Fellowship Award Eligibility & Application Instructions



NOTICE: Hope Funds for Cancer Research will not be accepting Fellowship Applications in the Fall of 2023 for 2024 Fellowships. We will start accepting applications in the Fall of 2024 for Fellowships starting July 2025. The pause this year resulted from our increasing our Fellowship stipends to existing Fellows, and starting Fellowships in 2024 from 2023 deferrals. We very much hope you consider submitting an application in August 2024.

Hope Funds for Cancer Research is offering fellowships to postdoctoral scientists who propose to work on highly innovative research projects that challenge the traditional paradigms of understanding the causes, mechanisms, progression, disease markers or risk factors of the most difficult-to-treat cancers, including pancreatic, lung, liver, sarcomas, esophageal, brain, gastric, bone and ovarian cancers; and rare leukemias, lymphomas and MDS.  The Trustees of the Hope Funds believe that funding research that could lead to breakthroughs in these areas and increase life expectancy in these types of cancers is at the core of its mission. The Fellowship Review Committee will consider each of the following criteria, with a strong emphasis on the innovation of the project, in evaluating candidates.

  1. Innovation: The originality of the project and the use of novel concepts, hypotheses, approaches, methodologies, tools and technologies in the area of cancer research. The level to which the project challenges existing paradigms and presents innovative hypotheses to promote progress in the prevention, control and treatment of the most difficult-to-treat cancers (e.g. pancreatic, lung, liver, sarcomas, esophageal, brain, gastric and ovarian cancers).
  2. Significance: The direct relevance of the research proposal to issues regarding prevention, control or treatment in the most difficult-to-treat cancers. The importance of the project’s outcomes on the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventive interventions that drive the field of cancer research.
  3. Approach: The conceptual framework and reasoning around the design, methods and analyses proposed and their appropriateness to the aims of the project. The identification of potential problem areas in the approach proposed, and the consideration of alternative approaches.
  4. Investigators: The qualifications, experience, and productivity of both the candidate and the principal investigator. The appropriateness of the project proposed to the experience of the principal investigator and if applicable, collaborative investigators.
  5. Environment: The quality of the training provided by the research environment in which the proposed research is to be conducted and the potential for broadening and strengthening the candidate’s ability to conduct innovative and significant research.


  • Candidates must have completed one or more of the following degrees or its equivalent: MD, PhD, MD/PhD, DDS, DVM. For foreign-trained physicians, equivalency will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
  • Candidates must conduct their proposed research under a sponsor who holds a formal appointment at the host institution.
  • Candidates can apply prior to starting or during their postdoctoral appointments provided they have been formally accepted into the lab they are applying from, and current postdoctoral scientists must not have been in their Sponsor’s lab for more than two years as of September 24, 2022.
  • Candidates who have already accepted other postdoctoral research fellowship awards are not eligible.
  • The proposed investigation must be conducted at a university, hospital or research institution in the United States.
  • The Hope Funds for Cancer Research does not support research at for-profit institutions.


The Hope Funds for Cancer Research is awarding three-year fellowships with a stipend of $56,000 for the first year, $59,000 for the second year, and $62,000 for the third year. A travel grant of $1,500 will be awarded each year to each grantee for the purpose of attending conferences and/or scientific training meetings. All awards and stipends are made to the Institution for the support of the designated Fellow.

Hope Funds for Cancer Research does not permit deductions to cover administrative expenses from either stipend/fellowship or travel grants as a matter of policy. Supplementation of stipends is permitted from either Institution or Sponsor’s grants, but not by any other fellowship awards or grants. The total stipend should not exceed the level of support for other professionals at the same level of training in that institution. The Hope Funds for Cancer Research’s grants are intended for full-time research. The candidates must devote their principal time and effort to the Funds-supported research activities. Any activities in addition to this Fellowship should be clearly specified in the application and in the annual progress report. Fellows are not permitted to pursue additional degrees during the course of their fellowship. Should the Fellow and/or Sponsor wish to discontinue the project, leave the Institution or modify any aspect of the award, he or she must seek approval from the Hope Funds for Cancer Research in advance. Failure to comply with this requirement may jeopardize any future awards to Institution and/or Sponsor by the Fund.

Hope Funds for Cancer Research pays fellowships quarterly to the Institution. These fellowships do not constitute an employer-employee relationship between the Hope Funds for Cancer Research and the Fellow. Detailed annual scientific progress reports are due annual (months 12, 24 and 36), and informal progress reports are due at the ends of months 5, 17, and 29. Financial Reports are due annually.

The invention policy of the Hope Funds for Cancer Research requests adherence by the Fellow to the established patent policy of the Institution where he/she is working.  For any discovery made that was funded in any part by a Hope Funds for Cancer Research grant, the Institution shall provide written notification to Hope Funds for Cancer Research within ninety (90) days of the disclosure of any patentable technology, filing of a patent application, or issuance of a patent.  In addition, Institutions Technology Transfer Office shall provide a yearly report of the status of the patenting and licensing efforts for each disclosed technology.

In addition, the following documents (PDF) are required of grant awardees:


You must have a valid email address to apply. There is a two-step application process for Hope Fund postdoctoral fellowships. The first step in the application process is to submit a brief description of the proposed research using the Summary of Research Application (writable PDF, which must be saved/printed with added content). We accept electronic signatures on these forms. Please write the 600-word-or-less summary, any allowed figures, and the bibliography (the Fellow’s publications) as a PDF file, and then combine the Summary of Research Application and 600-word-or-less summary, figures and bibliography in one PDF named as  “Applicant’s Last Name-Sponsor’s Last Name.pdf”. This should be e-mailed directly to [email protected] on or before September 24, 2024.

DO NOT send reference letters for the Abstract Round.

The Grants Review Committee of the Hope Funds for Cancer Research will review these applications and select a short list of candidates. These candidates will be notified directly and be asked to submit a more detailed application package. For those selected, the second step in the application process involves submitting a detailed application package (described below) to the Hope Funds for Cancer Research, 174 Bellevue Avenue, Suite 208, Newport, Rhode Island 02840.


Applicants selected to participate in the second step of the application process should submit the following items, with the pages in the following sequence and numbered consecutively on the bottom right, and with the applicant’s last name and the sponsor’s last name on the bottom left of each page, by January 25, 2025 for those selected in the Fall of 2024:

  1. The Application Cover Sheet which contains the signatures of the applicant and the sponsor.
  2. The Summary of Research Form, as submitted in Part 1 of the application process. If the Summary from Part 1 is modified, then this needs to be indicated on the form.
  3. The applicant’s original research proposal, not exceeding five pages of single-spaced 12-point type with at least 0.5 inch margins. The applicant’s and sponsor’s last names and the page number may be outside of the margins if needed. In the proposal, the applicant should:
    1. provide some background emphasizing the originality of the proposed research and the level to which the project challenges existing paradigms and presents innovative hypotheses
    2. explain the significance of the proposed research to the Hope Funds goals: understanding the causes and mechanisms of the most difficult-to-treat cancers and developing more effective cancer therapies and prevention
    3. list specific research objectives/aims
    4. describe concisely the method of approach for the proposed research and their appropriateness to the aims of the project and the consideration of alternative approaches
    5. demonstrate the relevance of his or her own background and the background and previous work of the Sponsor and any other investigators to the proposed research
    6. list references including the full title of each work cited and append figures or tables – the references, figures or tables are not included in the five-page limit but should not exceed two extra pages.
  4. The applicant’s curriculum vitae, including a bibliography of all published works.
  5. A brief description of the Sponsor’s biography, including a subset of publications most relevant to the proposed research.
  6. A copy of the applicant’s doctorate degree certificate


The above application (sections 1 – 5) should be submitted online as a single PDF file and a hard copy of the complete application (sections 1 – 6) should be sent to the Hope Funds for Cancer Research for arrival at our office on or before the deadline. Please name your file as “Applicant’s Last Name-Sponsor’s Last Name.pdf”.


  • Application cover sheet
  • Summary of research Form
  • Research proposal
  • Sponsor’s biographical sketch
  • Applicant’s CV
  • Applicant’s degree certificate
  • Three Reference Letters [sent via e-mail directly by referees to the Hope Fund for Cancer Research]

Mail Complete Application (faxed applications will not be considered):

Hope Funds for Cancer Research
174 Bellevue Avenue, Suite 208
Newport, Rhode Island 02840
(401) 847-3286


Referees must directly submit (by e-mail to [email protected]) their letters and our Reference Letter Form on or before the application deadline of January 25, 2025. Three (3) letters of reference are required. The Sponsor and two other qualified individuals are asked to evaluate the candidate’s qualifications for the proposed research project and assess the candidate’s potential for successful independent cancer research. Referees are also asked to comment on the originality of the research proposal and the level to which the proposal challenges existing paradigms.

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