Section 381.922, Florida Statutes 2008
381.922 William G. "Bill" Bankhead, Jr., and David Coley Cancer Research Program.--
(1) The William G. "Bill" Bankhead, Jr., and David Coley Cancer Research Program, which may be otherwise cited as the "Bankhead-Coley Program," is created within the Department of Health. The purpose of the program shall be to advance progress towards cures for cancer through grants awarded through a peer-reviewed, competitive process.
(2) The program shall provide grants for cancer research to further the search for cures for cancer.
(a) Emphasis shall be given to the goals enumerated in s. 381.921, as those goals support the advancement of such cures.
(b) Preference may be given to grant proposals that foster collaborations among institutions, researchers, and community practitioners, as such proposals support the advancement of cures through basic or applied research, including clinical trials involving cancer patients and related networks.
(3)(a) Applications for funding for cancer research may be submitted by any university or established research institute in the state. All qualified investigators in the state, regardless of institutional affiliation, shall have equal access and opportunity to compete for the research funding. Collaborative proposals, including those that advance the program's goals enumerated in subsection (2), may be given preference. Grants shall be awarded by the State Surgeon General, after consultation with the Biomedical Research Advisory Council, on the basis of scientific merit, as determined by an open, competitive peer review process that ensures objectivity, consistency, and high quality. The following types of applications shall be considered for funding:
1. Investigator-initiated research grants.
2. Institutional research grants.
3. Collaborative research grants, including those that advance the finding of cures through basic or applied research.
(b) In order to ensure that all proposals for research funding are appropriate and are evaluated fairly on the basis of scientific merit, the State Surgeon General, in consultation with the council, shall appoint a peer review panel of independent, scientifically qualified individuals to review the scientific content of each proposal and establish its priority score. The priority scores shall be forwarded to the council and must be considered in determining which proposals shall be recommended for funding.
(c) The council and the peer review panel shall establish and follow rigorous guidelines for ethical conduct and adhere to a strict policy with regard to conflicts of interest. A member of the council or panel may not participate in any discussion or decision with respect to a research proposal by any firm, entity, or agency with which the member is associated as a member of the governing body or as an employee or with which the member has entered into a contractual arrangement. Meetings of the council and the peer review panels are subject to chapter 119, s. 286.011, and s. 24, Art. I of the State Constitution.
(4) By December 15 of each year, the Department of Health shall submit to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives a report indicating progress towards the program's mission and making recommendations that further its purpose.
(5) Beginning in fiscal year 2006-2007, the sum of $9 million is appropriated annually from recurring funds in the General Revenue Fund to the Biomedical Research Trust Fund within the Department of Health for purposes of the William G. "Bill" Bankhead, Jr., and David Coley Cancer Research Program and shall be distributed pursuant to this section to provide grants to researchers seeking cures for cancer, with emphasis given to the goals enumerated in s. 381.921. From the total funds appropriated, an amount of up to 10 percent may be used for administrative expenses.
(6) By June 1, 2009, the Division of Statutory Revision of the Office of Legislative Services shall certify to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives the language and statutory citation of this section, which is scheduled to expire January 1, 2011.
(7) The Legislature shall review the performance, the outcomes, and the financial management of the William G. "Bill" Bankhead, Jr., and David Coley Cancer Research Program during the 2010 Regular Session of the Legislature and shall determine the most appropriate funding source and means of funding the program based on its review.
(8) This section expires January 1, 2011, unless reviewed and reenacted by the Legislature before that date.
History.--s. 8, ch. 2006-182; s. 32, ch. 2008-6.