Grant Opportunities for Non-U.S. Citizens: Where to Look and Who to Contact

Jan 28, 2015

By Vun-Sin Lim, PhD, and Alex A. Adjei, MD, PhD
Roswell Park Cancer Institute

If you are a non-U.S. citizen physician seeking funding for oncology research and training, either at your home institution or elsewhere around the globe, we have compiled a list of fellowships and awards from major U.S. organizations that support clinical training and research, promote career development, and facilitate dissemination of knowledge and expertise, leading to better global cancer control. This is not a comprehensive list of all possible funding opportunities, but we highlight the resources offered by a few key players in the field to serve as a good starting point in your search for funding.

ASCO and the Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO

ASCO and the Conquer Cancer Foundation (CCF) offer a range of financial support mechanisms for international trainees. Early-career oncologists from low- and middle-income countries can apply for the International Innovation Grant, Long-term International Fellowship, or International Development and Educational Award. More information on these opportunities is available at conquercancerfoundation.org; email grants@conquercancerfoundation.org with questions.

The International Innovation Grant (1 year, $20,000) funds novel research projects with an impact on advancing cancer control in limited-resource regions. The project principal investigator (PI) should be a resident in the region and an ASCO member affiliated with the grantee organization.

For those who would like some international experience, the Long-term International Fellowship (1 year, $115,000) enables trainees from low- and middle-income countries to complete a one-year medical training with a mentor in the United States, Canada, or the European Union. Upon completion of the fellowship, trainees must return to their home institutions and employ the knowledge gained to affect cancer care at home.

To allow trainees to further strengthen relationships with their mentors who are ASCO members, the International Development and Education Award enables the recipients to attend the ASCO Annual Meeting and a post- Meeting visit to their mentor’s cancer center in the U.S. or Canada, and to receive a 3-year complimentary ASCO membership, which includes access to the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Email idea@asco.org with questions.

Physicians whose interest is in investigative research in clinical oncology can apply for the CCF Young Investigator Award (1 year, $50,000) to support their transition from a fellow to a faculty member. This research grant is awarded to promising physicians within the last two years of their final subspecialty training at an academic medical institution at the time of application.

High-quality research submitted for presentation at the ASCO Annual Meeting or a cosponsored thematic symposium by fellows and residents will be recognized for scientific merit by the Merit Award, for which you apply at the time of abstract submission. Recipients present their work at the meeting and are provided with $1,000 to $1,500 in financial support, complimentary meeting registration, and complimentary hotel accommodations. Find a list of upcoming meetings online; Merit Award application deadlines coincide with abstract submission deadlines for each meeting.

 
 

Alex A. Adjei, MD, PhD

Institution: Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine, Senior Vice President of Clinical Research, Katherine Anne Gioia Chair in Cancer Medicine, Roswell Park Cancer Institute

Member since: 1997

ASCO activities: Conquer Cancer Foundation Grants Selection Committee; 2012 Drug Development Research Professorship recipient

   
 
 

Vun-Sin Lim, PhD

Institution: Research Associate, Department of Medicine, Roswell Park Cancer Institute

   

American Cancer Society (ACS)/Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)

The International Fellowship for Beginning Investigators sponsored by ACS (ACSBI; 1 year, $50,000) provides support for research investigators, clinician scientists, epidemiologists, and public health professionals from low- and middle-income countries. Candidates must be in the early stage of their independent research career; conduct research projects in not-for-profit host academic institutions or hospitals in population, behavioral, clinical, and basic research; and have a commitment to promoting global cancer control when returning to their home institutions. Visit uicc.org/programmes/geti; contact fellows@uicc.org or +41-22-809-1811.

An international program under ACS, the Audrey Meyer Mars International Fellowship in Clinical Oncology (1 year, $40,000), provides advanced clinical oncology training at participating U.S. cancer centers to qualified physicians from other countries, preferentially where this training is not readily available. Participants will return to their home countries upon completion of their training. The fellowship awards $40,000 in addition to a stipend and travel allowance that covers airfare between the fellow’s home country and the U.S. institution. The Education Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) certification is necessary, after which up to $5,000 of the cost for the tests is reimbursed to the successful candidates. Visit cancer.org/research; contact Danielle Alsander at 404-329-5734 or danielle.alsander@cancer.org with questions.

American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)

There are a wide variety of grants, without citizenship or geographic restrictions, available from the AACR for clinical research fellows in the first five years of their fellowships conducting mentored research at an academic, medical, or research institution that is not a U.S. government entity or for-profit private industry. Visit aacr.org/funding to browse their portfolio or email grants@aacr.org with questions about any of the following opportunities.

The AACR-Amgen, Inc. Fellowships in Clinical/Translational Cancer Research (1 year, $45,000) support research projects in any area of clinical/ translational cancer research. Contact Hanna Hopfinger at 215-446-7191.

Some of the available funding opportunities have a specific disease focus:

  • QuadW Foundation-AACR Fellowship for Clinical/Translational Sarcoma Research (1 year, $50,000; contact Ashley Jones at 215-446-7280)
  • AACR-Millennium Fellowships in Lymphoma Research and Multiple Myeloma Research (1 year, $55,000; contact Ashley Jones at 215-446-7280)
  • AACR-Ocular Melanoma Foundation Fellowship in honor of Robert C. Allen, MD (1 year, $50,000; contact Ashley Jones at 215-446-7280)
  • Colon Cancer Alliance-AACR Fellowship in Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer Research (1 year, $50,000; contact Ashley Jones at 215-446- 7280)
  • Fight Colorectal Cancer-Michael’s Mission-AACR Fellowship in Young Onset, Late-Stage Colorectal Cancer Research (2 years, $100,000; contact Shaun Fitzpatrick at 215-446-7191)

AACR also provides support for junior faculty members who have completed their most recent doctoral degree or medical residency within the past 11 years to pursue cancer research. Candidates must be a full-time instructor, research assistant professor, assistant professor, or equivalent position, with independent laboratory space, and who are able conduct research without geographic restrictions:

  • AACR-Aflac, Inc. Career Development Award for Pediatric Cancer Research (2 years, $100,000; contact Ashley Jones at 215-446-7280)
  • AACR-Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation Career Development Award for Clinical/Translational Research (3 years, $250,000; contact Ashley Jones at 215-446-7280)
  • Landon Foundation-AACR INNOVATOR Awards (2 years, $135,000) support junior faculty in this setting to conduct cancer prevention studies (contact Ashley Jones at 215-446-7280), cancer immunology research (contact Kerry Kauffman at 215-446-7137), or research in tumor microenvironment (contact Ashley Jones at 215-446-7280)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)/National Cancer Institute (NCI)

At NIH, prospective physicians can explore the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-accredited Residency or Subspecialty Training Programs sponsored and hosted through the NIH Clinical Center on the Bethesda, MD, campus, as well as jointly sponsored ACGME-accredited training programs in collaboration with off-campus institutions nationwide. Noted are examples of potential fellowships for which non-U.S. citizens can apply, provided that they are eligible for a J-1 or H-1B visa. They are also advised to contact the individual fellowship of interest directly for details, because many programs might require more years in training than the visa can support. Visit cc.nih.gov/training to find more information about these opportunities.

The Surgical Oncology Fellowship Program (2 years) is open to surgeons who have completed their surgical residency or have completed at least two years of surgical residency. The fellowship provides clinical training in surgical oncology, and basic and translational research experience in the laboratory of the NIH Surgery Branch. Contact Dr. Steven Rosenberg at 301-496-4164.

The NCI-sponsored Clinical Fellowship in Medical Oncology or Medical Oncology/Hematology (2 to 3 years) recruits candidates with an accredited MD or DO degree who have completed ACGME-accredited medical residency. Fellows will conduct inpatient and outpatient clinical care primarily in the first year at the Medical Oncology Branch at the NIH Clinical Center and Georgetown University’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, followed by a combination of clinical care and mentored clinical research elected by the fellow in the second and third years at NCI. Contact Dr. Antonio Fojo at 301- 496-2631 or fojot@mail.nih.gov.

A joint effort between Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and NCI, the Fellowship in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology trains fellows, who have completed an ACGME-certified pediatric residency or have an ECFMG certificate, in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology during the first year and basic or translational research in the subsequent years at both JHU and NCI. Contact Gladys Novak (JHU) at 410-614-5055 or pedshemeoncfellowship@jhmi.edu, or Vicki Richmond (NIH) at 301-496-4256 or richmonv@mail.nih.gov.

A directory of potential non-NIH funding opportunities for international fellows and early-career faculty can be found at the Fogarty International Center, the international component of the NIH (fic.nih.gov/funding).

International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC)

The IASLC offers Fellowship Awards and Young Investigator Awards (1 year, $40,000) to fellows and young investigators with an interest in diagnosis, treatment, laboratory research, or other areas of lung cancers. Fellowships are awarded to candidates with an MD who are in fellowship training or its equivalent. Their PIs must be a member of the IASLC and apply for the fellowship support on behalf of the candidates, whose proposed work must be conducted at the PI’s institution. Young Investigator Awards support an IASLC member with an MD in the first three years of a faculty position and within three years of fellowship completion. Visit iaslc.org/fellowship; contact Pia Hirsch at pia.hirsch@iaslc.org.

Application Deadlines

The deadlines below can be used reference for future applications. Deadlines are subject to change; please confirm with the granting organization prior to applying.

2015
September 25
• CCF Young Investigator Award (YIA)

October 9
• CCF International Innovation Grant

November 1
• American Cancer Society International Fellowships for Beginning Investigators (ACSBI)

November 5
• QuadW Foundation-AACR Fellowship for Clinical/Translational Sarcoma Research
• AACR-Millennium Fellowship in Lymphoma Research

November 12
• AACR-Aflac, Inc. Career Development Award for Pediatric Cancer Research

November 19
• AACR-Millennium Fellowship in Multiple Myeloma Research

December 5
• CCF Long-term International Fellowship (LIFe)

December 9
• Colon Cancer Alliance-AACR Fellowship in Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer Research
• Landon Foundation-AACR INNOVATOR Award in Cancer Prevention
• Landon Foundation-AACR INNOVATOR Award in Cancer Immunology

2016
January 5

• IASLC Fellowship
• ASCO International Development and Education Award (IDEA)

January 12
• AACR-Ocular Melanoma Foundation Fellowship in honor of Robert C. Allen, MD

January 28
• Fight Colorectal Cancer-Michael’s Mission-AACR Fellowship in Young Onset, Late-Stage Colorectal Cancer Research
• AACR-Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation Career Development Award for Clinical/Translational Research

February 1
• ACS Audrey Meyer Mars International Fellowship in Clinical Oncology

February 10
• Landon Foundation-AACR INNOVATOR Award in Tumor Microenvironment Research

February 27
• AACR-Amgen, Inc. Fellowships in Clinical/Translational Cancer Research

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