New Damon Runyon RFP Favors the Extra-Daring

It’s widely known that the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation favors high-risk, high-reward ventures and routinely gives its fellows enough support in the form of these four-year awards to guarantee investigative independence. Also, it likes proteins—as evidenced by its latest crop of research fellows. The foundation, it seems, has a strong belief that understanding proteins leads to breakthroughs—breakthroughs in finding safer drugs, breakthroughs in targeting the genetic basis of certain cancers, breakthroughs in understanding what causes cancer, and how that can be prevented. This approach is more evidence of how medical researchers around the country are focusing, laser-like, on the building blocks of discovery: genes, proteins, molecules.

It’s important to keep DRCRF’s recent priorities in line as you read about their latest RFP, this one inviting applications for its Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Award. The award, now in its eighth year, is specifically designed to support bright up-and-comers with especially daring ideas in taking their data—or their ideas—to the next level. It’s a wide gulch from preliminary data to replicable results, and the foundation hopes this program, which is offering up to $450,000 over three years per award, will serve as a rope bridge for promising young investigators.

This award is open to U.S. and non-U.S. citizens alike. Applicants must be conducting independent basic or translational/clinical research at a U.S. research institution. In addition, applicants must be tenure-track assistant professors within four years of obtaining their initial assistant professor position; clinical instructors and M.D.-holding senior clinical fellows (in the final year of their sub-specialty training) who are pursuing a period of independent research before taking a tenure-track faculty position; or distinguished fellows with an exceptional record of research accomplishment who already have dedicated laboratory space.

For complete program guidelines and application instructions, see the Damon Runyan Research Foundation's website.