Crazy 8 Initiative Award

Funding Agency:
Alexs Lemonade Stand Foundation


Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) has focused on enhancing collaborations that develop cures since its beginning. As ALSF continues to distinguish itself as a leader in funding childhood cancer research and accelerating cures, the Foundation’s grants have facilitated unprecedented collaborations between the brightest minds in childhood cancer research from around the globe. ALSF launched the Crazy 8 Initiative with the purpose of harnessing that collaborative spirit to detail roadmaps to cures for specific high-risk childhood cancers and to identify and solve critical challenges facing the childhood cancer community. 

The Crazy 8 Initiative kicked off in 2018 with a meeting that brought together more than 90 top scientists from around the world to contribute their expertise in eight key pediatric oncology disciplines.

Crazy 8 Disciplines: 1. Embryonal brain cancers 2. High grade gliomas 3. Fusion positive sarcomas 4. Fusion negative sarcomas 5. Leukemias 6. Neuroblastoma 7. Big data 8. Catalyzing clinical trials 

The group aimed to undertake the big question: How can we tackle major obstacles impeding progress towards cures for childhood cancer through multidisciplinary collaborative research? The outcomes of the meeting included a list of addressable problems and proposed pathways forward to overcome these obstacles to make cures a reality. The group identified four crosscutting research themes that form the basis of this RFA, with the overarching goal of making a major impact on the field of childhood cancer.

Crazy 8 Research Themes

1. Developmental Origins of Pediatric Cancers

2. Drugging Currently Undruggable Pediatric Cancer Drivers

3. Developing Novel Immunotherapies

4. Discovery and Development of Novel Pediatric Cancer Drug Targets

The Crazy 8 Initiative Award will fund research into innovative and rigorous approaches that directly address the most intractable issues in pediatric cancer research today. This award is designed to coalesce cross-disciplinary cores of scientists working collaboratively in order to accelerate the pace of new cure discovery. The proposal should address a topic that is responsive to at least one of the four pediatric cancer research themes listed above. It is expected that successful applications will address one or more of the eight disciplines that formed the basis of the Crazy 8 initiative. 

Investigations may involve the exploration of a novel scientific hypothesis or the development of new model systems, tools or technologies that have the potential for significant impact on the field of childhood cancer. Collaboration and data sharing are a priority for this research program. We expect successful applications to propose multidisciplinary teams with a very clear plan for collaboration that would empower the study of big ideas that would not be easily addressable otherwise. Childhood cancer research applicants are encouraged to bring new, necessary expertise into the field. The awards will be judged on scientific soundness, significance and the potential for impact on improving the lives of children with cancer.


  • Required Letter of Intent Due: October 1, 2019
  • Full Application Due: January 20, 2020

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

Crazy 8 Disciplines 1. Embryonal brain cancers 2. High grade gliomas 3. Fusion positive sarcomas 4. Fusion negative sarcomas 5. Leukemias 6. Neuroblastoma 7. Big data 8. Catalyzing clinical trials 

Eligibility Requirements

• Applicants must have an MD, PhD, or MD/PhD or equivalent and be appointed as faculty (or equivalent) at an academic institution. • Applicants must have a track record of publication and funding productivity that should demonstrate that the project can be accomplished by the investigators. • Applicant institutions may be based in the United States or abroad, and applicants need not be United States citizens. Funds must be granted to nonprofit institutions or organizations. 

Amount Description

The requested budget should be in proportion to the scope of the proposed project and its corresponding potential for impact. Depending on the type of project and the size of the team, the requested budget should be in the range of $1-5 million USD over 4 years.

Funding Type





Medical - Basic Science
Medical - Clinical Science
Medical - Translational

External Deadline

October 1, 2019