Research News

Limited Submission Opportunity: 2023 V Foundation Women Scientists Innovation Award for Cancer Research

Applications due Jan. 30

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

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. For this reason, the V Foundation has issued a request for applications for the 2023 V Foundation Women Scientists Innovation Award for Cancer Research.

Vanderbilt (VU and VUMC, collaboratively) has been invited to participate in the 2023 V Foundation Women Scientists Innovation Award for Cancer ResearchVanderbilt may choose one nominee for the Women Scientists Innovation Award for Cancer Research. The single nominee may apply for only one of the following award types: V Scholar or Translational. 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. Research areas not included in this scope for any grant type are epidemiology, behavioral science and health services research.

V Scholar Award

  • Overview: 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.
  • Award amount: $600,000, paid in three annual installments. No indirect costs allowed.

Translational Research Award

  • Overview: 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.
  • Award amount: $800,000, paid in four annual installments. Indirect costs up to 10 percent allowed (not to exceed $80,000 within the award).

Applicant eligibility

Each applicant must meet all of the award-relevant criteria below by Feb. 15, 2023.

For all applicant types:

  • Must self-identify as a woman
  • 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.

For Translational applicants:

  • Must be either a U.S. citizen or have a legal permit (temporary or permanent) to work in the U.S.

For V Scholar applicants:

  • Must be a U.S. citizen or have permanent legal residency in the U.S.
  • Must possess at least two years postdoctoral (M.D. or Ph.D.) fellowship training. For M.D.s, 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 five years prior to the nomination due date of Feb. 15, 2023, 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).
  • 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 this nomination due date of Feb. 15, 2023. Internal/start-up institutional funds should not be included in the calculation.
  • Must NOT have accepted or have received notification of aggregated funding exceeding $300,000 per year for more than three consecutive years by this nomination due date of Feb. 15, 2023. Internal/start-up institutional funds should not be included in this aggregate calculation.

Internal selection process

Anyone interested in being considered as Vanderbilt’s nominee for either of the awards above must submit the following (in PDF format) to  by 11:59 p.m. on Jan. 30, 2023. Late applications will not be considered.

  1. Brief (2-page maximum) research plan including summary budget;
  2. Letter of support from department chair/center director;
    1. V Scholar award does not allow indirect costs. Scholar letters must also acknowledge that this grant does not allow indirect costs. This statement can be used/modified within the letter: “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.” Consult for further guidance.
    2. Translational award allows 10 percent indirect costs; indirect cost statement is not required.
  3. NIH Biosketch or 5-page CV

Submissions should reference the award type (Translational or V Scholar) in the subject line of the email.

A nomination form and letter of support for Vanderbilt’s selected candidate will be submitted to the V Foundation by Feb. 15, 2023. The candidate will then receive an invitation to submit a full application to the foundation due March 16, 2023.

Please contact us at if you have any questions about the program, foundation or internal review process.