Damon Runyon-St. Jude Pediatric Cancer Research 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 August 15, 2024. Application instructions and relevant forms are available on Proposal Central.

No hard copies or emailed applications will be accepted. 

For the August deadline, applicants may apply for either the Damon Runyon Postdoctoral Fellowship Award or the Damon Runyon-St. Jude Pediatric Cancer Research Fellowship Award, not both.

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:
June 15, 2024 August 15, 2024 February 15, 2023 - August 15, 2024 August 15, 2023 October 24, 2024 January, February, March, or April 2025
June 15, 2025 August 15, 2025 February 15, 2024 - August 15, 2025 August 15, 2024 November 2025 January, February, March, or April 2026

*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.

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. Reference letters should be two to three pages in length. 

In Section 7 of the application, the applicant will put in the 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, one 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, one training plan for the candidate must be written jointly.
  • Sponsor's mentorship track record with names and current positions of graduate and postdoctoral trainees from the past 10 years. If applying under the mentorship of two Sponsors, the co-Sponsor must also submit a separate mentorship track record.
  • 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 from page 2 of cover sheet). Please note: Proposals to continue training in the laboratory where the applicant received their PhD will not be considered. Proposals that are direct extensions of graduate work will not be funded.
  • 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 as defined by the NIH.
  • 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 the applicant plans to do after completing their postdoc.
  • Pediatric impact statement indicating how proposed research has the potential to significantly impact the prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of one or more pediatric cancers (not to exceed 300 words).
  • 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 Fellowship'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, copy 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