In This Section

Fanconi Cancer Foundation – AACR NextGen Grant for Transformative Cancer Research

Grant Amount $450,000 USD
Grant Term3 Years
Start of Grant TermDecember 1, 2024
Letter of Intent DeadlineJuly 9, 2024 1:00 PM (ET)
Letter of Intent Notification DateAugust 2024
Application DeadlineOctober 2, 2024 1:00 PM (ET)
Decision DateNovember 2024
Additional InformationAdditional details regarding this grant program can be found in the Program Guidelines and Competitive Letter of Intent Instructions. Final determinations of eligibility will not be completed until the AACR is in receipt of the submitted Letter of Intent.

The Fanconi Cancer Foundation-AACR NextGen Grant for Transformative Cancer Research represents 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 this grant will catalyze significant scientific discoveries and help talented young investigators gain scientific independence.

Fanconi anemia (FA) is a rare genetic disease caused by loss-of-function mutations in any one of 22 FA genes, which are integral to the FA/BRCA DNA repair pathway and include the breast cancer susceptibility genes BRCA1 and BRCA2. The disease is marked by congenital abnormalities, bone marrow failure, and a high risk of solid tumors and leukemia. Individuals with FA have a hundreds- to thousands-fold increased risk of developing squamous cell cancers of the head and neck, esophagus, and anogenital regions, in addition to an elevated risk for other solid tumors.

Advancements in stem cell transplants have extended the lifespan of individuals with FA, transforming the perception of the disease from only a childhood disease characterized by bone marrow failure. FA is now recognized as a cancer predisposition syndrome, with mortality from cancer emerging as the primary cause of death for young adults with FA. This is due to the challenges inherent in treating tumors in a population with underlying defects in the FA/BRCA DNA repair pathway.

The study of the FA/BRCA DNA repair pathway and its link to FA-associated cancers not only yields critical insights into the disease itself, but also enhances our understanding of the intricate interplay between DNA repair mechanisms and cancer. Research on FA-associated cancers holds promise for informing the development of novel diagnostics, preventive strategies, and therapies for people with FA, as well as for individuals in the general population diagnosed with sporadic cancers of the same type.

The Fanconi Cancer Foundation supports an FA research resource repository in parternship with the Oregon Health Sciences University that provides antibodies and cell lines to researchers internationally. The repository also provides information and access to investigators in support of active sharing of FA research resources created with FCF funding.

Applications are invited from researchers currently working in the FA field as well as investigators with experience in other areas of cancer or biomedical research with an interest in studying FA-associated cancers.

The grant provides $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, and other research expenses. Indirect costs are not allowable expenses.

Program Guidelines

Please review all Program Guidelines and Competitive Letter of Intent Instructions before submitting an application.

Research Project Criteria

The proposed research must represent a highly innovative approach to a major contemporary challenge in Fanconi Anemia-related 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 in individuals with FA. The research proposed for funding may be basic, translational, or clinical in nature. Proposed basic research should exhibit a clear pathway to translational development, focusing specifically on FA-associated cancers rather than their sporadic counterparts. Proposals involving a collaborator for translational activities will be given preference.

Research topics can include, but are not limited to, the following areas:

  • Relationship of the FA/BRCA DNA repair pathway to aging/FA cancers
  • Technologies, methods, or biomarkers for early detection of FA cancers
  • Approaches, mechanisms, and targets to prevent FA cancers
  • Solid tumor biology of FA squamous cell cancers
  • Novel therapeutics for FA cancers
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 December 1, 2024, 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)
    • 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 the AACR’s Research and Grants Administration Department (AACR’s RGA) at [email protected] before submitting their Letter of Intent for information on additional verification materials/signatures that may be required.
  • Have held a tenure-eligible assistant professor appointment for no more than three years (i.e., cannot have held a tenure-eligible appointment prior to December 1, 2021)
  • Work at an academic, medical, or research institution anywhere in the world
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 Active AACR members in good standing (dues paid for the current year). Please be informed that AACR offers reduced membership due rates for applicants from countries with emerging economies based on the World Bank listing. Nonmembers interested in this grant opportunity must submit a satisfactory application for AACR Active membership by the Letter of Intent (LOI) deadline. Nonmembers can apply for membership online. Please review the Membership Categories for the category that best fits your qualifications. Nonmembers must obtain a statement of support from a nominator with is an Active AACR member in good standing (dues paid for the current year). Nonmembers requiring assistance with finding a nominator may email [email protected] and include your geographical location to receive a list of members in your area to contact for nominations. For more information check the membership FAQ. 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 submit a help form. 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 1:00 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time on Tuesday, July 9, 2024, using the ProposalCentral website at

Please review all Program Guidelines and Competitive Letter of Intent Instructions before submitting an application.