Cancer Research North East (CaRes NER) Programme
Call for Proposals,

Theme: Early diagnosis of cancers

I. Background

The Northeast Region of India (NER) has a unique cancer profile compared to the other areas of the country. The top five Population Based Cancer Registries recording the highest age-adjusted incidence among males and females were in the NER, as described in the National Cancer Registry Programme report 2020. Pooled analysis of cancer data in all eight states of the NER showed that the leading sites in males included cancer of the oesophagus (13.6%), followed by lung (10.9%), while in females, breast was the top site (14.5%), followed by the cervix uteri (12.2%). The proportion of cancers in the region diagnosed at the stage of distant metastasis was higher for head & neck cancer, followed by cancer of the cervix uteri, breast cancer and stomach cancer. Preventing late-stage cancers constitutes an important public health strategy in all settings—late-stage at presentation results in poor survival and complications associated with treatment and higher care costs. Delayed presentation of cancers could result from several factors

II. Scope of the Call

Provide intervention models to address the problem through the identification of determinants, barriers and facilitators towards early cancer detection

The aim should be to adapt and scale up the implementation of these intervention(s) in accessible, affordable and equitable ways to address the early detection of the following cancers- breast, cervix, oral, stomach, oesophageal, lung, ovary and nasopharynx. The proposed interventions should meet the conditions and requirements of the local health and social system.

Broad proposed study areas

  • Early detection in the form of screening and early diagnosis: community-based strategies, scaling up of existing interventions, strategies to address health-seeking behaviour for early detection, overcoming barriers to early detection.
  • Access to care-diagnosis and treatment: Interventions to improve access to diagnosis and treatment, scaling up of existing interventions, overcoming barriers to accessing cancer care
The following types of projects do not fall within the scope of this funding call:
  • Studies on cancer epidemiology, aetiology and risk factor of cancers alone
  • Basic science (Cellular and molecular biology, immunology, genetics and genomics, physiology studies) related to cancer.
  • Interventions that comprise the development of diagnostic tools, devices or pharmacological agents

III. Applicant Eligibility

  • Applicants from multidisciplinary backgrounds are eligible to apply. The Principal Investigator (PI) should be holding a regular faculty/scientific position in a medical college, research institute, or university, including government, semi-government and NGOs'/ private institutes registered with DSIR SIRO Scheme, from any of the eight states in the Northeast Region. Investigators from other parts of the country will not be eligible to be a PI.
  • Collaborations

  • The applicant can choose collaborators in any institution outside the NER from any part of India (no international investigators will be eligible).
  • Collaborations involving institutions/health systems within NER are encouraged. The collaboration could be purely academic or in the form of lending technical support or mentorship for undertaking the proposed research. The collaborators could be listed as co-investigators with their roles defined.
  • No direct funding will be provided to institutions outside NER from ICMR-NCDIR, Bengaluru. However, the NER PI can submit an appropriate budget for the collaborator outside NER with due justifications for transferring funds as per her/his institutional norms.

IV. Funding amount

A pragmatic budget commensurate with the project's goals and objectives should be framed. A maximum limit of INR 1,00,00,000 for the total duration of the project

V. Study duration

The study could be for a maximum duration of three years

VI. How to apply

Interested applicants should first register on the submission portal and submit a full proposal in the prescribed format, latest by 28th February 2023. An early registration is encouraged so that registered applicants could avail of the benefit of attending a grant writing webinar organized by ICMR-NCDIR, tentatively during mid February 2023.

Please send a hard copy of the proposal (generated by the portal), original copies of the declaration and attestation forms and Institutional Ethics Committee approval for the proposed study, latest by 20th March 2023 to:

ICMR-National Centre for Disease Informatics and Research
II Floor of Nirmal Bhawan, ICMR Complex
Poojanhalli Road, Off NH-7,
Adjacent to Trumpet Flyover of KIAL
Kannamangala Post Bengaluru - 562 110.

For any queries, please write to

VII. Process of selection

An expert committee shall review the proposals as per norms of ICMR/MoHFW/GoI revised from time to time. Shortlisted applicants may be invited to revise the proposals given any recommendations from the committee before final approval for funding. In case proposals with similar objectives are received, these would be considered for merging them into a larger proposal in consultation with applicants.
Please note that proposals that were submitted in response to earlier calls will not be considered again.

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