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AACR NextGen Grants for Transformative Cancer Research

Grant Amount $450,000 USD
Grant Term3 Years
Start of Grant Term11/01/2020
Letter of Intent Deadline05/05/2020 1:00 PM (Eastern Time)
Letter of Intent Notification Date06/2020
Application Deadline08/07/2020 1:00 PM (Eastern Time)
Decision Date09/2020
Additional Information


April 13, 2021 – Grant recipients 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.


The AACR NextGen Grants for Transformative Cancer Research represent the AACR’s flagship funding initiative to stimulate highly innovative research from young investigators. This grant mechanism is intended to promote and support creative, paradigm-shifting cancer research that may not be funded through conventional channels. It is expected that these grants will catalyze significant scientific discoveries and help talented young investigators gain scientific independence.

The grants provide $450,000 over three years for expenses related to the research project, which may include salary and benefits of the grant recipient, postdoctoral or clinical research fellows, graduate students (including tuition costs), and research assistants, research/laboratory supplies, equipment, travel applicable to the research project, publication charges for manuscripts that pertain directly to the funded project, other research expenses, and indirect costs.

Program Guidelines
Research Project Criteria

The proposed research must represent a highly innovative approach to a major contemporary challenge in cancer research. The funded projects must have the potential to lead to groundbreaking discoveries in the field, and transform our understanding of the tumorigenesis process and/or our ability to treat, detect, or prevent cancer. The research can be in any area of basic, translational, or clinical science. 

While the research proposed for funding may be basic, translational, or clinical in nature in any area of cancer research, at least one AACR NextGen Grant will be awarded to a breast cancer-focused project.

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 Nov. 1, 2020, applicants must: hold a tenure-eligible appointment (or equivalent, if institution does not follow a tenure system) at the rank of assistant professor (appointments such as research assistant professor, adjunct assistant professor, assistant professor research track, visiting professor, or instructor are not eligible; applicants that have progressed to associate professor appointments are also not eligible.); have held a tenure-eligible assistant professor appointment for less than three years (appointed on or after Nov. 1, 2017); and work at an academic, medical, or research institution anywhere in the world.

If eligibility is based on a future position, the position must be confirmed at the time of submission, and CANNOT be contingent upon receiving this grant.

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) at [email protected] before submitting their Letter of Intent for information on additional verification materials/signatures that may be required.

Citizenship Requirements

There are no citizenship or geographic requirements. However, by submitting a Letter of Intent for this grant, an applicant applying from an institution located in a country in which they are not a citizen or a permanent resident assures that their visa status will provide sufficient time to complete the project and grant term at the institution from which they applied.

AACR Membership Requirements

Applicants must be AACR members. Nonmembers interested in this grant opportunity must submit a satisfactory application for AACR Active 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 complete an online Letter of Intent submission by 1 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time, Tuesday, May 5, 2020, using the proposalCENTRAL website at

Program Guidelines and Competitive Letter of Intent Instructions are available for download.