Research Grants Policy

SFA Sarcoma Research Fund Program

The Sarcoma Foundation of America has established a program whereby a fund can be established in honor of or in memory of a person who has faced sarcoma.  The contributions to the fund can be targeted towards SFA $50,000 grants and allow new or continued research to find new and better therapies against sarcoma.

$55,000 is required for a named request for research proposal. Out of each $50,000 grant awarded, the SFA uses only $5,000 to cover the administrative expenses and direct costs of initiating a request for proposals (RFP).  Named research grants can be funded by raising $55,000 or by raising $30,000, whereby the SFA will match the remaining amount or combine two fundraising groups to produce one grant.

Each research proposal is reviewed by SFA’s Medical Advisory Board, which recommends funding for the highest scored proposals. After the grant is awarded, SFA monitors the progress of the research, requiring an annual report to SFA’s Medical Advisory Board.

It is not possible for donors to signify how they want their donations spent (e.g., on a genetic test rather than development of a treatment or a specific sarcoma subtype). The grant selection process is unbiased and independent; awards are based solely on scientific merit. Only the best research projects will be funded.

Grant Cycles

Requests for proposals (RFP) are issued on a cyclical basis. Adequate funds must be in place before preparations to initiate a research grant begin. Therefore, to maximize the full benefits of international advertisements and wide circulation of the funding opportunity, donors should understand that it takes several months after an RFP is issued until the grant is awarded and actual research can begin. The outline below depicts a typical cycle:

October – November
Initiate Request For Proposals (RFP)

Deadline for proposals.

February – March
SFA Medical Advisory Board ranks proposals.

Winners selected and awards announced.

Selection of Grantees

The Request for Proposals asks scientists to submit a proposal outlining their research project along with their professional qualifications and a draft budget. Once that information is received, the SFA Medical Advisory Board, composed of leading academic scientific sarcoma experts, reviews all of the grant applications (peer review) and ranks then through a scoring system. The highest scoring grant applications are recommended for funding to SFA’s Board of Directors, who votes on the final grant awards.

Selections for funding are based on scores from internal and external medical reviewers, available funding, and the predicted potential for the research effort to result in improved therapeutic options for sarcoma patients. A final report is required from investigators. It is possible, however, that some researchers may require more or less time for completion of their research project.

SFA’s grant review process is based on the same peer review system utilized by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Scoring of grants is done individually by each medical expert and scores are added together to determine the final ranking of each proposal. Any reviewer with a conflict of interest is excused from voting on a specific proposal.

By encouraging research applicants to compete against each other on an international basis, SFA’s Research Grant Program funds only the best proposals that are most likely to result in research breakthroughs that can be applied to the diagnosis or treatment of people with sarcoma.

If you are interested in initiating a research grant, or making a donation to SFA’s Research Grant Program,  please contact us at [email protected].