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 2020 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; however, no more than one proposal per institution will be advanced to the finalist phase.
Investigator Eligibility:
  • There are no restrictions on citizenship or geography.
  • 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.
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.
  • The LOA will be executed solely with the PI’s institution.
  • PI must meet all criteria of a co-PI listed below.
  • PI 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 6, 2021: Letter of Intent Online Portal Opens
  • March 1, 2021: Letters of Intent Due
  • May 2021: Applications Invited
  • June – July 2021: Finalist Team Interviews
  • August 2nd, 5 PM EST: Applications due
  • November 2021: Selection of Awardees
  • December 2021: Signed Agreements Due
  • February 1, 2022: Grant Start Date

Award Terms

  • Applicants may request funding to support a total budget of up to $1,000,000 per year for a total of three years.
    • The budget and duration requested for the grant must match a realistic estimate of the cost and timeline for the proposed work.
    • 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.
  • Award start date will be February 1, 2022.