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AACR-Bayer Stimulating Therapeutic Advancements through Research Training (START) Grants | Grant Status - Closed

Grant Amount$ 225,000 USD

Expected Number of
Funded Grants


Grant Term

3 Year(s)

Start of Grant Term


Application Deadline

8/17/2018 1:00:00 PM

Application Deadline Time Zone

Eastern Standard Time

Decision Date


Additional Information

​April 2, 2019 – Grant recipient must attend the Grants Reception and Dinner to formally accept the grant. Grant funds may be used to support the grantees’ registration and attendance at this Annual Meeting.

​Program Guidelines and Application Instructions are available in PDF format.


​Dramatic advances made in recent years towards precision medicine initiatives, biomarker and novel target identification, and high-throughput examination of genomic data, have resulted in a trove of valuable data that can inform the development of new therapeutics to combat cancer. However, to effectively harness this wealth of information and advance the discovery and development of new therapies for cancer patients, enhanced collaboration between academia and industry will be needed.

The AACR-Bayer Stimulating Therapeutic Advancements through Research Training (START) Grants represent an exciting new initiative to encourage and support such collaboration. This novel model, which will provide support to postdoctoral or clinical research fellows, combines research experiences in both an academic and industry setting, following a research timeline that will be of greatest benefit to the proposed work. The training provided through this grants program will be invaluable to young investigators, by allowing fellows to attain a comprehensive research experience that will make them highly desirable to potential employers in either academic research or the pharmaceutical industry. Likewise, academic research centers and industry will benefit from the introduction of such dual-trained individuals into the field.

Each fellowship provides a three-year grant of $225,000 to support the salary and benefits of the fellow while working on a mentored cancer research project. Applicants must plan to spend one year on site at a Bayer facility.  One of a number of Bayer’s locations are possible, at the discretion of Bayer.  The year at Bayer will be determined on a case-by-case basis, and will be at a time agreed upon by the fellow, the academic supervisor, the Bayer mentor, and Bayer.  The research proposed for funding must have direct applicability to clinical translation and development in solid tumors and hematologic malignancies.

Program Guidelines

Research Project Criteria

​Research projects may be basic, translational, or clinical in nature and must have direct applicability and relevance to clinical translation and development in solid tumors and hematologic malignancies. The applicant should also define specific milestones and goals to be accomplished during each year of the fellowship, emphasizing how the experience in industry is expected to complement the time spent in academia.

Eligibility Criteria

​Applicants must have a doctoral degree (including PhD, MD, DO, DC, ND, DDS, DVM, ScD, DNS, PharmD, or equivalent) in a related field and not currently be a candidate for a further doctoral degree.

At the start of the grant term on Oct. 1, 2018, applicants must:

  • Hold a full-time, mentored research position with the title of postdoctoral fellow, clinical research fellow, or the equivalent; this position must have been held for at least one, but not more than three, years
    1. If eligibility is based on a future position, the position must be confirmed at the time of application, and CANNOT be contingent upon receiving this grant.
    2. If the future position is at a different institution than the applicant’s current institution, the applicant must contact AACR’s Scientific Review and Grants Administration Department (AACR’s SRGA) before submitting their application for information on additional verification materials/signatures that may be required.
  • Have completed their most recent doctoral degree within the past one to three years (i.e., degree cannot have been conferred before October 1, 2015; the formal date of receipt of doctoral degree is the date the degree was conferred, as indicated on their diploma and/or transcript)

    1. Applicants with a medical degree must have completed their most recent doctoral degree or medical residency - whichever date is later - within the past three years (time spent in medical specialty or subspecialty training is not considered part of medical residency and will be counted against the three-year window).
  • Work under the auspices of a mentor at an academic, medical, or research institution in the United States of America


An exception to the three-year window may be granted for parental leave or other well justified leave from research for pressing personal or family situations of generally less than 12 months duration. Applicants whose experience exceeds the maximum of three years but who believe they are eligible (e.g., maternity/family leave) must contact AACR’s SRGA before submitting an application to verify their eligibility.

Applicants who believe that they are at the level of postdoctoral or clinical research fellow, but hold a different title may be eligible and must contact AACR’s SRGA before submitting an application.

Investigators may submit only one application for the AACR-Bayer START Grants but may concurrently apply for other AACR grants. However, applicants are expected to accept the first grant they are awarded. Individuals may accept and hold only one AACR grant at a time.

Employees or subcontractors of a U.S. government entity or for-profit private industry are not eligible. Postdoctoral fellows conducting research in a U.S. government laboratory (e.g., NIH, CDC, FDA, etc.) are not eligible.

Any individual who currently holds an active AACR grant may not apply. Past grantees may apply if they complied with all progress and financial report requirements.

Investigators currently or previously holding the rank of instructor, adjunct professor, assistant professor, research assistant professor, the equivalent or higher are not eligible. Qualified researchers are invited to apply for an AACR Career Development Award.

Exception: If you are an MD who is considered a postdoctoral fellow but hold the title of instructor so that you can see patients, you may be eligible. Potential applicants possessing an MD are encouraged to contact AACR’s SRGA before submitting an application to verify your eligibility.

All applicants with questions about eligibility must contact AACR’s SRGA at before submitting an application.

Citizenship Requirements

​There are no citizenship requirements. However, by submitting an application for this grant, the applicant who is not a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident assures that the visa status will provide sufficient time to complete the project and grant term.

AACR Membership Requirements

​AACR membership is required. Nonmembers interested in this grant opportunity must submit a satisfactory application for AACR Associate Membership by Friday, Aug. 17, 2018. Nonmembers can apply for membership using the Official Application for Membership submitted to the AACR with the required documents or apply online. In support of the professional development of early-career investigators, no annual dues are required for Associate membership.

Application Instructions

AACR requires applicants to submit an online application by 1:00 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time on Friday, Aug. 17, 2018, using the proposalCENTRAL website at

Program Guidelines and Application Instructions are available in PDF format.