Yale Cancer Center carefully invests funds to launch new areas of cancer research. Current funding opportunities are listed below.


January 20, 2019 11:59pm – internal deadline

February 1, 2019 – sponsor deadline


Award Overview: https://www.damonrunyon.org/for-scientists/application-guidelines/clinical-investigator

Application Guidelines: https://www.damonrunyon.org/for-scientists/application-guidelines/clinical-investigator/forms

Clinical Investigator Award Committee: https://www.damonrunyon.org/for-scientists/committees/clinical-investigator

Current/Former Recipients and their Projects: https://www.damonrunyon.org/for-scientists/awardees/investigators


$200,000 direct costs per year for 3 years. (Total: $600,000 direct costs)

The fund will also retire up to $100,000 of any medical school debt still owed by the awardee.

*See funding limitations in Award Overview https://www.damonrunyon.org/for-scientists/application-guidelines/clinical-investigator


Yale University in its entirety, including the Cancer Center, may nominate five (5) candidates.


The Foundation seeks to reverse the trend of decreasing numbers of young physicians undertaking clinical cancer research. It supports the most promising early career physician-scientists willing to devote their efforts to the development and application of new diagnostic approaches and therapeutic strategies for cancer and cancer prevention through clinical investigation.

The Foundation is seeking independent investigators engaged in disease-oriented research that is characterized by exceptional innovation and creativity, supporting candidates whose work is likely to meaningfully impact the practice of cancer medicine.

Preference is given to research that adheres to the “Handshake Rule,” meaning that the physician will conduct research studies that directly involve patients.

For the purposes of this award, the Foundation’s definition of clinical research is:

  • Patient-oriented research conducted with human subjects (or on material of human origin such as tissues, specimens and cognitive phenomena) for which an investigator directly interacts with human subjects.This area of research includes:  • patient-based studies of mechanisms of human disease, diagnostic and therapeutic interventions, • clinical trials, and • development of new technologies for the detection, treatment and prevention of human cancers.
  • Epidemiologic and behavioral studies.
  • Outcomes research and health services research.

Excluded from this definition are in vitro studies that utilize human tissues but do not deal directly with patients. It is necessary to know the identity of the patient(s) from whom the cells or tissues under study are derived.


  • The applicant must be a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident.
  • The applicant must hold an independent assistant professor position or equivalent. 
  • The applicant must have received an MD or MD/PhD degree(s) from an accredited institution, completed their subspecialty training and be U.S. Board eligible.
  • The applicant must hold a valid, active U.S. medical license at the time of application.
  • The applicant must apply within the first five (5) years of their initial full faculty appointment (Cut-off date: July 2014). Adjunct or acting positions are not eligible.
  • Candidates holding or awarded R01s at the time of application are not eligible to apply.
  • The applicant must commit to spending 80% of their time conducting research. [In rare unique circumstances, the CIA Committee may consider an applicant with a very modest reduction of 80% protected time if their Department Chair can provide a compelling reason explaining why a waiver of the 80% requirement should be granted, what percentage of effort will be guaranteed, and what safeguards will be put in place to make sure the individual’s research will not be compromised by their clinical/administrative activities.]
  • The applicant is required to apply in conjunction with a Mentor who is established in the field of clinical translational cancer research, cancer prevention and/or epidemiology and can provide the critical guidance needed during the period of the award.  No more than two Damon Runyon Clinical Investigators will be funded to work with the same Mentor at any given time.
  • Candidates may apply up to three times during this eligibility period. 
  • Only one application will be accepted from a Mentor per review session (including Co-Mentorships).


The internal application must include the following items (Format: Application format requirements: 11-pt Arial, Helvetica, Georgia, or Palatino Linotype font, singlespaced, minumum of .5” margins):

  • Current curriculum vitae (CV)  or NIH Biographical Sketch (five-page maximum) 
  • List of all current and pending support, including information on costs (if none, state none) 
  • Your proposed research project (five-page maximum).  References may be provided on one additional page. 
  • A letter of recommendation from your Department Chair or if more appropriate, from your Section Head, Program Director, or mentor(s) (Letter must be on Yale letterhead and signed)

Incomplete applications, applications from candidates ineligible for the competition, and applications not in the required format will not be forwarded to the review panel.  The Yale Cancer Center review committee review applications received by the deadline and will select Yale’s nominee(s).  All applicants will be notified of the panel’s decision as soon as possible after the review.    

Tips for preparing your five-page description

• The description should summarize your project succinctly, outlining its importance and its relevance to the specific competition for which you are applying. 

• It should provide a broad overview of the project, the goals, the hypotheses to be tested, and approaches and techniques to be used. 

• You will want to outline briefly the specific aims, i.e. the things you plan to accomplish during the project period; be sure to describe concisely the research design and the methods to be used in the project. 

• Avoid jargon. 

• When you’re finished writing the two-page description, ask someone outside your specialty to read your description to make sure that it is intelligible to a physician or scientist working in an area of research other than your own.  

NOTE: All applications received are acknowledged to the applicant.  If you have not received acknowledgement of receipt of your application within one week of submission, please contact Christine Holmberg immediately to confirm receipt for the Damon Runyon award.