OVERVIEW: The Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA) brings together other foundations, academic institutions, and biopharmaceutical companies to leverage funding for research.
IP TAKE: This accessible funder is open to supporting different kinds of researchers as long as they can help achieve its mission.
PROFILE: Founded in 2007 by Broadway producer Debra Black and her husband Leon, CEO of Apollo Management, the Melanoma Research Alliance devotes itself to “barrier busting” melanoma therapy research. As the Blacks personally provide full support for the foundation’s operating cost, it boasts that “100% of every donation to MRA goes directly to melanoma research.” To date, MRA has given away over $100 million to its cause.
MRA’s main grantmaking vehicle is its Research Awards program. These include:
Young Investigator Awards - Up to $75,000 per year for three years for early career scientists.
Established Investigator Awards - Up to $125,000 per year for up to three years for established scientists.
Pilot Awards - Up to $50,000 per year for two years for pilot projects with strong hypotheses and translational goals undertaken by established scientists.
Academic-Industry Partnership Awards - Up to $100,000 per year for up to three years as well as support in-kind from an industry partner.
Team Science Award - Grants for collaboration between multiple investigators.
MRA is also committed to collaboration, with its “unique multi-faceted collaborations and partnerships with individuals, private foundations, and corporations.” To that end, MRA has co-funded 20 research projects with “premier cancer research foundations,” and currently co-funds 34 awards through its collaborative funding program.
All MRA grantees must hold a faculty appointment at an academic research institution at the level of assistant professor or higher. MRA puts out one request for proposals annually with details about guidelines and deadlines for available awards.
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