Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Award Stage 1 Application Guidelines

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Overview | Important Stage 1 Dates | Application Requirements | Finalist Interviews | Forms for Applicants

Application must be submitted through proposalCENTRAL by 4:00 PM Eastern Time on July 1, 2021. Application instructions and relevant forms will be available on the site.

No hard copies or emailed applications will be accepted.

Important Stage 1 Dates

Application Deadline: July 1, 2021
Notification of Finalists: October 2021
Finalist Interviews: November 9, 2021
Funding Begins: January 1, 2022

Application Requirements (Forms are on proposalCENTRAL)

  • Application cover sheet (co-applicant cover sheet) with all required signatures.
  • Applicant’s NIH Biosketch.
  • A full bibliography of all published works with hyperlinks. Bold three peer-reviewed publications (published or in press) that demonstrate the applicant’s capacity for innovation and ability to achieve the goals set forth in the proposed research.
  • A complete list of other sources of research support with dollar amounts for each grant/award (including start-up package, if applicable), a list of pending support, and confirmation that there is no scientific overlap with the proposed research.
  • The research proposal, including figures, tables and legends, is limited to four pages of single-spaced, 12-point type with at least 0.5-inch margins. No preliminary data are expected; any description of such data (including figures) should be included in the four-page proposal. A list of references is not included in the 4-page limit.
    • In the proposal, the applicant should include:
      1. the aim(s) of the proposed research project(s)
      2. the significance and potential impact of the research on the prevention, diagnosis, treatment or basic understanding of cancer
      3. the experimental designs, strategies and methods to be used in the conduct of the research
      4. an explanation of how the proposed idea and/or approach is innovative and bold yet achievable.
  • A one-paragraph description of resources and core facilities available to the applicant for the proposed research.
  • Organization Assurances.
  • The Summary of Research Form, not to exceed one page.
  • If applicable, up to three collaboration letters (NOT REFERENCE LETTERS).
  • In addition to the 2 required reference letters (see instructions below), Clinical Instructors and Senior Clinical Fellows (in the final year of their sub-specialty training) holding an MD/DO, as well as Distinguished Fellows, are required to submit a letter from their mentor or institutional equivalent, guaranteeing that the applicant is conducting the proposed research independently and addressing their exceptional level of research accomplishment and potential to manage a successful, independent research program. Please use our Mentor Reference Letter Form.

No budget required at the time of application.

Reference Letters

Applicants must have two reference letters submitted through proposalCentral by senior scientists using their own letterhead.

The letters should address: 

  1. the applicant’s extraordinary research and academic accomplishments
  2. the level of innovation and importance of the proposed research
  3. the applicant’s characteristics that make them uniquely suited to carry out and achieve the goals of the proposed research
  4. the applicant’s potential to be a true innovator.

For applications with co-applicants, please contact the Award Programs for further directions on submitting reference letters.

Finalist Interviews

Fall 2021
A small number of finalists will be interviewed by members of the Innovation Award Committee. Interviews will be conducted at the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation in New York, New York. Interview travel expenses will be paid by the Foundation.

Contact Information

Award Programs | 212.455.0520 | awards@damonrunyon.org