Types of Melanoma Research Funding

The 2016 grant applications are currently under review and will be announced soon. Applications are submitted and managed entirely online through ProposalCENTRAL and are only available during the application cycle (Jan. 1 - March 1). 

Learn about previously funded MRF research by visiting our Research Recipients page!

Team Awards

Team Awards provide funding of up to $250,000 per year for two years. Teams should consist of a PI and at least one co-PI, possibly from different institutions. Teams consisting of both basic scientists and clinicians to address an unmet clinical need are encouraged, as is the inclusion of a junior scientist. The use of relevant genetic models and human derived tumor samples is required. Use of clinically annotated samples, samples from clinical trials and trials conducted within the MRF Breakthrough Consortium (MRFBC) are particularly welcomed, but not required. All Team Awards must address one of the Specific Topic Proposals (STPs) identified below. Team applications should demonstrate how the proposal will answer the selected unmet need topic. Team applications need to establish the relative contribution of each member of the team for the proposed studies. A previous record of collaboration for the proposed team is advantageous. A minimum of two Team Awards are expected to be funded in 2015.

Established Investigator Awards (EIA)

The EIAs provide funding of up to $100,000 per year for two years to established melanoma researchers, or senior researchers working in closely related fields who wish to move into melanoma research. The use of relevant genetic models and human derived tumor samples is highly encouraged. EIA applications are encouraged, but not required, to be part of the STP mechanism listed below.

Career Development Awards (CDA)

The CDAs provide funding of up to $50,000 per year for two years to junior investigators. Researchers who are beginning a research career focused on melanoma and have not yet established strong federal funding for their research are eligible. The use of relevant genetic models and human derived tumor samples is highly encouraged. CDA applications are encouraged, but not required, to be part of the STP mechanism listed below.

CURE OM Junior Fellowship Award, funded by an educational grant from AstraZeneca

In 2016, the MRF will offer a CURE OM Junior Fellowship Award, funded by an educational grant from AstraZeneca. This award will provide funding of $50,000 per year for two years to a junior investigator focusing on ocular melanoma. Researchers who are beginning a research career focused on ocular melanoma and have not yet established strong federal funding for their research are eligible.

CURE OM Unite! Established Investigator Award (CURE OM Unite! EIA)

The CURE OM Unite! Campaign was launched in May 2015 to bridge the gap between patients and researchers. This one-of-a-kind EIA is directly funded by the CURE OM patient and family community. The funding has come largely through CURE OM teams in Miles for Melanoma 5k run/walks around the country, as well as all general CURE OM Unite! donations received during the campaign period. An inspired donor matched this fundraising to create the award. This award will provide funding of up to $100,000 per year for two years to an established ocular melanoma researcher. This unique opportunity will include a patient review panel in addition to the MRF’s standard, expert, peer-reviewed panel, allowing the patient perspective to be considered in the critique process. 

Specific Topic Proposals

The identification of scientific topics that address unmet clinical needs in melanoma research were identified through a series of meetings of multidisciplinary experts from the MRF’s Scientific Advisory Committee and Breakthrough Consortium Steering Committee. The following categories are the identified unmet needs in melanoma research selected as STPs for 2015. 

  • Prevention: Development of models and biomarkers
  • Identifying mechanisms and respective therapeutic strategies in less common molecular subsets of melanoma
  • Metastases: Dormancy and metastatic progression
  • CNS Metastases: Development of markers of risk and rational therapeutic approaches
  • Response to Treatment: Mechanisms and respective biomarkers for predicting response and for monitoring therapeutic response
  • Resistance: Intrinsic/Innate/Primary resistance to immunotherapies in melanoma

Please refer to 2016 RFP for a full definition of each STP. Career Development and Established Investigator applicants are encouraged, but not required, to focus on one of these themes in their proposals. Team Award applications are required to focus on one of the STPs.

Learn how to apply for a MRF research grant.

Medical Student Awards

The 2017 Medical Student Grant Application is now available.  The application deadline is November 1, 2016. Please read all submission instructions on the Grants Process page and in the application. 

The MRF's Medical Student Award Program provides one-year awards of up to $3,000 for medical students to engage in short clinical or laboratory-based research projects focused on better understanding the biology and treatment of melanoma. All proposals will undergo a rigorous peer-reviewed process by hand-selected experts in diverse areas of melanoma research. 

Learn about previously funded MRF research by visiting our Research Recipients page!