Nothing succeeds like success, so as SWOG works to ensure our clinical trials enroll participant populations that fully represent the diversity of patient populations, it only makes sense we search out success stories and try to learn from and replicate them.

Some of our member hospitals and community-based clinics have been highly successful at involving local minority and underserved patient populations in their clinical research. Realizing there are lessons to be learned from these organizations, SWOG and The Hope Foundation developed a two-part initiative to disseminate these success stories and encourage other institutions to expand on them.

In May, we convened a two-hour symposium in which representatives from NCORP sites – mostly Minority Underserved NCORPs – that regularly meet or exceed their accrual goals for patient participation and diversity shared their best practices for achieving these goals. More than 250 people attended the virtual event (significantly exceeding expectations!), and a recording is available.

The Hope Foundation followed up this event by issuing a call for pilot grant proposals from NCTN sites and multi-site or cross-group collaborations, to establish infrastructure or test interventions aiming to improve access to clinical trials for underserved patient populations. 

Sites can propose any intervention they think is promising, including building on the best practices that were disseminated in the May symposium. Reviewers will be looking for interventions that can scale for potential application across many NCTN/NCORP sites and that remove structural barriers and shift current practice paradigms.

Up to five grants of up to $50,000 each will be awarded. Awards are funded via The Hope Foundation, with additional support from Genentech.

To answer applicants’ questions as they prepare their proposals, Hope has held three office hour events and will host a final such event as part of group meeting, on Thursday, October 14, from 12-1 pm CT, just before the start of Plenary II. Sign in at that time to discuss the feasibility of your project or to ask questions about budgeting, team planning, or any other aspect of your proposal.

We all want to learn from the best, so watch the NCORP symposium recording to learn what the best are doing, consider what lessons you could apply at your own site, and get to work on your proposal. The application deadline is December 1. Good luck!