Career Development Award

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 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.

The CDA is a three-year grant totaling $200,000 to pay for personnel and/or research expenses, and travel to attend the Conquer Cancer Grants and Awards Ceremony at the ASCO Annual Meeting. The number of CDA grants in each funding cycle is not predetermined by Conquer Cancer. Awards are given based on individual merit and availability of funds.

Conquer Cancer encourages applications in all areas.


Applicants must meet the following criteria to qualify for the Career Development Award:

  • Be a physician (MD, DO of 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. 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. To apply for membership, or to renew your existing membership, please visit
  • Be able to commit more than 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.
  • Eligible physicians are allowed to hold only one grant from Conquer Cancer at a time.
  • Should not have any current career development awards (e.g., K23, K08, or any other type of career development award) and have not been a Principal Investigator on any large project grants (e.g., R01 or international equivalent, or private foundation grants). Past recipients of training fellowships (e.g., Young Investigator Award or an F32 grant) are eligible. Applicants with institutional KL2/K12 grants are eligible to apply, but will be asked to relinquish their institutional grant at the start of the CDA grant period. If there are questions regarding eligibility associated with previous and current grants received, applicants are encouraged to send an email to for clarification.
  • 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. 

Application Instructions

All applications must be submitted in accordance to the requirements and instructions of the Career Development Award Request for Proposals (RFP). All application materials must be in English and must be submitted through the Grants Portal. Paper applications or applications sent by e-mail or fax will not be accepted.


Conquering Cancer Through Immunotherapy

Conquering Cancer Through Immunotherapy

In this video, Antoni Ribas, MD, PhD, Professor at UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses how receiving a Career Development Award (CDA) from the Conquer Cancer Foundation launched his career in immunotherapy research and led to a series of treatments that are “real options” for patients.


The Career Development Award was first awarded in 1992. As of 2019, Conquer Cancer has awarded 283 clinical investigators across the globe totaling more than $52 million.

2018 Career Development Award Recipients

Ayal Aizer, MD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Screening MRI of the brain in patients with high-risk, metastatic breast cancer: A prospective study
Saud AlDubayan, MD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Dissecting inherited and acquired genetic mediators of testicular germ cell tumor (TGCT) initiation and progression
Tina Cascone, MD, PhD
The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Neoadjuvant immune checkpoint blockade to enhance immune responses and improve clinical efficacy for the treatment of resectable NSCLC.
Phedias Diamandis, MD, PhD
University Health Network
Automated histopathologic classification of brain tumors using artificial intelligence
Marios Giannakis, MD, PhD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Metabolomic characterization of PD1 blockade in renal cell carcinoma
Daniel Halperin, MD
The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Harnessing the Immune System in Neuroendocrine Tumors
Tae Kon Kim, MD, PhD
Yale University
Overcoming immune resistance to PD-1 therapy in high risk myelodysplastic syndrome with modulating myeloid derived suppressor cells using a HDAC inhibitor, entinostat
Benjamin Lok, MD
Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Canada
Optimizing PARP Inhibitor Therapy in Combination with Radiotherapy for Small Cell Lung Cancer
Stephanie Markovina, MD, PhD
Washington University
Squamous Cell Carcinoma Antigen and Lysosome Mediated Cell Death in Radiation Resistance
Jonathan Marron, MD, MPH
Harvard Medical School
Understanding and supporting informed decision-making in advanced pediatric cancer in the age of precision medicine
Otto Metzger, MD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
PELOPS: Palbociclib and Endocrine therapy for LObular breast cancer Preoperative Study: A randomized phase II study of Palbociclib with endocrine therapy versus endocrine therapy alone for Invasive Lobular Carcinoma and Invasive Ductal Carcinoma
Ciara O'Sullivan, MBBS
Mayo Clinic, Minnesota
After Palbociclib: Biomarker Discovery in Hormone Refractory Breast Cancer
Nitya Raj, MD
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Mutational landscape of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors - therapeutic implications of genetic evolution over time and therapy
Daniel Shin, MD
University of California, Los Angeles
Non-genetic mechanisms of resistance to immune checkpoint blockade
Roy Strowd III, MD
Wake Forest University
Targeting Hypoxia Inducible Factor 2-alpha as a Novel Therapeutic Target in Recurrent Glioblastoma


The 2018 Career Development Awards are supported by:




AbbVie, Inc.
Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma Research Foundation
Janssen Scientific Affairs, LLC
Takeda Oncology

This list reflects commitments as of July 15, 2018.

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.