Wanted: Powerful New Weapons in the Fight Against Prostate Cancer

Recently, the Prostate Cancer Foundation announced an RFP for its 2015 Young Investigator Awards. These awards are a great deal, with the potential to net a three-year, $225,000 grant—definitely a shot in the arm for any young researcher. The funding available includes “protected time,” or the direct expenses associated with experiments, and every PCF Young Investigator works under their supervision of a mentor, a situation affording valuable insights.

For the Prostate Cancer Foundation, a key goal here is supporting bench-to-bedside projects. These are translational projects, ones the PCF wants to fast track in order to convey the most benefit to patients in the short term. Despite advances, prostate cancer is still a killer for many men, and, in addition to lighting a fire under translational advances, the PCF wants to draw young researchers into the field.

It’s important to emphasize just how focused PCF is with this RFP on supporting breakthroughs that can translate quickly to usuable weapons in the war against prostate cancer. “Small step or incremental proposals are usually non-competitive,” the RFP reads. “Research proposals in submitted consideration for this award should provide high impact to the field.”

According to the RFP:

PCF Young Investigator Awards will be three (3) years in duration and will provide $75,000 per year. The award funds may be used flexibly to advance the career and research efforts of the awardee. This, for example, includes funding “protected time” or direct costs for experiments. Every PCF Young Investigator is required to be under the direct supervision of a mentor. Young Investigator awardees are required to attend the Annual PCF Scientific Retreat and Young Investigator Day, typically held in October, throughout the duration of their award. In addition, documentation of an equal in-kind level of support will be requested in the form of dedicated space,  equipment, institutional overhead, core institutional resources, etc. The documentation required is a letter from the Cancer Center Director or Departmental Chairperson which confirms institutional commitment to the career development of the PCF Young Investigator.