Sontag Foundation: Grants for Diseases

OVERVIEW: Sontag rewards brilliant, early career scientists with four-year, $600,000 grants to further their research and help them establish their labs.

IP TAKE: This foundation offers one large award in brain cancer, but also funds awards offered by other organizations.

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. Now, the foundation “passionately supports people and organizations who make a significant and continuing impact in the lives of individuals and communities, primarily in the field of brain cancer research.” Sontag’s three main program areas are Brain Cancer, Oral Health in NE Florida, and Early Career Rheumatoid Arthritis Scientists.

In the field of Brain Cancer Research, Sontags primary grantmaking vehicle is the Distinguished Scientist Award, which “seeks to provide career and research support to early career scientists who demonstrate outstanding promise for making scientific and medical breakthroughs in the field of brain cancer research.” This award provides a four-year grant of up to $600,000. Sontag is also one of the five funding partners of the Brain Tumor Funders’ Collaborative, which sometimes releases calls for proposals through its own website.

Sontag also supports Early Career Rheumatoid Arthritis Scientists. In partnership with the Arthritis National Research Fellowship (ANRF), Sontag sponsors the ANRF Sontag Fellowship, which aims to support “new exciting research...to help find a cure for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.” Visit ANRF’s website for more information on this program.

The deadline for Sontag’s Distinguished Scientist Award generally falls in March of each year. The foundation has an open application process, and applicants are evaluated by a Scientific Advisory Board and an internal selection committee. For information on other awards that Sontag supports, visit the website of the relevant organization.

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