Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator Award

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The Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator Award supports young physician scientists conducting patient-oriented cancer research. The goal is to increase the number of physicians capable of moving seamlessly between the laboratory and the patient’s bedside in search of breakthrough treatments.

This is a limited submission opportunity; the dean can nominate three candidates.


Total of $450,000 over three years. In addition, the foundation will retire up to $100,000 of the awardee’s medical school debt.

Number of Awards

Approximately five.

Eligibility Requirements

  • U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident;
  • MD or MD/PhD and board-eligible;
  • The applicant may apply during the final year of his or her subspecialty training or within the first four years of his or her initial assistant professorship (cut-off July 1, 2008);
  • Applicant must hold or be in process of securing a tenure-track position at his or her institution;
  • Candidates holding an R01 are not eligible to apply;
  • The applicant must commit to spending 80% of his or her time on research.

Research Interests

Applicants must be doing patient-oriented cancer research, i.e., research conducted with human subjects (or on material of human origin, such as tissues, specimens, and cognitive phenomena) for which an investigator interacts directly with the patient. This area of research includes:

  • Patient-based studies of mechanisms of human disease;
  • Diagnostic and therapeutic interventions;
  • Clinical trials; and
  • Development of technologies for the detection, treatment and prevention of human cancers.

Epidemiologic and behavioral studies, outcomes research, and health services research also qualify. In vitro studies that utilize human tissues but do not deal directly with patients are excluded. In other words, clinical or patient-oriented research is research in which it is necessary to know the identity of the patient(s) from whom the cells or tissues under study are derived.

Protected Time Requirement

The applicant must commit 80% of his or her time to research.

Mentoring Requirement

The applicant must 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 critical guidance during the period of the award.

Limitations on Other Awards

No other physician-scientist career development award from a private source (non-federal government) may be held concurrently with the Clinical Investigator Award. Physician scientist awards from the federal government, including the NIH, are allowed (e.g., K-08, K-12, K-23). Physician scientist awards from the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs are allowed.

Internal Deadline/External Deadline

Faculty must submit their expressions of interest (chair’s letter recommending the candidate, candidate’s CV, and three-page research abstract) to Catherine Muzytchuk, Administrator, at Catherine.Muzytchuk@URMC.Rochester.edu, by September 1, 2012. Please use the words DAMON RUNYON CLINICAL INVESTIGATOR in the subject line. 

The dean will notify the nominees on or about September 15th.

The foundation application deadline is February 15, 2013. Per university policy, candidates will submit their applications five days early (February 11th) and submit a final draft to Foundation Relations ten days early (February 5th).

Faculty with questions about deadlines or eligibility criteria should contact Dr. Paul A. Spengler, Director of Foundation Relations at 276-3955 or pspengler@admin.rochester.edu. Dr. Spengler will work with the final nominees to help them submit their applications.


NIH Funding Acknowledgement ** Important ** All publications resulting from the utilization of CTSI resources are required to credit the CTSI grant by including the NIH FUNDING ACKNOWLEDGEMENT and must comply with the NIH Public Access Policy.