For Scientists

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Damon Runyon’s mission?

Damon Runyon’s mission is to identify and support the best early career scientists pursuing innovative research that has the potential to transform cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment. Our goal is to encourage new generations of outstanding researchers to pursue paradigm-shifting ideas and approaches and have highly productive, successful research careers.

What types of research projects does Damon Runyon fund?

Damon Runyon views cancer research very broadly, including the full spectrum of basic questions important to normal human biology and carcinogenesis, as well as development of new platforms and technologies. We encourage all theoretical and experimental research that has the potential to provide insights into cancer and the search for cancer causes, mechanisms, therapies and prevention for all types of cancer. This includes research in the areas of molecular biology, genetics, genomics, cell biology, immunology, model organisms, microbiology, virology, systems biology, structural biology, neuroscience, aging, chemistry, chemical biology, organic synthesis, physics and quantitative biology – in addition to others.

We seek novel ideas and approaches. We understand that many ideas and experiments do not work, and that science often leads the best minds in unexpected directions. We are willing to take risks on creative new ideas and approaches, even if they may “fail.”

See our current projects to get a sense of the broad spectrum of research we are currently funding.

What types of researchers does Damon Runyon fund?

Damon Runyon’s goal is to identify top emerging talent. We seek individuals who have demonstrated high productivity, creativity, and the ability to identify and successfully tackle important new scientific questions and challenges as demonstrated in their prior research and proposed project. We seek applicants that meet these criteria from any research institutions across the country.

For your mentored awards, what types of mentors do you seek?

Damon Runyon typically looks for mentors who demonstrate their commitment to mentorship through their proposed mentorship plans and have a track record of training scientists who have gone on to have successful scientific careers. We will fund applications where the mentor is a more recently established independent investigator when a compelling case is made in the application.

Who selects your award recipients?

Each Damon Runyon award program has a separate selection committee comprised of highly respected, renowned scientists who are the “phenotype” of the types of researchers that are the focus of the particular award (e.g., our Clinical Investigator Award Committee is comprised of leading translational/clinical researchers). They are leaders in their fields and, more importantly, deeply committed to Damon Runyon’s mission of identifying and enabling top early career scientists. Our committee chairs and members serve for specific terms and then rotate off so that there is sustained diversity of expertise and perspectives.

Does the Foundation share reviewer feedback with applicants?

No. Please note that it is the policy of the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation not to share reviewers’ written comments. 

Damon Runyon Award Programs: Fast Facts


  Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator Award  Damon Runyon Fellowship Award Damon Runyon-Sohn Pediatric Cancer Research Fellowship Award Damon Runyon-Dale F. Frey Award for Breakthrough Scientists Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Award Damon Runyon Physician-Scientist Training Award
Application deadline February 1 March 15
August 15
March 15 July 15 July 1 December 1
Eligibility based on appointment/ title Applicants must have initial full faculty appointment Postdoctoral Fellows Postdoctoral Fellows Eligible Damon Runyon Fellows only Tenure-track Assistant Professors, Clinical Instructors, Senior Clinical Fellows and Distinguished Fellows Postdoctoral Fellows, Clinical Fellows and Clinical Instructors
Degree type MD
MD/PhD
PhD
MD
MD/PhD
PhD
MD
MD/PhD
PhD
MD
MD/PhD
PhD
MD
MD/PhD
MD only
Award period 3 years 4 years 4 years 2 years 2 years 4 years
Funding per year $150,000 Year 1 - $54,000
Year 2 - $56,000
Year 3 - $59,000
Year 4 - $62,000
Year 1 - $54,000
Year 2 - $56,000
Year 3 - $59,000
Year 4 - $62,000
N/A $150,000 Year 1 - $100,000
Year 2 - $110,000
Year 3 - $120,000
Year 4 - $130,000
Total funding $450,000 $231,000 $231,000 $100,000 $300,000 $460,000
Other annual funding Up to $100,000 of any qualifying medical school debt (over the course of award term) Dependent Child Allowance of $1,000 per child  Dependent Child Allowance of $1,000 per child  N/A N/A Up to $100,000 of any qualifying medical school debt (over the course of award term)
Opportunity for continuation grant or renewal? Yes; 2 additional years No (but Fellows may apply for the Frey Award) No (but Sohn Fellows may apply for the Frey Award) No Yes; up to 2 additional years No
Mentored award? Yes Yes Yes No No Yes
Basic and/or translational research funded? Translational Basic or Translational Basic or Translational Basic or translational Basic or translational Basic or translational
Percent time devoted to research 80% 100% for Level 1 (PhD)
80% for Level 2 (US board certified MD/PhD)
100% for Level 1 (PhD)
80% for Level 2 (US board certified MD/PhD)
100% 80% 80%
Institutional nomination required? Yes No No No No No
For each deadline, application limit per:
Mentor 1 1 1 N/A N/A 1
Institution 5 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Number of reapplications allowed (if still otherwise eligible) 2 1 1 0 1 1

 

Contact us with other awards-related questions at awards@damonrunyon.org or 212.455.0520

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