Clinical Cancer Research

How to Apply

Whether you are an academic institution interested in applying for a grant or a not-for-profit organization keen to tackle critical cancer related issues together, we want to hear from you.

The Rising Tide Foundation for Clinical Cancer Research (RTFCCR) supports truly innovative and unique patient-centered clinical trails that the potential to positively impact the lives of cancer patients. Our overall goal is to improve treatment options and quality of life for cancer patients by funding studies focused on detection, treatment, and survivorship.

We fund phase I to phase III interventional clinical trials. We do not fund, however, basic research, phase IV trials, or observational or epidemiological studies.

Funding is available to any relevant institution in any country where meaningful grant oversight is possible.

Step-by-Step Process

All LOIs must be submitted via our grant management system, SmartSimple.

Step 1

We accept Letters of Intent (LOIs) all year round, however, our cutoff deadlines for internal assessment are three times per year. Please note the upcoming deadlines for 2024:

  • 8th March 2024
  • 9th July 2024
  • 22nd November 2024

Step 2

We regularly check for submitted LOIs. LOIs deemed most meritorious and aligned with our funding criteria will be invited to submit full applications through SmartSimple. Instructions for the submission and its deadline are provided after the LOI evaluation.

Step 3

Full grant applications are independently assessed and scored by our Grant Review Committee (GRC), a panel of external experts that includes scientific peer reviewers, patient advocates, and a biostatistician.

Step 4

Recommendations made by the Grant Review Committee and RTFCCR Advisory Board are submitted to the Rising Tide Board of Directors for final funding approval. Upon approval from the Board of Directors, we will send out the award notification to award recipients no later than a month after the board meeting. Board meetings take place three times a year.

Pre-Application Grant

If you are a patient partners contributing to the application of a new research project and need support for your efforts, check out our pre-application grant

Funding Approach

Applicants: An applicant must be an independent, self-directed researcher for whom their institution provides space and other resources customary for independent investigators. The application must convey the commitment of the institution to both the applicant and the proposed research activities.

Principal Investigators: The principal investigator for the proposed research must hold a doctoral degree, have completed a postdoctoral training fellowship, and have faculty appointment (or equivalent) with an academic institution, including research institutions that are not formally associated with a university, at the time of the award term. Both new and established investigators are encouraged to apply.

Research Overlap: All investigators requesting pilot funds should demonstrate how the proposed study is a departure from ongoing funded work. New studies may be an extension of other work but should not overlap any funded study unless the applicant clearly demonstrates that new funding will not duplicate existing support.

Rising Tide will require the return of all issued funds found to be a duplication of other funding sources.

  • Clinical trials need to be interventional trials and may include secondary non-clinical endpoints.
  • Pharmaceutical agents used in the study can be generic (off patent), registered for this indication, or under development by an academic institution.
  • The interventional clinical trial can be an early stage first in human clinical trials to late-stage clinical trials (Phase 1, 2 and 3) where creation of a patientinitiated protocol is possible.
  • Clinical trials testing immunotherapies need to be discussed with Rising Tide before submission of any application.
  • Final selection will be contingent on scientific review and availability of funds.
  • Rising Tide does not have any geographical nor cancer type restrictions. International teams are welcome.
  • The application must be submitted in English.
  • If the applicant wishes to apply for funds to conduct correlative studies that are translational in nature and part of an interventional clinical trial, we encourage them to reach out to confirm eligibility. Such projects should clearly demonstrate the potential to lead directly to improved outcomes for patients or to a clinical trial. Applicants will be asked to estimate the time frame for their research to result in a clinical trial.

Applicants can contact us at to clarify any questions or doubts.

Please note, all applications should include the following as requested in the SmartSimple platform:

  • The curriculum vitae (CV) of the principal investigator and co-investigators (max 2 pages each; please upload all CVs as PDF files in the reference tab in SmartSimple)
  • A description of the proposed research project (organized in a manner similar to that required by the US National Institute of Health [PHS 398]), including:
    • Specific aims
    • Background and significance
    • Preliminary results, studies explaining the significance and potential for success
    • Experimental design and methods
    • Statement of objectives regarding how the study can change the current standard-of-care for today’s patients or how it will create evidence to improve prevention and early detection of cancer
    • Detailed schedule of activities for a patient in the study
    • Explanation of why the treatment may be helpful to patients enrolled
    • Description of criteria used in determining positive results and how quality-of-life improvements will be quantified
    • Statistical analysis section outlining approach taken to make study scientifically valid
    • Amount of time before the opening of the study upon approval for funding
    • Statement of next steps for research upon achieving positive or negative results
    • Description of how milestone achievements for the study are achieved
  • Completed Patient Involvement Plan
  • Copy of the Patient Consent Form, if available, acknowledging funding in whole or in part by Rising Tide (including a statement to the effect of “If you are interested, Rising Tide would like permission to communicate with you regarding your experience and any other information you would like to share regarding the treatments received while participating in this clinical trial. Click here to give us permission to contact you.”)
  • Current, active Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Ethical Committee (EC) approval letter for the study (if the IRB/EC has not been obtained at the time of proposal submission, please indicate the expected timeline for obtaining the approval)
  • Letter from department head stating institutional commitment to the project, no competing studies, and verification to accrue a valid patient population
  • Explanation of alignment with RTFCCR Focus Areas
  • Detailed budget including costs for patient partner compensation and travel expenses
  • List of other sources of financial support for the project (include all sources applied, including pending and/or active, with dates of start and expected end)
  • Industry letter stating permission for the use of the investigational agent, who is supplying that agent for the study, and the in-kind amount of that contributed agent [if applicable]
  • List of literature cited.

Grants Management System: SmartSimple

Our grant management system allows qualified non-profit organizations to submit LOIs and full proposals for our Clinical Cancer Research grant program. If a grant is awarded, the portal is used to manage the grant process and grant payments from start to finish. If you or your organization is new to the Rising Tide Foundation, please register before applying

Focus Areas

Science of Early Detection and Intervention

Advancing Cancer Research in Underserved Areas

Advancing Cancer Research in Sub-Saharan Africa

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