Current areas of focus


Building capacity in low- middle-income countries – developing an online grant proposal writing course

While the incidence of cancer is rapidly increasing in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and changing dietary patterns play an important role, grant proposals on nutrition and cancer submitted by LMICs scientists rarely qualify for funding. ICONIC is working with Professor Ellen Kampman and Professor Cora Busstra at Wageningen University to develop a proposal for an online distant learning course to help with successful grant proposal writing particularly in these countries. The proposal is based on experience of similar courses within Wageningen University and intends to cover various aspects of grant writing such as formulating a research question, designing the most appropriate study, calculating study size, planning and budget, as well as other training skills relevant for grant writing.

A pilot study has been conducted early in 2021 as part of Wageningen University’s ongoing distance learning programme, offering a chance to evaluate and refine the course at an early stage and with the ambition to make this more widely available in the future.

Nutrition in children, teenagers and young adults (CTYA)

With multiple stakeholders leading and supporting initiatives in research in the area of nutrition and cancer in children, teenagers and young adults (CTYA), ICONIC supports the development of an agreed framework that will better enable collaboration to share understanding of what is already known, identify gaps in knowledge, and set research priorities that together will enhance opportunities for improved care.

Malnutrition poses serious challenges in the management of children throughout their cancer journey, from prior to diagnosis into long‐term survivorship. There is a need to better understand the mechanisms by which poor nutritional state influences the resilience to disease, response to treatment, and outcomes for children with cancer, so that ultimately this knowledge can be incorporated into clinical care and provide individuals and populations with evidence-based guidance.

This area of work will be the focus of the first of a series of Virtual Dialogue sessions in 2021, hosted by ICONIC in collaboration with UICC.

Hosting a series of Virtual Dialogues in Collaboration with UICC

ICONIC is pleased to be hosting a series of Virtual Dialogues in collaboration with UICC, with the first Special Focus Dialogue on “Nutrition and cancer in children, teens and young adults – current understanding and future opportunities”.

These sessions are a chance to connect, exchange knowledge, access expert insights and share solutions on respective and common challenges.

WHO guideline development: severe wasting in children aged 6 months and over

In September 2020, ICONIC joined forces with the International Malnutrition Task Force (IMTF) to conduct a preliminary search of the evidence on severe wasting in infants and oedema in children aged six months and over.

This was in response to a call from the World Health Organization‘s (WHO) Department of Nutrition and Food Safety, in collaboration with the Department of Maternal, Child, Adolescent Health and Ageing, to undertake scoping reviews of available evidence in order to propose key questions that the guideline on prevention and treatment on wasting in infants and children would need to address. 

The completed review was presented to the WHO Guideline Development Group in December 2020 and this was an initial step in a formal process of guideline development. ICONIC looks forward to further opportunities to engage in the process going forward.