Endeavor Award

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Program Overview

The Mark Foundation Endeavor Awards support collaborative research projects that bring together investigators with diverse areas of expertise to tackle challenges in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer. These grants are awarded to teams of three or more investigators to generate and integrate data from diverse lines of research and transform those insights into advances for cancer patients that could not be achieved by individual efforts. A description of the teams granted Endeavor Awards in 2023 can be found here.



Institutional Eligibility:
  • Open to non-profit academic/research institutions.
  • Open to institutions worldwide.
  • Teams may comprise investigators from a single institutions or multiple institutions.
  • There is no requirement to include a US-based institution as part of the team.
  • Institutions may submit more than one application.
Investigator Eligibility:
  • There are no restrictions on citizenship or geography.
  • Applicants must have an independent faculty research appointment (tenure-track or equivalent) at a non-profit academic institution.
  • Investigators may be co-PI or collaborator on more than one proposal but may only serve as Principal Investigator on one proposal.
  • Investigators who are currently a co-PI on an Endeavor team are permitted to apply as co-PI or collaborator on a new application.
Project Eligibility:
  • Basic, translational, and clinical projects are eligible.
  • The project must seek to address an overarching, urgent scientific question.
  • Sub-projects should be designed to elucidate various aspects of the overarching question, theme, or focus.
  • The output of the individual team members (data, samples, hypotheses, compounds, etc.) must be integrated and/or shared in a way that makes the impact of the project as a whole larger than the sum of its parts.
  • Proposed projects must not be supported by other sources of funding. Finalists will be asked to discuss any potential overlap with other current or pending awards.
Team Composition:
  • Teams must be composed of one PI, and between 2-8 co-PIs (see “Team Roles” section for definitions).
  • Inter-institutional collaborations are permitted and encouraged.
  • Teams are encouraged to consider diversity in terms of discipline, seniority, gender, race, ethnicity, and any other parameters that will enhance the team’s ability to approach challenging problems from fresh perspectives.
  • The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, or any other legally protected characteristics.

Team Roles

Principal Investigator (PI) – 1 per team
  • Serves as the single point of contact with MFCR during the application process and the grant period.
  • The LOA will be executed solely with the PI’s institution.
  • Must meet all criteria of a co-PI listed below.
  • Does not need to be the most senior member of the team.
Co-Principal Investigator (co-PI) – 2 to 8 per team
  • Lab receives at least 10% of the total grant budget.
  • Core member of the team leadership.
  • Designated as key personnel in the LOA.
  • Must have an independent faculty research appointment (tenure-track or equivalent).
Collaborator – optional
  • Lab receives 0-10% of the budget.
  • Can provide resources, perform experiments, analyses, etc.
  • Serves as a project consultant or advisor rather than a team leader.

Submission Process

Key Dates
  • January 3, 2024: Grants portal opens for submission of Letters of Intent (LOI)
  • March 12, 2024: LOI submission deadline
  • June 1, 2024: Finalist teams notified
  • July 29, 2024: Full applications due
  • September 18 and 27, 2024: Interviews for selected finalist teams
  • October 2024: Notification of awards
  • January 1, 2025: Award start date

LOI Guidelines

LOIs are to be submitted through The Mark Foundation’s online grants portal. The LOI will require the following information:

  • Principal Investigator name, institution, title, contact info
  • Project Title
  • Project Summary/Abstractlimit 350 words
  • Project Descriptionlimit 5 pages, including figures and tables but excluding literature references
    • Specific Aims
    • Introduction, background, and description of unmet need
    • Research plan broken into Aims, with each Aim having:
      • Clear objective
      • Preliminary studies if applicable
      • High-level description of the experimental approach
      • Milestones and timelines
    • Future directions – if the research plan is successful, what is the 5-10-year vision for expansion of the project?
    • Literature cited (does not count against page limit)
  • Team Description
    • List all co-Principal Investigators (co-PIs), and collaborators (name, institution, title, contact info)
    • For the PI and co-PIs, provide the following:
      • 1-3 sentences describing their role in the project.
      • Biosketch (NIH or similar format preferred; limit 5 pages per investigator)
    • List any existing collaborations between co-PIs, including existing funding support for collaborative projects.
  • Collaborative Science Statementlimit 1 page
    • Why is this project a team science project? Describe how the output of the individual investigators (data, samples, hypotheses, compounds, etc.) will be integrated and/or shared in a way that makes the impact of the project as a whole larger than the sum of its parts.
    • How will the team work together? Describe the plan for team structure, communications, and shared resources.
  • Budget overview On the template provided.

Award Terms

  • Endeavor Awards are $3,000,000 disbursed over a 3-year term.
    • The requested funding should be divided amongst team members in a manner proportional to the actual cost of the work carried out by each investigator for the project.
    • The budget limit includes both direct and indirect costs, with indirect costs not to exceed 10% of the direct costs.
    • The third year of funding will be contingent on sufficient scientific progress as presented at the 18-month project review.
    • The letter of agreement will include IP terms with a revenue sharing component




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