Exploration Call

Onderzoeker met buisjes

Basic research serves as the wellspring of innovation, driven by undirected curiosity. Our commitment is to empower researchers, providing them with opportunities to uncover new insights. Recognizing that fundamental knowledge is paramount to pioneering breakthroughs in cancer prevention, detection, and treatment, we steadfastly invest in the exploration of knowledge and skills. This dedication ensures continued progress in the fight against cancer.


The Exploration Call is dedicated to basic research to uncover the underlying mechanisms that drive the onset, growth, and spread of cancer. Its aim is to address knowledge gaps, gain new scientific insights, and identify new leads and targets for preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.


The Exploration Call is intended for project proposals within the Basic research and Credentialing phases:

  • Basic Research (research phase 1)

    The goal of basic research is to obtain essential insight into the origin and progression of cancer and its (psychosocial) effects, as well as basic principles underlying the prevention and treatment of cancer and relevant technological developments. Basic research does not focus directly on the possible application of this knowledge. 

    The boundary between basic research and credentialing is the moment that a specific target for (clinical) application is discovered and when the focus of the research shifts towards a specific application of the scientific knowledge.

  • Credentialing¬†(research phase 2)

    Credentialing (or collecting credentials, evidence, confirmation) aims at identifying factors, targets and leads that could influence or improve prevention, diagnostics, treatment and quality of life. Examples are the discovery of drugs or biomarkers and compound or drug screening. Observational and population studies can also be part of the credentialing phase, as well as cross-sectional research, retrospective and/or prospective cohort studies and case-control studies. The credentialing phase includes a first step towards validating the identified factors, targets or leads.

    The boundary between credentialing and the next phase (creation of modality, see Development Call) is the moment that the lead/factor/target/profile is identified and the new invention/modality is ready for validation in specific model systems.

Timeline Call 2024/3

Call opens: 20 February 2024 (12.00 noon)
Call closes: 14 May 2024 (12.00 noon)
Funding decision:  December 2024

Apply for funding

Research proposals can be submitted through our Grant Management System (KWF GMS).

PLEASE NOTE: participating institutes not yet registered must submit a request through KWF-GMS at least 6 weeks prior to the call's closing date.

Review process

The review process spans around six months and comprises various stages, including internal review by KWF, board review by our Exploration Committee and external review by (inter)national referees.

More information

Please contact one of our science liasions in Basic Research for more information.