Research News

Limited Submission Opportunity: 2020 V Foundation Robin Roberts Cancer ‘Thrivership’ Research Grant

Applications due May 7

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


Vanderbilt (VU and VUMC, collaboratively) may select one nominee for the V Foundation 2020 Robin Roberts Cancer “Thrivership” Research Grant. The V Foundation has established this initiative, in honor of Robin Roberts, to fund research related to cancer survivorship and reduction of long-term complications of cancer treatment. Through the fund, they hope to help more patients not only survive cancer but thrive after treatment. The Cancer Survivorship Research Grant is a $600,000 grant awarded in three annual installments of $200,000. Indirect costs up to a maximum of 10 percent within the total award are permitted.

Funding priorities

The Journal of Clinical Oncology published a joint recommendation from the American Association for Cancer Research, the American Cancer Society, the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the National Cancer Institute that concluded “disparities in cancer incidence are pronounced and longstanding. Drivers of these disparities are multifactorial and multilevel, and they include sociodemographic factors, access to health care, risk factor profiles and lifestyle/health habits, cultural perceptions, biologic differences and genetic predisposition. Disparities in cancers for which single etiologic factors account for a substantial proportion of disease (e.g., human papillomavirus and cervical cancer, or Helicobacter pylori and stomach cancer) can be reasonably understood and explained, but disparities for many of the common etiologically heterogeneous cancers, such as breast, prostate and colorectal cancers, remain much less well understood. There is also a need for studies focused on identifying the genetic contributors to cancer health disparities.”

This grant opportunity will fund translational research to understand the underlying biological basis of these health disparities in cancer survivorship with a goal to improve outcomes for patients, including:

  • observational studies focused on a population in which disparities exist to advance knowledge about etiology and to inform novel prevention strategies;
  • studies to identify the genetic contributors to cancer health disparities;
  • studies to understand the biologic mechanisms through which risk factors across different populations act (e.g. diet related microbiome effects); and
  • studies of human population genetics to inform interpretations of disparate effects of cancer drugs and therapies across patient populations.

The program will NOT fund psycho-social services-type research such as quality of life, psychosocial well-being and dysfunction.

Eligibility criteria

By June 22, 2020, the applicant who will the lead proposed research team must have all the following:

  • Hold a tenure-track faculty position. Non-promotable, adjunct, affiliated, temporary, part-time or acting faculty positions are not eligible for Principal Investigator nomination to lead the research team.
  • Be either a U.S. citizen or have a legal permit to work in the USA (either temporary or permanent).

Internal selection process

Anyone interested in being considered as Vanderbilt’s nominee must submit the following (in a single PDF) to by 5 p.m. on May 7, 2020.

  1. Research plan including summary budget (2-page maximum);
  2. Statement of support from department chair/center director;
  3. NIH Biosketch

Submissions should reference “V Foundation Cancer Thrivership Grant” in the subject line of the email. Please contact if you have any questions.