Research News

Limited Submission Opportunity: 2023 Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation Grants

Applications due Feb. 2

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

Vanderbilt (VU and VUMC combined) may submit up to two letters of intent, one per available award type, to the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation Grants Program. Founded in 1982, the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation has raised $42 million for cancer research since its inception. This represents the persistent hard work of physicians, researchers, volunteers, staff and community partners who are dedicated to the health of our future generation—our children. Their mission remains to improve the care, quality of life and survival rates of children with malignant diseases.

The foundation is unique in its approach to funding childhood cancer research—working directly with doctors, researchers and nurses to identify the specific challenges they face in bringing new treatments to and caring for children with cancer. Careful distribution of grants has allowed doctors and nurses to speed up the process of bringing the latest and most promising life-saving treatments to seriously ill children. The result is bringing hope to childhood cancer patients now and in the future.

Two grant opportunities are currently available:

  • Translational Research Grant (up to $75,000 per year, for up to two years)

These grants fund new research protocols and therapies that hold promise for improved outcomes and accelerate cures from the laboratory bench to the bedside of children and teens with high-risk cancers. This grant is given to single or multi-institutional programs that involve open cancer clinical trials or consortia and implement new approaches to therapy. Applicants must be a Ph.D. and/or M.D.

  • Emerging Investigator Fellowship (up to $50,000 per year for one year)

These grants are designed to support postdoctoral fellowships and clinical investigator training for emerging pediatric cancer researchers to pursue exciting research ideas. Applicants must have completed two years of their fellowship, or not more than two years as a junior faculty instructor or assistant professor, at the start of the award period. These grants encourage and cultivate the best and brightest researchers of the future. Researchers not previously funded by the foundation are typically funded at the Emerging Investigator Fellowship level.

All applicants are required to submit a letter of intent. Refer to the PCRF letters of intent guidelines for specific details.

Grant criteria and eligibility

  • The probability of an advance in prevention, diagnosis or treatment for the near term
  • The novelty of the concept and strategy
  • The clarity of presentation
  • The overall plan for bringing the research findings to clinical application
  • Experience, background and qualifications of the investigators
  • Adequacy of resources and environment (facilities, patients, etc.)
  • PCRF does not have citizenship requirements for our investigators. However, the principal investigator needs to be employed by a nonprofit U.S. institution that has an affiliation with a hospital.
  • Translational Grants require the applicant to be a Ph.D. and/or M.D.
  • Emerging Investigator applicants must have completed two years of their fellowship, or not more than two years as a junior faculty instructor or assistant professor, at the start of the award period.

Award information

Allowable costs

  • Personnel costs (including salary and fringe benefits). There is no salary cap applied.
  • Supplies
  • Travel (restricted to nominal travel costs)
  • Other expenses

Unallowable costs

  • PCRF does not typically fund equipment costs. If you are planning to request equipment in your application budget, please contact the executive director of PCRF, Jeri Wilson, at prior to submission.
  • No indirect costs will be funded.
  • Funds awarded shall be used solely for the purposes specified in the application submitted for consideration and in strict compliance with the budget submitted with the application.

For more information, see the foundation Grants Manual and LOI Guidelines.

Internal application process

Anyone interested in being considered as a potential nominee must submit the below items (in PDF format) to by 5 p.m. on Feb. 2, 2023.  Submissions should reference the award type in the subject line of the email.

  1. Brief research plan (2-page max., including summary budget)
  2. Statement of support from dean, department chair or center director
    1. Letter must acknowledge that this grant does not allow indirect costs.** This statement can be used/modified: “The department recognizes that this grant does not allow indirect costs and will commit to covering any associated indirect costs per applicable institutional/school policy.”
  3. Biosketch in current NIH format

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