Translational Research Projects - Applications closed

Correction (17 May 2016): There was an error in the weighting of the scoring at Appendix 2 of the Translational Research Project Guidelines. This has now been updated. The weightings are: Scientific Quality and Research Environment 40%, Significance and/or Innovation 20%, Team Quality and Capability 40%.

This Victorian Cancer Agency Translational Research Projects Funding Scheme seeks proposals for stand-alone projects that will enable the translation of basic research discoveries into the clinic (ie early phase clinical translation (T1) Appendix 1).

In 2016, applications are sought with an emphasis on investigator-initiated development of new therapeutic approaches, for example immunotherapeutics, antibodies and small molecules informed by genomic/biomarker studies.

It is expected that proposals will be hypothesis-driven and able to demonstrate significant pre-clinical data to support their hypothesis.

An essential element of this scheme is to evaluate new therapeutics for the first time in the clinic. Therefore a Phase I clinical trial aimed to test a new therapeutic intervention for the first time in a small group of people (e.g. 20-80) to evaluate safety (e.g. to determine a safe dosage range and identify side effects) is a requirement.

Outcomes for the 2015 Victorian Cancer Agency Translational Research Project Funding Scheme can be found here.

Victorian Cancer Agency Translational Research Project Guidelines 2016 (PDF 410KB)

Apply online now.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does this scheme support Phase 1b studies to enable testing of novel combination therapies not previously tested? 
A: Yes. 

Q: Are you accepting multiple applications from a single organisation? 
A: Yes. 

Q: What is the maximum funding available for each project? 
A: The funding available for each project is $1-3 million. 

Q: Is there an annual funding limit for Translational Research Projects?
A: It is recognised that different phases of a project will require different levels of resources and funding. It is therefore at the discretion of the investigator to allocate funds appropriately within the three year funding envelope.

Q: My project requires an agreement with a partner but there is currently no agreement in place. Can I still apply?  
A: You may apply. However, at the time of submission it would be expected that you will have an ‘in principle’ agreement with your partners. Please outline in your application the timeline you expect to have an agreement in place and outline the risks to the project if such an agreement cannot be finalised.

Q: Does a Translational Research Project require a clinical trial element? 
A: Yes. This scheme is designed to enable translation of research findings supported by strong pre-clinical data into Phase I clinical trials. Projects that do not have a clinical trial element will be deemed ineligible.


Q: If I have previously applied for VCA funding and been unsuccessful, can I apply again?
A: Yes

Q: Can funding be used to extend an existing project?
A: Yes, as long as the proposal fits within the grant guidelines and indicates a discrete research objective with no duplication of funding from other sources.

Q: If I have previously received funding from the VCA, can I apply again?
A: Generally yes, however restrictions apply to some types of grants. Refer to individual grant guidelines.

Q: Can I provide references for the summary of proposed research in the application form?
A: References are required in the project description upload.

Q: Who can apply for VCA funding?
A: Any organisation or individual that is, or will be, involved in the conduct of cancer research in Victoria is eligible to apply for VCA funding. Applications must be made under the auspices of a Victorian hospital, research organisation or university. For specific eligibility requirements, see the guidelines provided for individual grants.

Q: How can I apply for funding?
A: When applications are open, we provide a link for you to apply online in the current funding scheme pages. We do not accept applications submitted in hard copy or by email.

Q: Who can I contact if I have any queries about applying for a specific grant?
A: For queries about the guidelines, deadlines, or questions in the form, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 1300 664 737 during business hours and quote your application number. For queries about using the application form, contact SmartyGrants on 03 9320 6888 during business hours or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and quote your application number.

Q: What is SmartyGrants?
A: The VCA uses SmartyGrants to administer our grants. SmartyGrants is an online grant management system that provides easy-to-use online application forms, as well as report management functions for successful applicants.

Q: Will you fund research in other states?
A: We will fund collaborative research across Victoria and interstate, but the lead agency must be based in Victoria.

Q: Will the VCA own the intellectual property (IP) of findings?
A: No. Under VCA agreements, funded parties retain ownership of their Intellectual Property. This policy is in line with industry best practice for the management of IP for publicly funded research. The VCA does ask that findings be commercialised, where appropriate, in a manner that ensures fair and reasonable access for the Victorian public. More information is available from the Victorian Cancer Agency Funding Rules (PDF 265KB). 

Q: Will there be any feedback to the applicant following the evaluation process?
A: All applicants will be notified of whether their application was successful or not. Individual feedback can be provided verbally on request.