Important message from BTFC regarding short time line

Date Posted: July 8, 2005

A few inquiries have come in to the BTFC regarding the short timeline between the announcement of the new funding initiative on July 1 and the pre-proposal due-date of August 8. Individuals have wondered if there has been some pre-determination of funding recipients while others have worried that the short time line, occurring as it does during the summer, might not allow the communication and planning needed to assemble new collaborative teams.

The BTFC assures all potential applicants that its competition is absolutely a fair and open one. The BTFC has engaged in 2 years of workshops and discussions amongst us and the brain tumor research community prior to announcing the new funding initiative. We believe we have made a very strong and positive attempt to engage in an open, honest dialogue. In part, our motivation for forming the BTFC, is to change the way funders and the brain tumor research community interact. The BTFC sees funders, advocates, clinicians, and researchers as one community with shared goals. In writing the RFP-P we responded to what you, clinicians and researchers, have discussed with us and what our own analysis confirmed – what is needed are new ways of conceptualizing translational research if we are going to discover and develop new, effective treatments for brain tumors.

The tight time-line is representative of the urgency felt by those with brain tumors and their families and friends. Once the BTFC defined its course of action – we wanted to move quickly. Please keep in mind, the first phase of the application process is a pre-proposal. The pre-proposals submitted will be reviewed by the BTFC and our scientific advisors with an eye to whether the proposed ideas truly represent a new system for conceptualizing and conducting pre-clinical research. We realize applicants will not be able to dot every I and cross every T as is expected in a proposal submitted to NIH. We are not asking you to do that. We ask you to send us your vision of a new way to carry out translational research with an indication of the make up of the team such research requires. On the basis of the pre-proposal evaluation some applicants will be invited to submit full proposals in the second phase of the competition and these proposals will provide all those details in which the devil resides. For the pre-proposal phase we ask the brain tumor research community to respond not just to the letter of the request for pre-proposals, but its spirit. Each of the member organizations of the BTFC will continue to support investigator-initiated research through their individual funding programs in the past. The unprecedented opportunity offered by eight funders joining together is a rare chance for those who have wanted to try new approaches and to operationalize new ways of thinking. Each pre-proposal will be viewed on its own merits. The BTFC truly wants to see the funding make a difference to the men, women, and children with glial tumors. We trust the brain tumor research community to respond to the RFP-P with the same thoughtfulness and seriousness with which the RFP-P is written. Thank you.