Cancer Grant Review Process Begins In February

Cancer Grant Review Process Begins In February

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.@MaryKay Fndn begins reviewing #grant proposals in Feb. More @ for an interview about the process
Monday, January 26, 2015 - 11:35am

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Next month, The Mary Kay Foundation will begin reviewing proposals to determine who will get grants for 2015.

If you think it sounds like a daunting task, I thought the same thing.

After all, a simple online search about cancer research can yield 38 million results! And if you've ever tried to read a research study, good luck. I’m married to a doctor, and he has difficulty explaining the studies to me. Even he says, researchers speak their own language.

Thankfully, Nancy Thomason, Foundation & Executive Project Specialist, gave me an inside peek at The Mary Kay Foundation review process. Here’s my Q&A with her.

SG: Do you get tons of applications?

NT: We used to post the application on the website, but we received many applications from cancer research companies, cancer hospitals and many other organizations. We decided to take the application off the website. Now we send invitations and applications only to accredited medical schools and schools of public health. Last year, we had 82 applications. We limit each institution to one grant proposal.

SG: How does The Foundation choose which researchers get the money?

NT: We have a research review committee, which is composed of prominent doctors -- including past grant recipients -- who volunteer their time to help the Foundation select the best recipients across the United States. Dr. Jerry Shay, Professor of Cell Biology at UT Southwestern Medical School, chairs the review committee.

SG: There are so many types of research. Does The Mary Kay Foundation narrow its focus?

NT: Yes, we focus on “translational” research in ovarian, uterine, breast or cervical cancer. This type of research is meant to provide a scientific link between lab research and the clinic. So ultimately, it’s the type of research most likely to lead to improving diagnosis, prognosis, prevention or treatment.

SG: How many grants will be given in 2015?

NT: We anticipate funding between 10 and 15 grants up to $100,000 each. We will announce the awards in May 2015.