Breast Cancer Research Foundation: Grants for Diseases

OVERVIEW: The Breast Cancer Research Foundation awards grants for scientific research. Areas of focus include tumor biology, heredity and ethnicity, lifestyle and prevention, treatment, survivorship, and metastasis.

IP TAKE: While this funder discourages unsolicited requests for funding, it wouldn’t hurt for grantseekers to get in contact to make an introduction. The foundation is a good resource for scientists taking novel approaches to breast cancer research.

PROFILE: As the story goes, in 1993 Evelyn and Leonard Lauder, along with Dr. Larry Norton were sitting around the Lauder’s kitchen table when they started talking about breast cancer. That conversation led them to establish the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BRCF)—years prior to Evelyn Lauder’s early-stage breast cancer diagnosis.

According to the BCRF website, when the Lauders and Dr. Norton established the foundation, “they realized the irrefutable power of research,” and the approach necessary to advance innovative research—money, flexibility, and as little red tape as possible.

BCRF relies on its Scientific Advisory Board to inform grantmaking decisions, which often involve supporting scientists exploring novel but promising approaches.

Grants are generally capped at $250,000 and are awarded to researchers “whose thinking has demonstrated the potential to advance the prevention, understanding, and treatment” of breast cancer, with the ultimate goals being prevention and finding a cure. Areas of focus include tumor biology, heredity and ethnicity, lifestyle and prevention, treatment, survivorship, and metastasis. Grants are awarded annually and are paid in two installments, in early October and March.

While BCRF doesn’t flat-out deny unsolicited requests for funding, they are “discouraged,” as the foundation prefers to allow its Scientific Advisors to extend invitations for grant proposals. Scientists working in the U.S. and abroad are eligible for BCRF grants. Check out the previous grantees to get a sense of what sort of research they support.

BCRF awards typically run one year, but the advisory board may invite existing grantees to apply for a renewal grant depending on progress.

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