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 Proposal Central by 4:00 PM Eastern Time on July 8, 2024. Application instructions and relevant forms are available on the site.

No hard copies or emailed applications will be accepted.

Important Stage 1 Dates

Application Deadline: July 8, 2024
Notification of Finalists: October 2024
Finalist Interviews: November 13, 2024
Funding Begins: January 1, 2025

Application Requirements (Forms are on Proposal Central)

  • Application cover sheet (co-applicant cover sheet) with all required signatures.
  • The Applicant's Appointment Letter (and Re-Appointment Letter, if applicable) stating position title, description of start-up package, and term of appointment.
  • 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

  • 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 and confirmation that there is no scientific overlap with the proposed research for each grant/award (including start-up package, if applicable). A list of pending support with dollar amounts 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. Please complete the form in Proposal Central.
  • Organization Assurances - Human Subjects (IRB) and Vertebrate Animals (IACUC). Please complete the form in Proposal Central.
  • The Summary of Research Form, not to exceed one page. This should match the Abstracts tab in Proposal Central.
  • Applicants must have two reference letters submitted through Proposal Central by senior scientists using their own letterhead. One of the two required letters of recommendation should come from a senior scientist, external to the candidate's institution. (The referee may not be a collaborator, coauthor, or current/former mentor of the applicant.) For candidates with a PhD, it is recommended that the second letter come from either the candidate's postdoctoral or thesis advisor.
    • The letters should address: 
    1. the applicant’s 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.

All 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.

  • In addition to the 2 required reference letters, only 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.
  • If applicable, up to two collaboration lettersnot to exceed one page. These letters should be a brief description of the collaboration, not an evaluation of the candidate (NOT REFERENCE LETTERS).

No budget required at the time of application. (If awarded, budget will be required as part of the acceptance materials.)

Finalist Interviews

Fall 2024
A small number of finalists will be interviewed by members of the Innovation Award Committee.

Contact Information

Award Programs | awards@damonrunyon.org