2019-2020 Cancer Research Foundation Young Investigator Awards


The Cancer Research Foundation Young Investigator Awards (YIAs) are two-year research grants for scientists who have an interest in cancer research and who are in the beginnings of their investigative careers.  These grants are designed to nurture early career researchers in the pursuit of independent hypotheses and are generally intended to support scientists who have little established funding “track records” and who have not yet qualified for significant external research support in cancer at the time the YIA proposal is submitted.  The Cancer Research Foundation is particularly interested in funding research focused on decoding the mechanics of cancer, its development, diagnosis and treatment, using epigenetics, genomics, informatics, molecular and bio-chemical engineering, or image-oriented research, among other scientific disciplines. Projects causing scientists from fields adjacent to cancer such as chemistry, molecular engineering or data science to turn their research aims towards cancer will also be considered.

Each Young Investigator will be granted $100,000 to cover materials, lab technicians, lab services and other costs.  The award may not be used to fund the salary of the Young Investigator, indirect costs, or travel expenses. Funding is for two years, ending on March 31st, 2022.  We expect that the entire grant will be spent over this time period, but a carry-over of funds will be considered under particular circumstances.  Two $50,000 partial grant funding payments will be made, one at the start of the project and the second after 12 months. Different funding schedules will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

The Cancer Research Foundation is committed to creating a collaborative relationship between itself, its donors and the scientists it funds.  For that reason, CRF Young Investigators are required to produce an update at the end of the first year of their grant, which will be posted to the CRF website and shared with donors. In addition, within six months of the end of the project, Young Investigator Awardees are asked to produce a final report about the conclusion and results of their project and some suggestion of their potential research going forward.  It is important that these reports be appropriate for public release when they are submitted.


The Young Investigator Award is intended to help promising young investigators as they initiate a successful scientific career.  Our intent is to provide “seed funding” for cancer researchers and their newest ideas and generally the Young Investigator Award should fund researchers who have not yet received major outside financial support. However, exceptions have been made for applicants who have recently accepted career development awards, such as K08 awards.

The CRF Young Investigator Award is limited to applicants with current appointments at institutions directly affiliated with Comprehensive Cancer Centers recognized by the National Cancer Institute.  Ideal candidates for the award will either be current members of or candidates for membership in their Cancer Center.


A successful proposal will contain:

Proposals for the Cancer Research Foundation Young Investigator Award should be submitted to Alexandra Nikitas by December 2nd, 2019 in PDF form via email to the following address:  anikitas@cancerresearchfdn.org.  The Cancer Research Foundation coordinates with some Cancer Centers to organize proposals and consider them as a group.  Please check with your Center Administration to determine any internal submission requirements.

Funding decisions will be made and recipients will be informed in early 2020.

Young Investigator Awards

The Young Investigator Awards are research grants to be awarded to men and women during the first two years of their initial faculty appointment (instructor, assistant professor) who have not yet received significant external support at the time of submission. These awards are designed to nurture young scientists in the pursuit of independent hypotheses, and to enable them to develop the preliminary data necessary to successfully compete for major research grants.

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Young Investigator Awards