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Damon Runyon Physician-Scientist Training Award

Grants to USA Individual Physicians
for Extended Cancer-Related Research

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation

Deadline Date:

12/03/18 4:00 PM ET Receipt


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Grants to USA individual physicians for financial assistance to conduct up to four years of cancer-related research. Funding is intended for research that will lead to translation of scientific discoveries into more effective patient treatment and therapy. Grants are intended to encourage more physicians to pursue research careers.

The pipeline of physician-scientists is dwindling. The decline in this vital cadre of cancer researchers is occurring at a time when cancer research holds the greatest promise of improving survival and quality of life among cancer patients. A growing shortage of physician-scientists means that major laboratory research discoveries will progress to patient application ever more slowly.

In an effort to confront the crisis arising from a growing dearth of physician-scientists, Damon Runyon wishes to encourage more physicians to pursue research careers. To do so, the Foundation is establishing a pilot program designed to recruit outstanding U.S. Specialty Board-eligible physicians into cancer research careers by providing them with the opportunity for a protected research training experience under the mentorship of a highly qualified and gifted mentor after they have completed all of their clinical training. The goals are to a) transform these individuals into the highest quality physician-scientists, capable of conducting research that has the potential to transform the diagnosis, treatment and/or prevention of cancer and b) to eliminate the financial disincentive to entering this career path.

This award will provide a funding source that will enable these individuals to pursue research intensively (at least 80% effort) for up to four years, while, if they wish to maintain their clinical skills, continuing to be clinically active (no more than 20% effort). With the recognition that very few other funding sources (if any) exist to support these developing physician-scientists, this award is structured to provide recipients with significant salary support and necessary research expenses, with the expectation that their institutions will provide an environment and additional support (such as benefits and institutional overhead) to ensure their success.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 174547

Number of Grants:

As this is a pilot program, there will be up to three awards per year.

Estimated Size of Grant:

Year 1 - $100,000
Year 2 - $110,000
Year 3 - $120,000
Year 4 - $130,000
Total: $460,000

Additionally, the Foundation will retire up to $100,000 of any qualifying medical school debt still owed by the awardee.

Term of Contract:

The award will be for a period of four years, beginning July 1, 2019.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Physician-scientist applicants (MDs only) must have completed their residencies and clinical training, be U.S. Specialty Board eligible prior to the award start date, and be able to devote at least 80% of their time and effort to Damon Runyon-supported research. MD/PhDs are not eligible to apply.

The candidate may not have had more than three years of postdoctoral laboratory research experience.

Applicants may apply at any time prior to their initial assistant professorship appointment (or equivalent). Postdoctoral fellows, clinical fellows, and clinical instructors are eligible to apply. If the Awardee transitions to an assistant professorship appointment (or equivalent) during the award term, he/she must terminate the award.

Candidates holding or awarded NIH K awards at the time of application are not eligible to apply. (Candidates holding institutional K12 awards may apply, but must return their K12 funding to the US Government/NIH if they are awarded a Damon Runyon Physician-Scientist Training Award.)

Candidates must apply with a Mentor. Only one fellowship application will be accepted from a Mentor per review session; there is no limit, however, to the number of applications from an institution. No more than two awardees will be funded to work with the same Mentor at any given time.

Eligible candidates may apply up to two times.

Funds are to be used for stipend and/or research expenses. No part of this grant can be used for indirect costs or institutional overhead.

Pre-Application Information:

Key Application Dates:
- Application Deadline: December 3, 2018
- Review Panel Meeting: March 5, 2019
- Funding Begins July 1, 2019

Applications must be in the office by 4:00 pm (ET) on the deadline—not simply postmarked by December 3. Faxed or e-mailed applications will not be considered.

Application instructions:


For referees who are writing letters on behalf of more than one candidate, please submit each letter separately.

All application materials should be submitted to the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation for arrival at the offices on or before the December 3 deadline. Along with the original application (hard copy), applicants must submit a USB flash drive of all the required materials.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Send the complete application and USB flash drive to:

Award Programs
Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation
One Exchange Plaza
55 Broadway, Suite 302
New York, NY 10006

Referees must submit their letters on their institution’s letterhead by:
Email:, or
Fax: 917.591.4780

Award Programs

URL for Full Text (RFP):

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