Fellowship Award Application Guidelines

Deadlines  |  Application Materials  |  Application Submission Instructions  |  Reference Letters


Completed applications and USB flash drives must be in our office by 4:00 pm (ET) on the deadline—NOT simply postmarked by the due date. For the March deadline, applicants may apply for either the Damon Runyon Postdoctoral Fellowship Award or the Damon Runyon-Sohn Pediatric Fellowship Award, not for both.

Application due on or before: Degree conferred between*: Joined Sponsor’s Lab on or after: Selection meeting date: Award begins first day of:
March 16, 2015 April 15, 2014-March 16, 2015 April 15, 2014 May 8, 2015
July, August, September or October 2015
August 17, 2015
October 15, 2014-August 17, 2015
October 15, 2014 November 6, 2015
January, February, March or April 2016

*Include a copy of diploma to confirm date of conferral.

Application Materials

Please also refer to the checklist and application forms

  1. Application cover sheet. Save the cover sheet onto the USB flash drive (this electronic copy of the cover sheet must not be scanned. We use a program that extracts information from the cover sheet, and it will not work if the cover sheet is scanned). Electronic signatures are acceptable but not required for the USB copy. 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.  [If applying under the mentorship of two Sponsors, please have your second Sponsor fill out the co-Sponsor cover sheet.]
  2. The Sponsor’s biographical sketch in NIH format and a list of current funding. Please limit the Sponsor’s bibliography to five (5) publications that are most relevant to the proposed research.  Do not include the Sponsor’s full bibliography.
    [If applying under the mentorship of two Sponsors, the co-Sponsor must also submit a biosketch.]
  3. Sponsor’s letter including:
            a) description of training plan for the candidate
            b) track record of mentorship with names and current positions of graduate and postdoctoral fellows trained
            c) percentage (__%) of proposal written by the candidate.  (Please give a numerical percentage.)
    [If applying under the mentorship of two Sponsors, the training plan for the candidate must be written jointly and each co-Sponsor must submit his/her individual track record of mentorship with list of graduate and postdoctoral fellows trained.]
  4. The applicant’s curriculum vitae, including a bibliography of all published works.
  5. Applicant's letter including:
            a) description of previous research and teaching experience
            b) statement on the transformative impact he/she had on his/her field of research as a graduate student
            c) statement that he/she is committed to a career in cancer research
            d) if applicant is training at the same institution in which he/she received his/her degree, an explanation of the reason(s) for remaining at the same institution 
  6. The research proposal, not to exceed five pages of single-spaced, 12-point type with at least 0.5 inch margins.  In the proposal, the applicant should:
           a) provide a summary of the research proposed (this is in addition to the required summary form)
           b) provide a brief background to the proposed research
           c) state specific research objectives/aims
           d) describe concisely the method of approach for the proposed research
           e) explain the significance of the proposed research to the Foundation’s goals: understanding the causes and mechanisms of cancer and developing more effective cancer therapies and prevention
           f) demonstrate the relevance of his/her own background and the background and previous work of the Sponsor and any other investigators to the proposed research
          g) include a written statement testifying that adequate safety precautions will apply for projects that involve any biohazards (e.g., recombinant DNA, chemical carcinogens) 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
          h) list references including the full title of each work cited—the references are not included in the five page limit
          i) figures or tables may be appended or incorporated into the text (not to exceed two extra pages)
  7. A copy of the applicant’s degree certificate. If applicant has not yet received his/her PhD diploma but has successfully completed all PhD requirements including PhD defense, they may submit a letter from their graduate school explicitly stating such, with the date of the PhD defense and date of degree conferral.
  8. The Summary of Research Form, not to exceed one page—no attachments. 
  9. If available, include PDFs (NO HARD COPIES) of up to three different publications of the applicant's work-no submitted manuscripts, published papers only.
  10. If applicable, include up to two collaboration letters (NOT REFERENCE LETTERS).

Application Submission Instructions

Application materials should be submitted to the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation for arrival at our offices on or before the deadlineMaterials should be in the checklist sequence and numbered consecutively. Do not staple any part of the application. Please notify the Foundation immediately of any changes to your contact information provided in the application.

Along with the original application (hard copy), applicants must submit a USB flash drive, clearly labled with the sponsor's and applicant's names, with all required materials. ALL FILES MUST BE IN PDF FORMAT.  Please number your PDF files to correspond to the listing below. To ensure proper organization of the files, name all your files as:

Applicant’s last name-Sponsor’s last name, file #

Example: If the applicant’s name is John Smith and the sponsor’s name is Jane Doe, the files should be named:

Smith-Doe, 1.pdf
Smith-Doe, 2.pdf
Smith-Doe, 3.pdf

For applicants applying under the mentorship of two Sponsors: Please use and ampersand between the co-sponsors' names. 

Example: If the applicant's name is John Smith and co-sponsors' names are Jane Doe and Jack Jones, the files should be named:

Smith-Doe & Jones, 1.pdf
Smith-Doe & Jones, 2.pdf
Smith-Doe & Jones, 3.pdf


  1. Application cover sheet
  2. Sponsor’s biographical sketch and list of current funding
  3. Sponsor’s letter
  4. Applicant’s CV
  5. Applicant’s letter
  6. Research proposal
  7. Applicant’s degree certificate
  8. Summary of research form
  9. 9a,b,c. Up to three different reprints of the applicant’s publications (PDF only)
  10. 10a,b. Up to two collaboration letters
  11. A merged PDF of items 1-10, omitting 7 (degree certificate)
[For applicants applying under the mentorship of two Sponsors, each co-sponsor must submit a biographical sketch and list of current funding (labeled 2a and 2b). The sponsor letter should be written jointly by both sponsors, but each co-Sponsor must submit an individual track record of mentorship with list of graduate and postdoctoral fellows trained.]

Send Complete Application hard copy and USB flash drive to:

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


Reference Letters

Referees must submit their letters using our reference letter form on or before the application deadline. Please download and send the form to your referees or direct them to our website.

THREE (3) LETTERS OF REFERENCE ARE REQUIRED from qualified individuals, other than the candidate’s Sponsor, who can evaluate the candidate's qualifications for the proposed research project and assess the candidate's potential for successful independent cancer research.  Referees are also asked to rank the applicant's intellectual capacity and research potential in comparison with others at a comparable career stage, indicating the comparison group and citing specific examples for their assessment.  For candidates with a PhD, one of the reference letters must come from the candidate's thesis advisor.

Referees must e-mail (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)) OR fax (917.591.4780) their letters to the Foundation as PDFs on or before the application deadline.  Do not follow up with a hard copy.  Please submit the form and letter as a single PDF named: "Candidate last name- Sponsor last name (Referee last name)." If the referee was the candidate's thesis advisor, include "ADV" after the referee's last name.  For referees who are writing letters on behalf of more than one candidate, please submit each letter separately.

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