The DCS Board of Advisors consists of about 100-120 experts who advise DCS on achieving its mission goals from multiple perspectives. The experts are scientists, (former) patients, volunteers, health care providers and other relevant stakeholders.
The DCS Board of Advisors has the following tasks:
- advising (solicited or unsolicited) on DCS’s strategy;
- identifying trends and informing about developments in the (oncology) field and society;
- assessing scientific expenditures (within the DCS PR&I) and non-scientific expenditures.
Assessing scientific expenditures
DCS uses new review criteria for project proposals and re-establishes the Internal Review Committees within the DCS Board of Advisors to contribute to the ambition to fast track results from scientific research to practical applications for patients.
The following criteria apply to all project proposals within the DCS PR&I:
- Relevance to the fight against cancer: the manner in which and the extent to which the project contributes to the mission goals of DCS or contributes to the body of knowledge about the onset and development of (the effects of) cancer;
- Scientific quality: the total set of qualities and characteristics of a project proposal that are relevant for meeting set targets or achieving set goals;
- Feasibility: the extent to which all required resources are available and all the conditions are met to achieve the goal.
The contents of the review criteria are specified per research phase and are adapted to the funding framework and conditions necessary for the particular research phase. Furthermore, project proposals will be reviewed from different perspectives.
Internal Review Committees
Within the DCS Board of Advisors two Internal Review Committees will be established: one Committee for the Exploration track and one for the Development and Implementation track. In the Development and Implementation track, project proposals will not only be reviewed from a scientific perspective, but also from the perspective of patients, caregivers and other relevant stakeholders.
An Internal Review Committee consists of approximately 30 members. To achieve a diverse perspective, which can assess the field collectively, its composition is based on research phases, expertises/disciplines and roles. In addition, variation in career phase, geographical distribution, and male/female distribution is considered.
In addition to the Internal Review Committees, the DCS Board of Advisors consists of three structural Advisory Committees. These Advisory Committees are arranged, in principle, for the duration of the period of the DCS policy view. After this period, the Advisory Committees will be evaluated.
The Advisory Committee ‘Less Cancer’ advises on the elaboration of the DCS policy view into concrete plans for the purpose of the DCS mission goal Less Cancer. They also assess non-scientific projects, advise on preventive issues and identifies relevant developments in the field of cancer prevention.
The Advisory Committee ‘Better quality of life’ advises on the development of the DCS policy view into concrete plans for the purpose of the DCS mission goal Better Quality of Life. It also assesses non-scientific projects, the funding conditions for the Nederlandse Federatie van Kankerpatiëntenorganisaties (NFK) patient organisation, the online patient platform Kanker.nl foundation, and other topics such as psychosocial care.
The Advisory Committee ‘Volunteers’ advises on a.o. the DCS voluntary policy view and is currently being developed further.
The role of the (former) patient is also structurally designed in the DCS Board of Advisors by the Patient Advisory Committee (PACO), which will be represented with two seats in the Internal Review Committees for the Development and Implementation tracks. In total there will be approximately 12 patients seats in the DCS Board of Advisors. The PACO feeds the DCS Board of Advisors especially as an assessor from the patient's perspective.
The DCS Board of Advisors has been officially launched on May 17, 2016, when the Chairman of the former Scientific Board (‘Wetenschappelijke Raad’) handed over the baton to the chairman of the DCS Board of Advisors, during the 65th anniversary event of the Wetenschappelijke Raad.