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Priority Programme 'Cancer Prevention-Graduate School (CPGS)'
Deutsche Krebshilfe is committed to supporting measures directed at primary cancer prevention,
early cancer diagnosis, cancer treatment, follow-up care after cancer treatment, psychosocial care,
self-aid, and health promotion. Current increases in cancer incidence stress the urgency of
developing substantial prevention efforts to curb this troubling development and improve the health
To further develop the field of cancer prevention, Deutsche Krebshilfe has made significant
investments by establishing a new scientific advisory board labeled ‚Cancer Prevention’. Deutsche
Krebshilfe has launched a strategic partnership with the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) to
create a new National Cancer Prevention Center, and teams up with a number of partners in the National
Decade Against Cancer under the auspices of the German Ministry of Research and Education
Progress in the area of cancer prevention and control can be best achieved by an interdisciplinary approach
that integrates basic and clinical research, and population-level epidemiologic, behavioural
and social science research, accompanied by research on appropriate communication strategies.
With the objectives of supporting research and establishing research networks in the field of
cancer prevention, Deutsche Krebshilfe is hereby launching a call for applications within the
priority programme ‚Cancer Prevention - Graduate School’ (CPGS).
By funding innovative projects, Deutsche Krebshilfe aims at fostering multidisciplinary research on
cancer prevention in Germany. Additionally, this priority programme has the goal to ensure sustainability
of high-quality research by establishing a training programme for graduate students in the
field of cancer prevention.
Specifically, Deutsche Krebshilfe is calling for applications for two areas of funding:
Part I: Scientific Studies of the ‘Cancer Prevention – Graduate School'
To support a linkage between different areas of cancer prevention research, studies should integrate
elements of two or more of the following topics regarding cancer prevention:
Public Health and Social Impact Research:
Examine elements of public health impact of preventive measures: reach of a population,
efficacy of a preventive measure in that population, adoption of the measure in prevention
practice, implementation of the measure according to its original idea, and maintenance of the
measure as a routine over years. Preventive measures include approaches to change living environments,
approaches to change behaviour directly as well as cancer screening measures. Research
on or consideration of social equity aspects, i.e. the effectiveness of intervention
measures dependent on socioeconomic factors, particularly education and income, other potential
barriers such as immigration background, and gender effects, is particularly wel come.
Examine how knowledge on cancer determinants (risk and protective factors) can be translated
into effective cancer prevention messages and programs in populations. Research in this area
could focus on target groups (general or specific populations and their knowledge, perceptions,
barriers), on the supply side (e.g. physicians, patient advocates, health care system, social services,
settings), on communication strategies and channels (including social media and apps),
and could include the development of specific interventions. Research into the potential of
novel digital strategies of communication as well as research on health literacy aspects is particularly
Biological Mechanisms of Carcinogenesis, Genetic Predisposition and Biomarkers
Examine the relations of genetic and biological factors including the macro- and the microenvironment,
the immune system and microbiota to carcinogenesis and vice versa the impact of behavioural/
lifestyle changes on cancer incidence. Examine the interactive effects of environmental
and biological factors on carcinogenesis.
Develop new biological-driven strategies for primary prevention as well as personalized early
detection techniques and markers.
The program specifically aims at an inter- and multidisciplinary approach.
Within the framework of this call, Deutsche Krebshilfe intends to support/initiate a ‚Graduate Programme
in Cancer Prevention’. This graduate programme will be established through the network of
funded research projects. Participants of the graduate programme will be graduate students as well
as supervisors/mentors who are part of the funded research teams. Applications for research
projects in Part I should therefore include a proposal for the position of graduate students as well as
statements of supervisors/mentors on their behalf as outlined in the applicants’ guidelines. The
Graduate School is intended to be interactive. Project leaders are expected to host graduate students
of the School from other projects for special training e. g. in the methodology or cooperative projects
for a certain period of time. There will be funding for these electives.
Part II: Coordinator of the ‚Cancer Prevention – Graduate School’
Applicants are also encouraged to apply for the position as Coordinator of the Cancer Prevention
Graduate School. The Coordinator is expected to organize the student exchange program as well as
an overarching training and seminar program for the whole school. The coordinator will closely collaborate
with the National Cancer Prevention Center (NCPC) in Heidelberg since the Graduate School
will be part of the prevention outreach programme of the NCPC. Cooperation with universities and
other institutions involved in cancer prevention research also outside the Graduate School will be
possible and supported. The coordinator is also the responsible for preparing for the evaluation of
the Graduate School. Coordination of the Graduate School is funded separately.
The procedure for application and evaluation consists of three steps. Prospective applicants must
submit a letter of intent to Deutsche Krebshilfe by 15 Feb 2021, 13:00. Project outlines in English
must be submitted no later than 15 Mar 2021, 13:00. If the preliminary evaluation is favourable, full
applications must be submitted by 30 Aug 2021, 13:00 to Deutsche Krebshilfe.