Damon Runyon Fellowship Award Application Guidelines

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Overview | Application Deadlines | Application Requirements

Application must be submitted through Proposal Central by 4:00 PM Eastern Time on March 15, 2023. Application instructions and relevant forms are available on Proposal Central.

No hard copies or emailed applications will be accepted. 

Application Deadlines

Application opens on Proposal Central: Application due on or before:

Applies to Level 1 Candidates*

Degree conferred between**:

Applies to Level 1 Candidates*

Joined Sponsor's Lab on or after:

Selection meeting date***: Award begins first day of:
January 15, 2023 March 15, 2023 September 15, 2021 - March 15, 2023 March 15, 2022 May 5, 2023 July, August, September, or October 2023
June 15, 2023 August 15, 2023 February 15, 2022 - August 15, 2023 August 15, 2022 November 10, 2023 January, February, March, or April 2024

*Level 2 Candidates (Board Eligible Physician-Scientists)- 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. Include a copy of diploma.

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

***Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application in the week following the selection meeting.

Application Requirements 

Reference Letters

Three 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. For candidates with a PhD, one of the reference letters must come from the candidate's thesis advisor. 

In Section 7 of the application, the applicant will put in all their referees’ email addresses. Referees will receive an email from Proposal Central, which will give them access to the reference letter portal where they will upload their letter. 

All three reference letters must be submitted on or before the application deadline. Applicants will NOT be able to submit their application unless all reference letters are uploaded to the portal. 

The complete application should include the following in sequence order:

  • Application cover sheet (including demographic survey) with all required signatures (electronic/scanned). If applying under the mentorship of two Sponsors, your second Sponsor must fill out the co-Sponsor cover sheet. (Only one application will be accepted from a Sponsor, co-Sponsor, or Fellow per review session.)
  • Sponsor’s biosketch in NIH format. (SAMPLE) [If applying under the mentorship of two Sponsors, the co-Sponsor must also submit a biosketch.]
  • Sponsor’s letter of support evaluating the candidate’s qualifications for the proposed research project and an assessment of the candidate’s potential for successful independent cancer research. [If applying under the mentorship of two Sponsors the letter should be written jointly by both sponsors]
  • Sponsor’s comprehensive and detailed training plan for the candidate, up to two pages. [If applying under the mentorship of two Sponsors, the training plan for the candidate must be written jointly and each co-Sponsor must submit their individual track record of mentorship with list of graduate and postdoctoral fellows trained.]
  • Sponsor's mentorship track record with names and current positions of graduate and postdoctoral trainees from the past 10 years.
  • Applicant’s biosketch in NIH format (non-fellowship). (SAMPLE
  • Applicant's Research Support Form (if applicable).
  • Applicant's bibliography, separate list with hyperlinks* to each publication (in addition to the NIH Biosketch). *You may include hyperlinks to preprints on bioRxiv.
  • Applicant's letter, approximately two pages including:
    • description of previous research and teaching experience
    • statement on the transformative impact they had on their field of research as a graduate student
    • if applicant is training at the same institution in which they received their degree, an explanation of the reason(s) for remaining at the same institution (can be copied for page 2 of cover sheet)
  • Applicant's personal statement, a one page narrative including:
    • What they anticipate gaining from this award with respect to its impact and their career development
    • 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
  • Statement of applicant's long-term commitment to a career in cancer research. This statement should be no longer than one paragraph and indicate what applicant plans to do after completing their postdoc.
  • Research proposal including figures and/or tables incorporated into the text, not to exceed five pages of single-spaced, 12-point type with at least 0.5-inch margins. In the proposal, the applicant should:
    • provide a summary of the research proposed (this is in addition to the required summary form)
    • provide a brief background to the proposed research
    • state specific research objectives/aims
    • describe concisely the method of approach for the proposed research
    • 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
    • demonstrate the relevance of their own background and the background and previous work of the Sponsor and any other investigators to the proposed research
    • list references including the full title of each work cited—references are not included in the five page limit
  • Copy of the applicant's diploma. Applicants who have not yet received their PhD diploma but have successfully completed all PhD requirements, including PhD defense, may submit a letter from their graduate school explicitly stating such, with the dates of the PhD defense and degree conferral.
  • Summary of Research Form, not to exceed one page. (Same as Abstract, cut and paste).
  • Collaboration Letters. If applicable, up to two letters from collaborators, not to exceed one page, indicating their willingness to contribute equipment, materials, or expertise. These letters should be a brief description of the collaboration, not an evaluation of the candidate (NOT REFERENCE LETTERS).

Contact Information

Award Programs | awards@damonrunyon.org