BLOG: Funding research and making a difference against ovarian cancer

BLOG: Funding research and making a difference against ovarian cancer


4.15.14 We’re excited to announce that MOCA will be providing a record $500,000 at our upcoming Annual Meeting on Thursday, May 15. This research funding will be awarded to Minnesota researchers who are interested in initiating new studies or continuing current studies on ovarian cancer. Since 2001, MOCA has provided $4.5 million to ovarian cancer research focused on early detection, better treatment, and a cure for ovarian cancer.

Made possible because of donations and support from people like you, the announcement of our funding is preceded by several months of work from grant reviewers locally and across the country. To highlight the importance of research funding, we wanted to give our supporters a month-by-month glimpse of just what goes into this very important process.

January: Each January, the MOCA Board finalizes the amount that will be awarded to Minnesota ovarian cancer researchers, based on the previous year’s income. We then issue a request for proposals (RFP) to Minnesota ovarian cancer researchers, asking them to submit projects to be considered for funding. To help ensure that Minnesota continues to attract and support the best and brightest researchers and clinicians, all RFP’s must come from Minnesota-based researchers.

February: This is the time that researchers and grant writers are putting together proposals and getting letters of support, crafting budgets, etc.

March: Once the RFP application deadline in early March passes, it’s time for review. Each year, we get an estimated 15-20 applications.  Proposals are sent out across the country to national scientific reviewers and to a group of dedicated consumer reviewers from Minnesota.  This year, MOCA’s executive director was able to convene a meeting of 5 expert reviewers in fields ranging from laboratory pathology, gynecologic and medical oncology and epidemiology to discuss their evaluations with each other and make joint recommendations to MOCA. Other national reviewers sent in their reviews directly to the MOCA office for consideration.

April: More reviews take place during April, which is when the consumer review panel representing survivors and donors meets to ask  questions important to survivors and their families:  “What impact will this have on the prevention or treatment of ovarian cancer” How long will it take for this  to become significant?”  “Is this the best use of MOCA’s resources?” Once the consumer and national reviews are integrated, recommendations are made to the MOCA Board of Directors for discussion and final selection.

May: It’s time to unveil the 2014 grant recipients! At the May Annual Meeting, the grant recipients are officially awarded their funds, and also present their projects before the crowd at the meeting. This is a time for our MOCA members to learn more about the latest research and ask question of the reviewers.

“As we mark MOCA’s 15th anniversary this year, we’re excited to have reached this funding milestone, which is possible because our generous supporters know that research is vital to making an impact against this disease,” said MOCA Executive Director Kathleen Gavin. “As the deadliest of all gynecologic cancers, MOCA’s research funding makes a difference by stimulating innovation, supporting our state’s excellent researchers and institutions and attracting researchers to focus on ovarian cancer.”

Learn more about our research funding here. And join MOCA to celebrate 15 years of great strides and hear from the 2014 grant recipient researchers at our Annual Meeting on Thursday, May 15. RSVP today!