Limited submission opportunity: 2020 Pew-Stewart Scholars for Cancer Research Program

This is a joint competition for VU and VUMC investigators. All investigators should follow these instructions.


Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center may nominate one candidate for the Pew Charitable Trusts’ 2020 Pew-Stewart Scholars for Cancer Research Program. This program supports assistant professors of outstanding promise in science relevant to the advancement of a cure for cancer. The award provides $300,000 in flexible support—$75,000 per year for a four-year period. Not more than 8 percent of the total award may be allocated for overhead costs.

Strong proposals will incorporate particularly creative and innovative approaches in cancer research. Candidates whose work is based on biomedical principles, but brings in concepts and theories from more diverse fields related to cancer, are encouraged to apply. Ideas with the potential to produce an unusually high impact are encouraged. Successful applications should not look like typical R01 grant applications with incremental research steps and safe hypotheses supported by existing data.

Selection of candidates will be based on a detailed description of the work that the applicant proposes to undertake, evaluations of the candidate’s performance, and notable past accomplishments, including honors, awards, and publications. The Committee gives considerable weight to evidence that the candidate is a successful independent investigator and has published significant work.

This program is distinct from the Pew Biomedical Scholars Program, but candidates may apply to both.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Candidates must have been awarded a doctorate in a field related to biomedical sciences or medicine.
  • As of October 10, 2019, candidates must hold full-time appointments at the rank of assistant professor. (associate professors are not eligible. Appointments such as research assistant professor, adjunct assistant professor, assistant professor research track, visiting professor or instructor are not eligible.)
  • On June 14, 2019, candidates must have been in such an appointment for less than three years (not appointed before June 14, 2016), whether or not such an appointment was on a tenure track.
    • Time spent in clinical internships, residencies, in work toward board certification, or on parental leave does not count as part of this three-year limit. Candidates who took parental leave should indicate this in their internal application.
  • Qualified candidates should be conducting creative, interdisciplinary, basic, or translational cancer research. Public health projects and those that are solely clinical research are not within the scope of Pew-funded research.
  • The selected candidate may be nominated by Vanderbilt two times in total.
  • Funding from the NIH, other government sources, and project grants from non-profit associations do not pose a conflict.

Internal Application Process:

Anyone interested in being considered as Vanderbilt’s nominee must submit the following (in PDF format) to  by 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 9, 2019: 

  1. Brief research plan including summary budget (2 page max);
  2. Statement of support from department chair/center director;
  3. NIH Biosketch or abbreviated CV (5 page max)

Submissions should reference “PEW-STEWART SCHOLARS” in the subject line of the email.

Following the internal review, the nominee’s name will be submitted to the Pew Charitable Trusts by June 14, 2019 and complete application will be due Oct. 10, 2019.

Any questions about this opportunity or the LSO process may be directed to