The Career Development Award (CDA) provides research funding to clinical investigators, who have received their initial faculty appointment, as they work to establish an independent clinical cancer research program. This is a mentored award and the research project is conducted under the guidance of a scientific mentor. The research must have a patient-oriented focus, including a clinical research study and/or translational research involving human subjects. Proposals with a predominant focus on in vitro or animal studies (even if clinically relevant) are not allowed. Applications in all areas of cancer research are accepted from U.S. and international applicants. (Note: Applications for the Walther Cancer Foundation Career Development Award in Palliative and Supportive Care in Oncology are only accepted from U.S. applicants.)
The CDA is a three-year grant totaling $200,000 that supports personnel and/or research expenses, and travel to attend the Conquer Cancer Grants and Awards Ceremony at the ASCO Annual Meeting.
Applicants must meet the following criteria to qualify for a CDA:
- Be a physician (MD, DO or international equivalent) working in any country.
- Be in the first to fourth year of a full-time primary faculty appointment in a clinical department at an academic medical institution at the time of grant submission. Application must be submitted before the applicant has had four full years as faculty. Faculty appointment may begin with the entry-level faculty position within the applicant’s institution (i.e., Instructor/Lecturer, Assistant Professor, Assistant Member).
- Have a valid, active medical license in the country where the research will be conducted at the time of application.
- Have completed productive postdoctoral research and demonstrated the ability to undertake independent investigator-initiated clinical research.
- Be an ASCO member or have submitted a membership application with the grant application. To apply for new membership, or to renew an existing membership, go to asco.org/membership.
- Be able to commit at least 50% of full-time effort in research (applies to total research, not just the proposed project) during the award period.
- Have a mentor from the sponsoring institution who must provide a letter of support. If the mentor is not an ASCO Member, a supporting letter from an ASCO Member from the sponsoring institution must be included.
- Be up-to-date and in compliance with all requirements (e.g., progress reports, final reports, budget summaries, IRB approvals, etc.) of any past grants received from Conquer Cancer. Eligible applicants are allowed to hold only one active grant from Conquer Cancer at a time.
- Applicants with concurrent federal career development awards (e.g., K23, K08, or any other type of career development award) and institutional training grants (T32, KL2/K12 or equivalent) are eligible to apply provided there are no scientific and budgetary overlaps.
- Applicants may not concurrently hold other career development awards from private foundations during the CDA-supported project term. Examples include but are not limited to:
- Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation – ‘A’ Award Grant
- American Association for Cancer Research - Career Development Award
- American Cancer Society - Mentored Research Grant
- Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation - Clinical Investigator Award
- Doris Duke Charitable Foundation - Clinical Scientist Development Award
- Komen Career Catalyst Award
- Lymphoma Research Foundation - Clinical Investigator Career Development Award
- Leukemia and Lymphoma Society - Career Development Program, Scholar Awards and Scholar in Clinical Research Awards
- Melanoma Research Alliance - Young Investigator Awards
- St. Baldrick’s Foundation – St. Baldrick’s Scholar
- Past recipients of training fellowships (e.g., Young Investigator Award or an F32 grant) are eligible to apply.
Applicants who are uncertain about their eligibility are encouraged to refer to the Eligibility section in the FAQ or contact our grants team for clarification and provide their latest CV for evaluation.
Conquer Cancer funds the most meritorious applications in all areas of cancer research. Awards are given based on individual merit and availability of funds.
ASCO and Conquer Cancer are committed to fostering health equity in cancer research by improving diversity and inclusion in the oncology workforce, funding research focused on health disparities and bolstering funding for investigators from underrepresented populations in medicine (UIM) and low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Applications from investigators who are UIM and from LMICs are strongly encouraged.
To download the CDA Request for Proposals (RFP), click here.
Areas with Dedicated Funding (as of July 1, 2023)
Conquer Cancer encourages applications in ALL areas of cancer research. We fund all applications that are selected for funding after a rigorous peer-review process. Some grants will be supported with special funding from our donors. For 2024, dedicated funding is available in, but not limited to, the areas and groups listed below. This list will be updated as new funding is confirmed. Please apply to the CDA general competition unless otherwise noted. The CDA general competition is due October 19, 2023.
- Career Development Awards for Diversity and Inclusion in Breast Cancer Research (download special competition RFP) - due March 14, 2024
- Janssen Career Development Awards in Health Equity
- Stephen A. Cannistra, MD Career Development Award in Prostate Cancer
- Walther Cancer Foundation Career Development Award in Palliative and Supportive Care in Oncology (download specific RFP)
- Women Who Conquer Cancer Career Development Award
All application materials must be in English and must be submitted through the Application Portal. Paper applications or applications sent by e-mail or fax will not be accepted.
The Career Development Awards is funded through Conquer Cancer®, the ASCO Foundation by these generous donors.
Generous Supporters of the Women Who Conquer Cancer
Supporters of Active CDAs Awarded in Prior Years:
Edith C. Blum Foundation, Inc.
Stephen A. Cannistra, MD
Marc L. Citron, MD
Daiichi Sankyo, Inc.
Brandon C. Gromada Head & Neck Cancer Foundation
Israel Cancer Research Fund
Eugene and Janet Lerner Family Foundation
The Phase Foundation
This list reflects commitments as of May 26, 2023.
This grant receives support that may result in a report to the CMS Open Payments website under the Physician Payments Sunshine Act. The supporting companies are required to report the amount of the grant, the names of physicians who are awarded this grant, and the names of their institutions. This information may appear on the Open Payments website. Find out more information about the Sunshine Act and CMS Open Payments program.