Become a DOD grant reviewer

Each year, the Department of Defense (DOD) searches for patients and caregivers to act as consumer grant reviewers for two of its large cancer research funding programs:

  • The Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP), and
  • The Rare Cancers Research Program (RCRP).

Consumer reviewers for these programs work alongside prominent scientists to provide input on how the DOD’s research funds should be allocated. Consumer reviewers act as subject matter experts on their disease, bringing their lived experience and perspective to the review panel.

Program overview

Since 2009, the PRCRP has been charged by U.S. Congress to fund innovative cancer research to support service members, their families, and the American public. The RCRP, launched in 2020, is focused exclusively on the research of rare cancers impacting fewer than 6 of every 100,000 people in the United States. Together, the two programs offer significant sources of cancer research funding that could potentially benefit the fibrolamellar community. In 2022, the PRCP plans to grant $130 million to support research into cancers including liver, pediatric and adolescent and young adult cancers; the RCRP plans to allocate an additional $17.5 million into research of rare cancers, such as FLC.

Many members of the fibrolamellar community, including Jenny Carroll, Jennifer Strickland, Ben Saksa, Linda Spink and Kurt Losert, have served as consumer reviewers for these programs in prior years. The involvement of these consumer advocate’s effort has made a difference for our community. Fibrolamellar research proposals have received over $2 million in funding from these important DOD programs. 

Program requirements and application timeline:

Consumer reviewers can be either patients or caregivers. If interested:

  • Potential consumer reviewers submit a nomination form and personal statement in the spring (normally between April and June of each year)
  • FCF would write a corresponding letter of nomination, and help submit the application for processing
  • If a participant is accepted as a reviewer, the work to read and comment on submitted proposals generally begins in mid-fall. Selected individuals will receive training and support and, if eligible, will receive an honorarium for their participation.
  • Reviewers then read the biomedical research applications and providing a brief written evaluation of the impact of each application. Each reviewer’s work will culminate in a 1-to-2-day virtual meeting.

Below is a brochure that provides additional background information on all the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP), outlines their grant review processes, and shares several consumer reviewers’ comments about their experiences.

Feel free to contact Lynn O’Malley at if you have any questions or are interested in applying for the next cycle.