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2020 Pershing Square Sohn Prize for Young Investigators in Cancer Research

Grants to New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut
Researchers in Eligible Areas for Innovative Cancer Research

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Alliance (PSSCRA)

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

01/24/20 5:00 PM


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Grants to New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut early-career researchers in eligible areas for innovative cancer research. Applicants must submit an LOI prior to applying. Funding is intended for bold, innovative, early-stage research projects. Collaboration among individuals from different industries is encouraged.

The Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Alliance (PSSCRA) is dedicated to accelerating cures for cancer by advancing the pursuit of innovative cancer research and by facilitating collaborations between the science and business communities. PSSCRA seeks to guide philanthropic funds to feed critical scientific discoveries, attracting like-minded investors to the cause of fighting cancer and creating a pipeline for early-stage biomedical investments.T

Key Criteria:

- Innovative research: Truly novel approaches in cancer research with strong scientific rationale. Early stage and bold proposals are encouraged and will receive special consideration. The research areas include but are not limited to technology development and basic biology.  The objective is to support projects that may be too innovative and speculative for traditional funding sources but still have a likelihood of producing important findings. It should be a unique project for scientists, who are encouraged to stretch their imagination into areas that can substantially change the area of research.

- Scientific excellence: Scientific merit as determined by the Pershing Square Sohn Prize Scientific Advisory Council and Prize Advisory Board.

- Application to cancer: Proposals that articulate a clearly defined application to cancer will be favored. The goal is to advance research in new ways that will have an impact on understanding, diagnosis, prevention and/or treatment of cancer.

In addition to receiving funding, prize winners are given access to a unique network and are invited to participate in select programs, including:

- Facilitated partnerships with other researchers within and across institutions

- Networking programs (including: collaborations/discussions between prize winners and industry mentors, introductions to philanthropic and for-profit investors in the business community, and invitations to special industry networking and entrepreneurship events)

- Annual retreat and symposium

- Ability to present the best ideas at conferences and events (hosted by PSSCRA and other organizations)

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 184425

Number of Grants:

At least six prizes are awarded annually.

Estimated Size of Grant:

Prize winners each receive $200,000 a year for up to three years, totaling $600,000.

Term of Contract:

Projects will begin Summer 2020 and continue for up to three years.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

An MD, PhD, MD-PhD degree (or equivalent) is required. Applicants must have at least two (2) years of experience running their own laboratories but no more than eight (8) years of experience by the anticipated start date of the research project.

Principal Investigators (PIs) must hold faculty appointments at academic research institutions in the greater New York area at the level of Assistant or Associate Professor (or equivalent). The greater New York area includes New York City’s five boroughs, Long Island, Westchester County, New Jersey, and New Haven County in Connecticut.

An applicant who is not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, by submitting an application for this funding, assures that his/her visa status will provide sufficient time to complete the project and grant term within the United States. Investigators need not be specifically trained in cancer research; however, they should be working in an environment capable of conducting high quality, high-impact cancer research.

The Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Alliance does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability or any other legally protected characteristics.

Pre-Application Information:

LOIs open on Monday, September 30, 2019. The deadline to submit a Letter of Intent is 5:00 PM, November 4, 2019. Applicants must submit their Letter of Intent through the application submission website.

Upon review, selected applicants will be invited to submit a Full-Length Proposal. Applicants will be notified about the status of their application no later than December 19, 2019. Finalists will be invited to present their proposal to the Governing Board, Prize Advisory Board, and Scientific Review Council at the 2020 Prize Board Meeting. Full Length Proposals are due no later than Friday, January 24th, 2020 at 5pm EST.

- September 30, 2019: Application opens to receive Letters of Intent (LOI)
- November 4, 2019: Deadline to submit LOI
- December 19, 2019: Selected applicants invited to submit Full-Length Proposals (FLPs)
- January 24, 2020: Deadline to submit FLPs
- April 3, 2020: 2020 Prize Board Meeting
- April 7-10, 2020: 2020 Prize winners notified
- May 20, 2020: Seventh Annual Pershing Square Sohn Prize Award Dinner
- Summer 2020: Projects start

Application guidelines:

Application information:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Submit a Letter of Intent Online:

Any questions concerning this RFP should be addressed to

Olivia Tournay Flatto, PhD, Executive Director, Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Alliance
President, The Pershing Square Foundation

Christy Barrow, Program Manager, Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Alliance, The Pershing Square Foundation

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Connecticut: New Haven County;   New Jersey;   New York City;   New York: Long Island, Westchester County