Clinical Investigator Award Application Guidelines

Deadline  |  Application Materials  |  Application Submission Instructions

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(Please note: completed applications and USB flash drives must be in our office by 4:00 pm (ET) on the deadline—not simply postmarked by February 17, 2015)

Application Deadline: February 17, 2015

Review Panel Meeting: March 26, 2015

Finalists Interview: April 24, 2015 at the Foundation’s office in New York, NY 

Award Announcement: May 2015 

Funding Begins: July 1, 2015

Application Materials

All application materials should be submitted to the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation for arrival at our offices on or before the February 17 deadline.  Along with the original application (hard copy), applicants must submit a USB flash drive of all the required materials. Do not staple any part of the application.  Please see application submission instructions below for detailed directives.

The complete application should be assembled in the following order:

1. Cover Sheets
Save the cover sheet onto the USB flash drive* (no scanned copies of the cover sheet). Applicants must also submit a hard copy of the cover sheet with all required signatures. These signatures can be either ink or electronic, or a mix of the two.

*Electronic signatures are acceptable but not required for the USB copy

2. At-a-Glance Form
Complete all sections of the provided form.

3. Nomination Letter From Institution/Department
A letter endorsed by both the Dean or Center Director and the Head/Chair of the Department should (1) identify the applicant as their nominee, (2) confirm the applicant’s and mentor’s academic appointments, (3) address the applicant’s status in securing a tenure-track or most equivalent faculty position,* (4) state the institution’s willingness to support the applicant’s research efforts and guarantee 80%** protected time for the applicant’s research to fulfill the terms of the award, (5) address the institution’s/department’s commitment to the development of the applicant as a clinical investigator, and (6) detail the laboratory and office space allotted to the applicant. If the applicant is not occupying the space at the time of the application, please provide a time line of when this will occur.

*This appointment must not be contingent upon the applicant securing funding.

**In rare unique circumstances, the CIA Review Committee may consider an applicant with a very modest reduction of 80% protected time if their Department Chair can provide a compelling reason explaining why a waiver of the 80% requirement should be granted, what percentage of effort will be guaranteed, and what safeguards will be put in place to make sure the individual’s research will not be compromised by their clinical/administrative activities.

4. Appointment Letter
Copy of applicant’s appointment letter stating position title, description of start-up package and term of appointment. 

5. Applicant’s Letter
This should outline the applicant’s long-term vision and goals in the field of clinical cancer investigation and their future commitment to clinical/patient research.

6. Applicant’s Curriculum Vitae
This should include education and training information, research and professional experience, a statement of board eligibility and a bibliography of the candidate.  In the bibliography, (1) the candidate’s name must be highlighted for each entry, (2) original, peer-reviewed research articles must be listed separately and first, (3) and next list review articles, chapters, editorials, etc. (do not include presentations, abstracts, “in preparation” or “under review” articles).  Also, the candidate should list up to five of their most important publications, providing a brief (1-2 sentences) annotation with respect to the importance of findings and the candidate’s role in the project.

7. Applicant’s Accomplishments
The applicant should list and describe his/her three most important professional accomplishments.

8. Other Sources of Funding
A list of all current and pending funding sources, and start-up funding (if applicable). Include the specific aims of each grant, the total amount of each grant, as well as the amount received each year, and the degree of overlap with the applicant’s proposal.  (Please note: Scientific or budgetary overlap with other funded projects is not allowed.)

9. Mentor’s Letter of Support
The Mentor should (1) evaluate the applicant’s qualifications for the proposed research project, (2) assess his/her potential for successful independent research, and (3) describe independence of applicant from the mentor.

10. Mentor’s Biographical Sketch
This should include (1) a biographical sketch, (2) a bibliography of recent publications (not to exceed two pages) and (3) a list of current and pending funding.
If there are two Mentors, each Mentor must provide a biographical sketch.

11. Research Proposals
The research proposal should be in two parts as follows:

A. Mentor’s Proposal for Training
(In addition to Mentor’s Letter)
This should be no longer than three pages* of single spaced, 12-point type and include (1) a plan for how the Mentor will ensure the development of the candidate into a successful clinical investigator, (2) a statement of the number of hours he/she will commit to the investigator’s training each week and (3) a description of any formal courses and training programs developed and offered by the sponsoring institution for the training of clinical investigators that would be included in the applicant’s curriculum.

*If there are two mentors, provide only one proposal for training, no longer than four pages.

B. Applicant’s Research Proposal
The research proposal, including references, figures, tables and legends, is limited to five pages of single spaced, 12-point type and should outline concisely (1) the aim(s) of the proposed research project(s), (2) the significance of the research goals, (3) the plan of research proposed and the experimental designs, strategies and methods to be used in the conduct of the research.  Where applicable include, (4) biostatistical methods used for design and analysis.  If any part of the research proposal falls outside of your or your mentor’s research expertise, (5) please explain and identify the expert consultant who will guide you.  

12. Human Subjects, Radiation Safety, Environmental Health Issues Statement, and IRB Approval
A written statement testifying that adequate safety precautions will apply for projects that involve any biohazards (e.g., recombinant DNA, chemical carcinogens, etc.) and that the research project has been (or will be) approved by the appropriate Institutional Review Board, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee and/or Biohazards Committee.  Institutional Review Board (IRB) approvals (do not include protocols).

13. Summary of Research Form
Fill in form provided.  (Not to exceed one page—no attachments.)

14. Collaboration Letters

Up to three collaboration letters (NOT REFERENCE LETTERS)

15. Applicant’s Reprints
Up to three reprints from the applicant.   (No hard copies. PDF format on the required USB only.)

Letters of Recommendation
Two letters of recommendation from qualified individuals best able to assess the applicant and their potential for conducting meaningful clinical cancer research should be sent by email or fax directly to the Foundation.  The quality and depth of these letters will be pivotal in deciding the candidate’s suitability.  (Recommended sources:  residency program and/or fellowship training period.)

Referees must submit their letters on their institution’s letterhead by email (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)) OR fax (917.591.4780) on or before the application deadline (February 17).  Do not follow-up with a hard copy.

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

Application Submission Instructions

The above application materials should be submitted to the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation for arrival at our offices on or before the February 17 deadline. Along with the original application (hard copy), applicants must submit a USB flash drive of all the required materials.

Please number your PDF files to correspond to the listing below. To ensure proper organization of the files, please name all your files as:

“Applicant’s last name, #”

Example: If the applicant’s name is John Smith, this is how the files should be named:

Smith, 1.pdf
Smith, 2.pdf
Smith, 3.pdf and so on, so that the files correspond to the following documents:


  1. Application Cover Sheets (Smith, 1.pdf)
  2. At-a-Glance Form (Smith, 2.pdf)
    If applicable, Department Chair waiver request of 80% effort. (Smith, 2b.pdf)
  3. Commitment Letter from Institution/Department (Smith, 3.pdf)
  4. Appointment Letter (Smith, 4.pdf)
  5. Applicant’s Letter (Smith, 5.pdf)
  6. Applicant’s CV (Smith, 6.pdf)
  7. Applicant’s Accomplishments (Smith, 7.pdf)
  8. List of Other Sources of Funding (Smith, 8.pdf)
  9. Mentor’s Letter of Support- include co-mentor’s letter in same file, if applicable (Smith, 9.pdf)
  10. Mentor’s Biographical Sketch- include co-mentor’s biosketch in same file, if applicable (Smith, 10.pdf)
  11. Research Proposals
  12. A. Mentor’s Proposal for Training- include co-mentor’s proposal in same file, if applicable (Smith, 11A.pdf)
    B. Applicant’s Research Proposal (Smith, 11B.pdf) 
  13. Safety Statement and IRB Approval (Smith, 12pdf)
  14. Summary of Research Form (Smith, 13.pdf)
  15. Up to three letters of collaboration (Smith, 14)
  16. Up to three different reprints of the applicant’s work- PDF only (Smith, 15a.pdf; Smith, 15b.pdf; Smith, 15c.pdf)
  17. Merged Application (Smith, merged.pdf)


Two reference letters
(sent directly to the Foundation by referees)


Send 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

Applications must be in our office by 4:00pm (ET) on the deadline—not simply postmarked by February 17.


Contact Information:
Award Programs | 212.455.0520 | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)