPV and HBV). Within HICs, similar patterns are seen in populations experiencing conditions of vulnerability.

One challenge to reducing this burden of cancer in populations experiencing disparities worldwide is to overcome barriers in implementation of basic cancer prevention and care strategies. Implementation of effective, evidence-based interventions has been central to cancer control in many HICs. Yet, in LMICs and other low-resource environments, such interventions are under-used or have limited impact because of implementation challenges that have yet to be identified, researched and addressed.

Implementation science is the study of strategies to make evidence-based interventions successful in real-world settings, with the aim of improving access to, and use of, these interventions in populations. In order to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 3.4 (‘to reduce premature mortality from NCDs by one third by 2030…’) , implementation research and healthcare efforts are needed to identify and scale-up the best strategies to prevent and control cancers in LMIC countries and among populations facing conditions of vulnerability in HICs.


Proposals must focus on implementation research for the primary and/or secondary prevention of cancer in LMICs and/or in populations facing conditions of vulnerability in HICs. Proposals must build on evidence-based interventions (including cost-effectiveness) for the respective population groups under defined contextual circumstances. Research activities should focus on their implementation in real-life settings. The proposed interventions should be gender-responsive.

The aim should be to adapt and scale-up the implementation of these intervention(s) in accessible, affordable and equitable ways in order to improve the prevention and early diagnosis of cancer in real-life settings. Interventions should meet conditions and requirements of the local health and social system context and address any other contextual factors identified as possible barriers.

Each proposal should:

  • Focus on implementation research addressing prevention and/or early diagnosis strategies derived from existing knowledge about effective interventions.
  • For screening interventions, the local capacity and accessibility of confirming diagnoses and treatment must be ensured. The health care pathway for referral of positive cases must be included.
  • Include a strategy to test the proposed model of intervention and to address the socioeconomic and contextual factors of relevance to the targeted region and community.
  • Lead to a better understanding of key barriers and facilitators at local, national and/or international level that affect prevention and/or early diagnosis of cancer.
  • Align with the priorities in national/regional cancer control programme, if any.
  • Propose a pathway to embed the intervention into local, regional or national health policy and practice, addressing:
    1. A strategy to include policy makers and local authorities (possibly by inclusion within the research team), as well as other relevant stakeholders such as community groups, patient groups, formal and informal carers and any other group, where ever relevant from the beginning of the project, which will contribute to the sustainability of the intervention after the end of project.
    2. Relevance of project outcomes/evidence for scaling up the intervention at local, national and/or international level, including consideration of the social, cultural and economic contexts.
  • Include assessments of accessibility, reach, equity and health economic assessments as an integral part of the proposed research.

The following types of projects DO NOT fall within the scope of this funding call:

  • Etiological work, mechanistic, or epidemiological research, which is not part of a wider study to develop implementation science approaches.
  • Replication of effectiveness studies and clinical trials testing the efficacy or effectiveness of new or established pharmacological agents (or combination of agents).
  • Clinical trials of new diagnostic tools, devices or pharmacological agents. Phase I or Phase II trials.

Research funded under GACD involves regular exchange of research findings and information across participating projects by means of cross-project working groups and annual joint meetings. Wherever feasible, projects should harmonise and standardise their data collection and exchange that data. Applicants must budget for the annual costs of two team members’ participation in one Annual Scientific Meeting (location to vary annually). Applicants must budget their involvement in GACD working groups and other GACD wide activities, beyond the life cycle of their research project.

Expected Impact (one of or combinations of)

  • Advance local, regional or national cancer prevention and/or early diagnostic health policies, alleviating the global burden of cancer;
  • Improve affordability and tailor to local settings prevention and/or early diagnosis;
  • Establish the contextual effectiveness of cancer intervention(s) for prevention and/or early diagnosis, including at health systems level;
  • Provide evidence and recommendations to national programmes and policies focusing on prevention, screening, and/or early diagnosis;
  • Inform health service providers, policy and decision makers on effective scaling up of cancer interventions for prevention and/or early diagnosis at local, regional, and/or national levels, including affordability aspects for users and health providers;
  • Reduce health inequalities and inequities, including, but not limited to, consideration of characteristics such as socioeconomic circumstances, gender and age, where relevant in the prevention and/or early diagnosis of cancer at both local and/or global levels;
  • Maximise the use of existing relevant programmes and platforms (e.g. research, data, and delivery platforms);
  • Contribute to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 3.4.

Peer review criteria

Relevance and Quality of Project

  • There is sound evidence that stakeholders, such as decision-makers and service delivery partners, have been actively involved in the research process including the selection and adaptation of the intervention and the research design; and
  • There will be demonstrable engagement with the public and/or patient and community groups or other relevant stakeholder groups.

Quality of Team

  • The multidisciplinary team members have a high-quality track record in fields related to the proposed implementation research and the team has the right balance of expertise given the goal(s) of the research project;
  • There is evidence that the research will be jointly managed by researchers from HICs and LMICs, where applicable;
  • Early career investigators are part of the team and a strong training plan for research capacity-building is included;
  • There is sound evidence that stakeholders, such as decision-makers and service delivery partners, have been actively involved in the research process including the selection and adaptation of the intervention and the research design; and
  • There will be demonstrable engagement with the public and/or patient and community groups or other relevant stakeholder groups.

Feasibility of Project

  • Major scientific, technical or organizational challenges have been identified, and realistic plans to tackle them are outlined;
    Proposed intervention strategies are relevant to the socio-political, cultural, policy and economic contexts of the study settings and the proposal demonstrates understanding of the contextual factors (e.g. health systems, intersectoral policy, governance, leadership) affecting implementation, indicating how those factors and their impact will be analysed;
  • Inequities and equity gaps, including age and gender, have been taken into account;
  • Appropriate measures of evaluation have been included. Projects that are able to track long-term clinical, public health, policy and/or health system outcomes are expected;
  • There is a clear governance plan, including evidence of ultimate accountability, shared strategic leadership, transparency in decision making, management of conflicts of interest, clearly defined roles/responsibilities/contributions, demonstrating that all key participants are highly engaged and committed;
  • There is an appropriate collaboration plan, including but not limited to communication and coordination, management and administration, conflict prevention/resolution, quality improvement, budget and resource allocation and publication approach among team members.

Potential Impact

  • The expected impacts, as listed in the scope above, are identified;
  • The project demonstrates alignment with international and/or national commitments to advance primary and/or secondary cancer prevention strategies;
  • The project appropriately leverages existing programs and platforms (e.g. research, data, delivery platforms), if relevant;
  • There is potential for sustaining intervention at scale; and
  • There is potential for the translation of the findings into different settings.

Further information & resources

GACD Research Network

The GACD aims to coordinate research on chronic diseases at a global level in order to enhance knowledge exchange across individual projects, and to better understand the impact of socio-economic, cultural, geopolitical and policy factors on the effectiveness and scalability of interventions, so as to appropriately adapt health interventions to different geographical, economic and cultural settings. Research under GACD involves regular exchange of research findings and information across participating projects by means of cross-project working groups and annual joint meetings.

Applicants must budget for the costs of having two team members participate in one annual face-to-face meeting of the GACD Research Network (location to vary annually). Attendance at this meeting is mandatory for two team members, with at least one participant from the LMIC team where relevant. Teams are strongly encouraged to include one junior team member in each annual meeting.

Common indicators

The GACD funding agencies aim to harmonise the research and outcomes assessment of GACD funded projects in order to maximise the potential for learning across the network and the impact of the initiative as a whole. To this end:

  • All funded teams are expected to use explicit indicators and measures of project context, reach, outcomes evaluation and scale-up potential in their plans and protocols;
  • All teams should include Implementation Research outcomes (e.g. feasibility, fidelity and/or adaptation, spread and/or penetration, acceptability, sustainability, uptake, and cost effectiveness) and where relevant, include Service outcomes: (e.g. Efficiency, Safety, Effectiveness, Equity, Patient-centeredness, Timeliness);
  • Shortly after notification of award, grantees will be given the opportunity to agree upon a common set of implementation and outcome indicators to employ across all projects, as well as sets of additional indicators that may be used by groups of similar types of projects.
  • GACD maintains a set of common indicators developed by consensus by GACD Hypertension and Diabetes Research Programmes. This is an evolving document and where appropriate, programmes are encouraged to use the indicators and measures in this document.

Implementation research focus

The GACD’s calls for applications have a specific focus on implementation research. We have put together a list of some resources that may help you in preparing your proposals, which are available on our Implementation Science page.


Find a collaborator also on the European Commission’ website.

Watch the video on What makes a good GACD application? here.

Funding among GACD funders

Some GACD funders explicitly encourage applications involving team members from more than one GACD member country, and will support successful proposals through co-funding between the appropriate funding agencies. Applicants will be required to meet the eligibility criteria for the relevant funding agencies and the agency’s specific funding conditions.

If a co-investigator is based in one of the GACD partner countries, then the proposal may be eligible for co-funding. If the co-investigators are based in one of these countries, it is essential that you contact GACD at as soon as possible so that we can discuss potential co-funding arrangements. Please include your name, your research institution, your co-investigators’ names and research institutions, the intended title of your project and an estimation of the costs that would be required for each investigator.

Find a collaborator

Please see the following messages from those interested in this funding call and looking for more information or connections with other users. You may also add your own message via the form shown after the user messages.

  • 18 Nov 2019 19:35:00 Izabel Rubira-Bullen - Brazil

    Main goals: oral cancer and premalignant lesions, diagnostics, follow-up, HPV influence, field cancerization in low income population.

  • 19 Nov 2019 10:33:00 Lesetja Raymond Motadi - South Africa

    Dear Future collaborator

    I am Lesetja Motadi prefer Raymond from department of Biochemistry at University of Johannesburg I am looking for a collaborator to apply for Primary and Secondary cancer prevention. I would like to focus on the genotyping of cancer mutations in South Africa and Africa. Identify the differences to those of high income countries and further identify possible cause of such mutations and how can they be prevented. Hope that this will lead to also early detection and diagnosis strategy.



  • 26 Nov 2019 16:57:00 Vinod Diwan - Sweden

    The interest is in self care. In the case of cervical cancer, it is the diagnosis procedure (collecting sample) which could be carried out by the women herself without visiting a health centre or hospital. KI has extensive experience of research on self care. We have also collaboration with compant which produces tools for self care.

  • 29 Nov 2019 03:03:00 Teerapong Siriboonpiputtana - Thailand


    I am Teerapong, Assistant Professor in Clinical Pathology, Mahidol University, Thailand. My research of interested are to focus in the discovery and application of genetic biomarkers for the management of leukemia and lymphoma. My research is mainly supported by Mahidol University, Thailand Research Fund (TRF-MRG), and Royal Golden Jubilee for PhD student.


    Teerapong Siriboonpiputtana

  • 05 Dec 2019 00:15:00 Newell Johnson - Australia/Sri Lanka

    Sri Lanka has a major cancer burden. Oral cancer is the most prevalent cancer, with the highest incidence of all cancers amongst males and [according to the National Cancer registry 2014 – latest data available] 8th in women: sixth overall.
    I have been working for decades with colleagues in universities and MoH in Sri Lanka on programmes to promote primary prevention [we know the causes – predominantly areca nut and tobacco, alcohol in an environment of diets low in antioxidants and minerals]. We have excellent joined up working between Academia, Health, Police [control of smuggling inter alia], religious bodies in primary prevention and ear;y detection, and there is in place a solid referral network of diagnosis and care, including surgical.
    This grant would enable a great leap forward in coverage and health gain.

  • 05 Dec 2019 07:20:00 Adouda Adjiri - Algeria

    Current cancer treatments are as challenging as cancer itself and to get out of the vicious circle – of new treatment, new form of resistance – we need a radical approach to solve the problem.
    The cancer protein-model described in BMC Cancer 2018 predicts a cut in a protein to be behind the onset of the disease. Following this break, DNA mutations begin to accumulate and drive tumor-genesis. The protein involved is known and well described in literature.
    This project aims to purify the protein entities resulting from the break of the native protein and test for their predicted biochemical activities. Exosome isolation will test for the role of one of the protein fragments in metastases formation. Other questions will be addressed such as the mechanism behind immune escape, resistance to apoptosis and the role of autophagy in cancer initiation.
    Cooperation is needed with a laboratory routinely working on protein purification and biochemistry. This will help advance our understanding of cancer and materialize the cure we aim to bring to cancer patients worldwide.
    Dr. Adouda Adjiri

  • 07 Jan 2020 18:32:00 Ado Muhammad - Nigeria

    Our centre is concerned with translational research into communicable and non-communicable diseases. Our region of interest is Northern Nigeria – an area with special health, economic, developmental and social challenges. Our research interests are in the areas of identification of sociocultural and structural determinants of various health issues and formulation of cost-effective interventions that will advise policies.

  • 14 Jan 2020 22:03:00 Alamgir Hossain - UK

    I am from AI and data analytics domain, conducted various projects on cancer growth model, invasion model, drug transport model, and optimal treatment. My research also includes, cytoskeletal image analysis for metastasis process, leukaemia identification from microscopic images, colorimetric test, skin disease detection using mobile enabled expert systems etc. For further details of my research contribution, please explore my Google Scholar Account:

    Using AI and data analytics techniques, I am interested to investigate into the development of the following:

    • Big data analysis to understand the underlying challenges for prediction and policy improvement.
    • Empowerment for prevention through personalised learning model using mobile enabled expert system.
    • Mobile enabled low cost, sensitive and self-diagnostic tool for cancer detection/prediction.

    If you are interested to work to these areas to submit a bid, please let me know your expertise and interest.

  • 25 Jan 2020 19:04:00 Adeyinka Adeniran - Nigeria

    My research interest are focused on understanding factors responsible for late presentation & diagnosis of chronic 'silent' killer diseases in Africa and provide cost effective solutions.

  • 14 Feb 2020 16:09:00 Akhilanand Chaurasia - India

    My prime area of research is oral cancer, Oral Premalignant lesions and Conditions and Molecular oncology.

    Oral cancer has highest incidence in Indian sub-continent. A new paradigm shift has been happening now in its prevalence. It is affecting younger population than older one and it is becoming great burden in recent times. In context of current Indian scenario, all international collaborations are most welcome related to primary prevention in oral cancer.
  • 16 Feb 2020 13:36:00 Parikipandla Sridevi - India

    Dear Scientists,

    I am working on HPV infection and early diagnosis for cervical cancer. As HPV infection rate in high in the area I am working I am looking for more collaborators and funding options for screening and capacity building of health system for identification of high risk HPV infection and early diagnosis of cervical cancer.

Add a message

If you would like to connect or be connected with other people also interested in this funding call, please enter your details via the form below. Once moderated, your contact details and message will be published here on this page.

How to apply

Please see the following information on how to apply and on the funders' requirements. Please note that applicants may not apply to multiple funding agencies with the identical project or proposal. For those seeking co-funding, please contact to discuss specific arrangements.

  • Secretariat of Government of Health (MinSal)

    • Country Argentina
    • Application open date 2019-09-01
    • Application deadline 2019-10-30
    • Eligibility This funder has a two-step application process. Please see 'More information' for further details.
    • Budget Total budget for this Call is ARS 115,960,000 (equiv. to USD 2,000,000).
    • Resources
  • National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

    • Country Australia
    • Application open date 2019-12-04
    • Application deadline 2020-04-30
    • Eligibility Proposals must be submitted through an NHMRC approved Administering Institution using GACD Submission Portal.
    • Budget Total budget for this Call is AUS 5,000,000 (equiv. to USD 3,400,000).
    • Resources
    Apply now
  • São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP)

    • Country Brazil
    • Application open date 2019-11-01
    • Application deadline 2020-04-30
    • Eligibility Research Institution in the State of São Paulo. Please check your eligibility with FAPESP first before submitting your proposal. *** São Paulo applicants will also need to submit their proposals via the SAGe system.*** Please see 'More information' for further details.
    • Budget Total budget for this Call is R$ 900,000 (equiv. to USD 218,000).
    • Resources
    Apply now
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)

    • Country Canada
    • Application open date 2020-01-29
    • Application deadline 2020-02-25
    • Eligibility This funder has a two-step application process with pre-proposals due on 25 Feb'20. Eligible applicants would be notified by 26 Mar'20.
    • Budget The maximum amount per grant is CAD 400,000 (equiv. to USD 300,000) per year for up to 5 years, for a total of CAD 2,000,000 (equiv. to USD 1,500,000) per grant.
    • Resources
    Apply now
  • European Commission (EC)

    • Country EU
    • Application open date 2019-07-01
    • Application deadline 2020-04-07
    • Eligibility Please see 'More information' for further details.
    • Budget Total budget for this Call is EUR 20,000,000 (equiv. to USD 22,000,000).
    • Resources
    Apply now
  • Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)

    • Country India
    • Application open date 2019-11-01
    • Application deadline 2020-04-30
    • Eligibility All institutions with valid SIRO certificate issued by DSIR. All projects submitted must include at least one co-investigators from another GACD country. Please see 'More information' for further details.
    • Budget Total budget for this Call is INR 30,000,000 (equiv. to USD 420,000).
    • Resources
    Apply now
  • Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED)

    • Country Japan
    • Application open date 2020-01-20
    • Application deadline 2020-04-30
    • Eligibility 1)The Principal Investigator must be based at an eligible institution in Japan, in line with AMED eligibility policy provided in the supplemental application guidelines. 2) Research teams must collaborate with a Japanese private company which will provide technical support and/or products to be used in the project (e.g. IT technology, medical devices, pharmaceutical products, etc.).
    • Budget Awarded grants will be up to JPY 10,000,000 (USD 91,000) per year per project for up to 4 years.
    • Resources
    Apply now
  • Health Research Council (HRC)

    • Country New Zealand
    • Application open date 2020-02-01
    • Application deadline 2020-04-30
    • Eligibility The Principal Investigator must be hosted by a NZ institution which is eligible for HRC funding.
    • Budget Total budget for this Call is NZD 2,000,000 (equiv. to USD 1,280,000).
    • Resources
  • South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC)

    • Country South Africa
    • Application open date 2019-11-01
    • Application deadline 2020-04-30
    • Eligibility The South African applicants are required to follow either the MRC UK or CIHR’s instructions to submit their applications to be considered for reviewing and funding.
    • Budget Total budget will be determined by the co-funding conditions.
    • Resources
  • Health Systems Research Institute (HSRI)

    • Country Thailand
    • Application open date 2019-11-01
    • Application deadline 2020-04-30
    • Eligibility Please see 'More information' for further details.
    • Budget Total budget for this Call is USD 150,000 per year.
    • Resources
    Apply now
  • Medical Research Council (MRC) and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)

    • Country United Kingdom
    • Application open date 2019-11-01
    • Application deadline 2020-04-30
    • Eligibility The Principal Investigators must be hosted by a UK institution which is eligible for UK MRC funding. All projects submitted must include co-investigators from LMIC/-s where the work will take place. Please see 'More information' for further details.
    • Budget Total budget for this Call is GBP 6,000,000 (equiv. to USD 7,760,000).
    • Resources
    Apply now
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH)

    • Country USA
    • Application open date 2020-02-10
    • Application deadline 2022-06-08
    • Eligibility Please check the NIH's website for all details as different types of grants are available. This call has multiple deadlines - first one on 5 June 2020.
    • Budget Total budget for this Call is yet TBD.
    • Resources
    Apply now
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