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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. 

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 third 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 three 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. Visit ASCO Membership to join/renew online.  
  • 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 KL2/K12 grants 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   
    • 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 this FAQ or contact for clarification and provide their full CV for evaluation. 

Funding Available

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 and low and middle-income countries. 

In Conquer Cancer’s continued efforts to promote diversity and inclusion, funding is available for awards focusing on research in equity, diversity and health disparities. Applications focusing on these areas are strongly encouraged.  

To download the CDA Request for Proposals (RFP), click here

Areas with Dedicated Funding (as of September 17, 2021)

For 2022, 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.  

All other applicants should refer to the CDA Request for Proposals for all areas. 

Application Instructions

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 are supported by:


AbbVie, Inc. 
Edith C.  Blum Foundation, Inc.   
Stephen A.  Cannistra, MD
Marc L.  Citron, MD
Cohen Family Charitable  Fund
Conquer Cancer Research Fund
Brandon C. Gromada Head & Neck Cancer Foundation 
Israel Cancer Research Fund
Eugene and Janet Lerner Family Foundation
Mission Endowment of Conquer Cancer®, the  ASCO Foundation
The  Phase Foundation
Generous Supporters of the Women Who Conquer Cancer

Supporters of Active CDAs Awarded in Prior Years:

Bristol Myers Squibb
Fleur E.  Fairman
The  Hayden Family Foundation
Matania and Daniella Kochavi Sarcoma Foundation of America
Aaron and Barbro Sasson

This list reflects commitments as of May 25, 2021.

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 websiteFind out more information about the Sunshine Act and CMS Open Payments program.