Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator Award Application Guidelines

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Overview | Important Dates | Application Requirements | Finalist Interviews | Forms for Applicants

Application must be submitted through Proposal Central by 4:00 PM Eastern Time on February 3, 2025. Application instructions and relevant forms will be available on the site.

No hard copies or emailed applications will be accepted.

Important Dates

Application Deadline: February 3, 2025
Notification of Finalists: March 2025
Finalist Interviews: April 11, 2025
Funding Begins: July 1, 2025

Application Requirements (Forms are on Proposal Central)

  • Application Cover Sheet with all required signatures (ink or electronic).
  • The At-a-Glance Form.
    If applicable, include a Department Chair waiver request to justify changes in percent effort.**
  • The Research Experience Information Sheet.
  • A Letter of Commitment 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 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 including commitment to the start-up package
    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 timeline of when this will occur.

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

**In rare unique circumstances, the CIA 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.

  • The Applicant's Appointment Letter (and Reappointment Letter, if applicable) stating position title, description of start-up package, and term of appointment.
  • The Applicant’s Letter 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.
  • Applicant's Personal Statement, a one-page narrative including:
    1. What they anticipate gaining from this award with respect to its impact and their career development
    2. Optional: personal background. (Applicants may choose to indicate if they identify as an individual underrepresented in the life sciences.*)

*NIH definition: https://diversity.nih.gov/about-us/population-underrepresented

  • The Applicant’s NIH Biosketch.
  • The Applicant's Full Bibliography, in which:
    1. the applicant’s name must be highlighted for each entry
    2. original, peer-reviewed research articles must be listed separately and first with hyperlinks
    3. next list review articles, chapters, editorials, etc.

Do not include presentations, abstracts, “in preparation” or “under review” articles.

  • Applicant’s Most Important Publications: list up to five most important publications, providing a brief (1-2 sentences) annotation with respect to the importance of findings and the applicant’s role in the project.
  • Applicant’s Accomplishments: list and describe three most important professional accomplishments.
  • Applicant's Other Sources of Funding: list 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 confirmation that there is no scientific or budgetary overlap with the proposed research.

Note: Only one application will be accepted from a Mentor (Co-Mentor) per review session.

  • The Mentor’s Letter of Support should:
    1. evaluate the applicant’s qualifications for the proposed research project
    2. assess the applicant's potential for successful independent research
    3. describe independence of applicant from the Mentor.
  • The Mentor’s NIH Biosketch.
  • The Mentor's Current and Pending Funding.

If there are two Mentors, each Mentor must submit a Letter of Support, Biosketch, and Funding.

Research Proposals

  • The Mentor’s Proposal for Training should be no longer than three pages* of single-spaced, 12-point type with at least 0.5-inch margins and include:
    1. a plan for how the Mentor will ensure the development of the applicant into a successful clinical investigator
    2. a statement of the number of hours they will commit to the investigator’s training each week
    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, submit only one Proposal for Training, no longer than four pages.

  • The Applicant’s Research Proposal, including figures, tables and legends, is limited to five pages of single-spaced, 12-point type with at least 0.5-inch margins. A list of references is not included in the 5-page limit. The proposal 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
    4. (where applicable) biostatistical methods used for design and analysis
    5. (if any part of the research proposal falls outside of your or your Mentor’s research expertise) please explain and identify the expert consultant who will guide you.
  • The Summary of Research Form, not to exceed one page. This should match the Abstracts tab.
  • If applicable, up to three Collaboration Letters (NOT REFERENCE LETTERS).

Letters of Recommendation

Applicants must have two letters of recommendation submitted through Proposal Central by referees using their own letterhead. The letters should be from qualified individuals (other than your Mentor) best able to assess the applicant and their potential for conducting meaningful clinical cancer research. The quality and depth of these letters will be pivotal in deciding the applicant’s suitability.

Recommended Sources: residency program and/or fellowship training period.

Finalist Interviews

Spring 2025
A small number of finalists will be interviewed by members of the Clinical Investigator Award Committee.

Contact Information

Award Programs | awards@damonrunyon.org