SWOG does its utmost to support its members. The Hope Foundation, with 15 grants programs that help members investigate, collaborate, and educate themselves, is a serious means by which we achieve this goal. Indeed, Hope offers the most member support of any group in our National Clinical Trials Network.

Hope just announced its grant program line-up for 2016. I encourage you to check it out at http://thehopefoundation.org. And get in the game and apply! As our charitable arm, Hope gave out more than $2.5 million directly to SWOG member institutions last year.

There's more than money for trials. As you know, a major priority at SWOG is to identify and nurture young investigators. Hope helps us do so in a few different ways. Oncology fellows or junior faculty can get two years' salary support -- precious protected time -- to pursue a research project. Or young investigators can attend an intensive three-day course in clinical trial development, management, and analysis. Coming soon: A leadership academy for new researchers with career aspirations within the NCTN. 

But Hope helps all SWOG members, no matter where they are in their careers. 

The foundation helps investigators hone their grant-writing skills, and helps CRAs and other research staffers bone up on clinical trial essentials. Hope makes it possible for our committee leaders to fly in experts to group meetings, so members can learn from the best -- and work with the best. In these tight times, when everyone has limited time and money, Hope allows our committee members to stretch their support by offering the additional training, statistical help, or administrative or leadership assistance that they might need to do truly innovative research. 

And supporting innovative research is as important to Hope as it is to SWOG itself. They fund a wide variety of research ideas, ranging from data analysis (NCORP pilot grants), to small, preliminary studies (SEED awards) to larger, novel projects (Impact awards). Members that want to work with our basic science partners can also get Hope funds (ITSC pilot grants). Members working on existing trials that need a lift during the accrual phase can also tap Hope for help (STrS awards). 

Along with being generous, the foundation is transparent. Information on eligibility is available online, as are the actual applications. Awards have clear guidelines and deadlines and are given out competitively, judged by rotating panels of SWOG and Hope members. So funding is based on what and how you think, and what you can do -- not on who you know. 

I won't end with a bad pun. But The Hope Foundation offers us so much. SWOG is truly grateful -- and our members should take advantage.

For questions about any grant program at The Hope Foundation, contact grants coordinator Morgan Cox at morgan@thehopefoundation.org or 734-998-6887.