Emerging Leader Awards │ Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility – Principal Investigator

Q: I am a clinician who is a PI on a number of clinical trials but do not have my own lab. I rely on my collaborations with basic scientists to do the translational research. Would not having a lab or a full research appointment disqualify me for this grant?
Q: I am an Instructor able to serve as PI for NIH grants, but I don’t have my own lab space. Are Instructors able to apply?
A: No. Instructors and/or clinicians who do not have their own independent lab are not eligible to apply for this funding mechanism.

Q: I didn’t start my lab until 2016, however have been awarded multi-year grants already and have a project that is perfect for this RFP. Is there any flexibility on the three years from first independent appointment?
A: No, the eligibility parameters for this award state that PIs must be within 3 – 8 years from the start of their independent lab. If you started your independent lab career at any time in the calendar year from January 2011 to December 2016, you are eligible to apply for this award.

Q: Eligibility states that the PI must have demonstrated ability to secure funding for their lab. Must that funding specifically be an NIH R01-type mechanism or an equivalent award?
Q: Can multi-year awards include grants from private or non-profit funding sources?
A: The intent of this grant is to fund projects that have the promise to be highly impactful but would not be funded through other mechanisms such as an R01 award. To truly enable innovative endeavors with funding from The Mark Foundation, competitive applicants must have at least one lab-sustaining, multi-year award(s) from governmental and/or public and private sources that reflects the size and scope of an NIH or NSF grant.

Eligibility – Institutional

Q: Are these awards restricted to faculty at NCI-designated cancer centers?
A: No, the RFP for the Emerging Leader Awards is an open call to include both NCI-designated cancer centers as well as other research institutions.

Q: Is there a limit on the number of applications any one institution may submit?
A: There is no limit to the number of applications that can be submitted by any one institution, nor is institutional nomination required.


Q: Can a PI have a more senior or full professor as a co-PI for this grant?
A: No, the PI may not have a co-PI for this grant as it is intended to support a single academic investigator.

Q: Can I submit a project that is a collaboration between a PI at non-profit academic institution and a for-profit corporation?
A: The award is intended for an independent investigator. If the project involves a collaboration with a for-profit corporation, the funds from this award can only be used to fund activities in the investigator’s laboratory, not in the for-profit corporation.

Award Terms

Q: How many Emerging Leader Awards will you fund this cycle?
A: The Mark Foundation will announce a minimum of five (5) Emerging Leader Awards, however the total number of grantees may exceed this amount and will be determined in the fall of 2019.

Q: How soon after LOI submission will applicants be invited to submit the full application?
A: Key dates for the next Emerging Leader Award cycle will be announced in early 2019.

Q: When will the awardees be notified?
A: Award finalists will be invited to an in-person Scientific Advisory Committee review on a fall 2019 date to be determined in New York City. Awardees will be notified via phone the following week.

Q: I am an eligible PI who will be starting with a new institution in November of this year. If I am selected as an applicant in October, will the award transfer with me or stay with my current institution?
A: The Emerging Leader Awards are intended to support people, not projects. Therefore, your award will transfer with you to your new institution.

Still have questions? Email us: grants [at] themarkfoundation.org