(CLOSED) 2024 Pew-Stewart Scholars Program for Cancer Research

Sponsor Name: 
Pew Charitable Trusts
Description of the Award: 

The Penn State Cancer Institute has been invited by the Pew Charitable Trusts to nominate one candidate for the 2024 Pew-Stewart Scholars Program for Cancer Research award. In 2014, The Pew Charitable Trusts partnered with the Alexander and Margaret Stewart Trust to establish a national initiative, the Pew-Stewart Scholars Program for Cancer Research. This invitation is independent from the general invitation for the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences that your institution may also be receiving. Please read the details below carefully as nominations will not be accepted after May 17, 2023.

The Pew-Stewart Scholars Program for Cancer Research supports assistant professors of outstanding promise in science relevant to the advancement of a cure for cancer. The award provides $300,000 in flexible support—$75,000 per year for a four-year period.

In line with The Alexander and Margaret Stewart Trust’s mission to invest in innovative, cutting-edge cancer research that may accelerate and advance progress toward a cure for cancer, applications are invited from nominees conducting cancer research. This program is distinct from the Pew Scholars Program, and it follows a different, but parallel set of guidelines and procedures for nominating an applicant whose research is related to cancer.

Based on their performance during their education and training, candidates should demonstrate outstanding promise as contributors in science relevant to the field of cancer. This program does not fund clinical trials research. Strong proposals will incorporate particularly creative and pioneering approaches to basic, translational, and applied cancer research. Candidates whose work is based on biomedical principles but who bring in concepts and theories from more diverse fields are encouraged to apply.

Ideas with the potential to produce an unusually high impact are encouraged. Selection of the successful candidates will be based on a detailed description of the work that the applicant proposes to undertake, evaluations of the candidate’s performance, and notable past accomplishments, including honors, awards, and publications. In evaluating the candidates, the National Advisory Committee gives considerable weight to both the project proposal and the researcher, including evidence that the candidate is a successful independent investigator and has the skill set needed to carry out their high-impact proposal.

Funding from the NIH, other government sources, and project grants from nonprofit associations do not pose a conflict with the Pew-Stewart program.

Eligibility for the 2024 award:

Candidates must meet all of the following eligibility requirements:

  • Membership in the Penn State Cancer Institute is required.
  • Hold a doctorate in biomedical sciences or medicine.
  • As of Aug. 31, 2023, run an independend lab and hold a full-time appointment 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.)
  • Must not have been appointed as an assistant professor at any institution prior to June 12, 2019, whether or not such an appointment was on a tenure track. Time spent in clinical internships, residencies, in work toward board certification, or on parental leave does not count as part of this four-year limit.
  • Candidates may apply to the program a maximum of two times.
  • If applicants have appointments at more than one eligible nominating institution or affiliate, they may not reapply in a subsequent year from a different nominating entity.
  • May not be nominated for the Pew Scholars Program and the Pew-Stewart Scholars Program for Cancer Research in the same year.

Once the Pew program office has received the name and contact information of the nominee from the institution, login information will be emailed directly to the selected applicant. The online application website will open June 12, 2023, and the submission deadline is Aug. 31, 2023.

Sponsor Final Deadline: 
May 17, 2023
OSVPR Application or NOI Instructions: 

Interested applicants should upload the following documents in sequence in one PDF file (File name: Last name_Pew-Stewart_2024) no later than 4:00 p.m. on the internal submission deadline:

  • Research Project Summary (3 pages including references & figures)
  • Curriculum vitae (2 pages including publications and external funding)
  • Department Head Letter of Support (1 page)
  • List of reference letter writers (name, title, institution, and a two-three sentence overview of their area of expertise) - Reference letters are not required for this internal selection.
    • Scientific reference - an individual external to Penn State who is familiar with applicant’s work and is not a collaborator or mentor
    • Postdoc Advisor - If you did not complete a Postdoc, a second graduate program or scientific reference is acceptable.
    • Thesis Advisor
To be considered as a Penn State institutional nominee, please submit a notice of intent by the date provided directly below.
This limited submission is in downselect: 
Penn State may only submit a specific number of proposals to this funding opportunity. The number of NOIs received require that an internal competition take place, thus, a downselect process has commenced. No Penn State researchers may apply to this opportunity outside of this downselect process. To apply for this limited submission, please use this link:
OSVPR Downselect Deadline: 
Tuesday, April 11, 2023 - 4:00pm
For help or questions: 

The Office of Foundation Relations is available to consult on proposal narrative elements and answer other foundation-related questions. University Park and Commonwealth Campus applicants should please contact Jara Dorsey-Lash, Associate Director, Foundation Relations (jed72@psu.edu). College of Medicine applicants should please contact Jess Kiely, Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations, (jkiely1@pennstatehealth.psu.edu) for additional support.

Ruobo Zhou (ECoS)