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AACR-Bayer Stimulating Therapeutic Advances through Research Training (START) Grants

Grant Amount $225,000 USD
Grant Term3 Years
Start of Grant TermOctober 1, 2020
Application DeadlineJune 30, 2020 1:00 PM (Eastern Time)
Decision Date09/2020
Additional Information


April 13, 2021 – Grant recipient must attend the Grants Reception and Dinner to formally accept the grant. Grant funds may be used to support the grantee’s registration and attendance at this Annual Meeting.


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 Advances through Research Training (START) Grants represent an exciting and novel initiative to encourage and support such collaboration. These grants, 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. Proposals focused on clinical research are highly encouraged. 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.

Program Guidelines
Research Project Criteria

Research projects may be clinical or translational in nature and must have direct applicability and relevance to clinical translation and development in solid tumors and hematologic malignancies. Proposals focused on clinical research are highly encouraged. 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 (PhD, MD, MD/PhD, 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 October 1, 2020, applicants must: hold a full-time, mentored research position with the title of postdoctoral fellow, clinical research fellow, or the equivalent; have completed their most recent doctoral degree within the past five 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); and work under the auspices of a mentor at an academic, medical, or research institution in the United States of America.

Applicants with a medical degree must have completed their most recent doctoral degree or medical residency - whichever date is later - within the past five years.

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

Applicants must be AACR members. Annual dues are not required for early-career researchers interested in Associate membership. Nonmembers interested in this grant opportunity must submit a satisfactory application for AACR membership by the application deadline. Nonmembers can apply for membership online or by submitting the Official Membership Application Form to the AACR with the required documents. Please review the Membership Categories for the category that best fits your qualifications. Members can renew their membership through myAACR to bring their membership current. You will need your logon (email address) and password to access the member portal. If you require assistance logging in, please contact [email protected]. Lapsed members must be members in good standing by the application deadline and should contact the Membership Department at [email protected] for assistance.

Application Instructions

The AACR requires applicants to submit an online application by 1:00 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 using the proposalCENTRAL website at

Program Guidelines and Application Instructions are available for download.