OVERVIEW: Sontag awards brilliant, early career scientists with four-year, $600,000 grants to further their research and help them establish their labs.
IP TAKE: This foundation favors a “bootstraps” approach to brain cancer research: early career scientists that display innovative approaches to increased survival rates and improved recovery for brain cancer patients.
PROFILE: The Sontag Foundation is a family-based charity that was founded in 2002, after Rick Sontag and his wife Susan sold their profitable aviation parts business, Unison, to investors. In 1994, Susan was diagnosed with brain cancer and given less than two year to live. Susan and her family’s struggle with her disease was the impetus to form the Sontag Foundation to help fund and further biomedical research in the field of brain cancer.
Grants-wise, the Sontag Foundation makes awards for brain cancer research two ways: through its Distinguished Scientist program, which comes directly from the foundation, and through the Brain Tumor Funders’ Collaborative (BTFC), a group effort involving four other philanthropies.
The Distinguished Scientist program makes grants to favors “inspiring, potential-laden” projects and research undertaken by early career scientists. These grants can total up to $600,000 over four years. Applicants must be at the assistant professor rank, or equivalent, and have held that position for less than three years. Sontag makes two to five such grants every year.
The foundation is a member of the BTFC, which awards grants to accelerate brain cancer research. BTCF only calls for RFAs about once every four years. Read more about the organization here.