Columbia University

Technology Ventures

Women Scientists Innovation Award for Cancer Research

Monday, February 6, 2023 - 5:00pm



PURPOSE OF AWARD: The pandemic has been a setback for the careers of researchers, particularly women. Sustaining the careers of women in research and preventing the loss of women from academic careers focused on cancer is paramount to accomplishing the V Foundation’s mission. To help level the playing field for women in cancer research, we propose the V Foundation’s “Women Scientists Innovation Award for Cancer Research.”

SPECIAL FOCUS AREA: This request for applications is specifically to fund women cancer researchers utilizing two different grant mechanisms. This opportunity is restricted to adult cancer research and will fund a range of projects from laboratory-based fundamental research through bench-to-bedside strategies. Note: Research areas not included in this scope for any grant type are epidemiology, behavioral science, and health services research.

V Scholar applicants can propose cancer research that is focused on laboratory research that increases our understanding of cancer biology or translational type research that improves cancer detection, prevention, treatment, and survivorship. Emphasis for this grant mechanism is on supporting exceptional early career investigators at the Assistant Professor stage to be better positioned to leverage large R01 or similar sustaining grants.

Translational grant applicants can propose cancer research that moves a novel strategy from the laboratory into a human clinical trial or uses specimens from a clinical trial to develop biomarkers or mechanisms. The research should apply in some direct way to human beings within the time frame of less than 3 years from the end of the grant. If biomarker research is undertaken, a validation set or independent clinical trial is essential. A plan for biomarker validation, if applicable, must be included in any proposal. The endpoint of the project should be the planning or initiation of a new clinical trial.


V Scholar: A three-year, $600,000 grant, paid in annual installments. No indirect costs allowed.

Translational: A four-year, $800,000 grant, paid in annual installments. Indirect costs up to 10% allowed (not to exceed $80,000 within the award).


  • Each invited institution may submit one nominee to apply for this RFA.
  • The SOLE nominee may apply in either the V Scholar or Translational grant type.

APPLICANT ELIGIBILITY: Your nominee must be the lead Principal Investigator (PI) and must meet all the following criteria by the nomination due date.

  • For ALL applicant types:
    • Must self-identify as a woman.
    • Nominated by their Cancer Center Director or similar high ranking research official.
    • Employed at a non-profit research institution (e.g., 501c3, Section 170).
    • Must hold a tenure-track or tenured faculty position at their cancer research institution. Non-promotable adjunct, affiliated, temporary, part-time, or acting faculty positions are not eligible for Principal Investigator nomination.
  • Specific For Translational applicants: Must be either a US Citizen or have a legal permit (temporary or permanent) to work in the US. This requirement does not apply to invited Canadian institutions.
  • Specific for V Scholar applicants:
    • Must be a US citizen or have permanent legal residency in the US. This requirement does not apply to invited Canadian institutions.
    • Must possess at least 2 years post-doctoral (MD or PhD) fellowship training. For MDs, a minimum of one year is acceptable if only one year is required for their specialty.
    • Clinical scientists are eligible if the research institution can demonstrate that it will fully support the research applicant (e.g., dedicated lab space, committed research time, start-up funds).
    • V Scholar applicants must have been appointed to their first full-time tenure track Assistant Professor position no more than 5 years prior to the nomination due date, and not yet been promoted to Associate Professor (for e.g., must be eligible to apply for PI status on an R01 at your institution).

Exclusions for V Scholar applicants:

    • Must NOT have been a previous or current V Foundation V Scholar awardee.
    • Must NOT have accepted or have received notification that you will be awarded an R01 or other large grant exceeding $250K per year in funding to your lab from public or private sources by the nomination due date. Internal/start-up institutional funds should not be included in the calculation.
    • Must NOT have accepted or have received notification of aggregated funding exceeding

$300K per year for more than 3 consecutive years by the nomination due date. Internal/start-up institutional funds should not be included in this aggregate calculation.

If you have questions about the nomination process, please contact the Research and Grants Team at [email protected]


Application Deadline: by 5.00 PM Eastern time on Monday, Feb., 6th, 2023.
Nomination Due Date: 
by 5:00 PM Eastern Time on Februray, 15th, 2023.
Full Application Due Date
: by 5:00 PM Eastern Time on March 16th, 2023.

Please see below to submit your application via the InfoReady Portal


Apply here:

Questions: contact Dr. Sadiqa Quadri at [email protected]