ACS Institutional Research Grant Awards

Winship Cancer Institute annually awards one year, non-renewable awards of $30,000 each funded by the American Cancer Society.

The American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grants (ACS-IRG) are designed to support the development of beginning investigators conducting cancer research by providing pilot funds to obtain preliminary results that will enable them to compete successfully for national research grants.

The program is intended to support independent, self-directed, investigators early in their careers for whom the institution has committed research facilities, resources or space.

Applicants must have a faculty level appointment and be within six years of their first independent appointment and no more than 12 years from their last degree. Investigators who have already received peer-reviewed support from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, American Cancer Society or other major extramural organizations are not eligible. Applicants are not required to be Winship Cancer Institute members.

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants should be assistant professors (or equivalent) with faculty appointments of six years or less, who are eligible to apply for independent national competitive (peer-reviewed) research grants, but who currently do not hold such funding. Postdoctoral/clinical fellows, professors or associate professors are not eligible. Applicants are not required to be United States (U.S.) citizens, but must hold a visa that will allow him or her to remain in the U.S. long enough to complete the IRG pilot project.

ACS-IRG awardees will be mentored by a Winship Executive Committee faculty member who has expertise in the mentee's area of research. Mentors will meet on a regular schedule with the mentee to develop an individual mentoring plan, to review scientific progress and research direction, to provide guidance in the preparation of manuscripts and subsequent grant applications, and to provide guidance in career development activities. As part of their professional development, ACS-IRG awardees will be invited to serve on the ACS-IRG Local Review Committee after the conclusion of their award, where they will be work with an Executive Committee member to review ACS-IRG proposals.

Application Process

Letter of Intent from Applicant (1-page limit):

The letter should include:

  1. Name, academic title, academic department, department chair and contact information of applicant;
  2. Explain the applicant's intent for consideration to submit an ACS-IRG pilot project grant proposal. Briefly describe the applicant's research plan, including a short statement on the research question, significance to cancer research and the proposed aims/approaches (abstract format).

Key Dates:

  • Program announcement: Summer 2018
  • Letter of Intent due: August 31, 2018
  • Selection for full proposal: September 14, 2018
  • Full application due: October 19, 2018 
  • Pilot project start: January 1, 2019

Please direct any questions you have regarding this funding opportunity to Jeff Mills at (404) 727-3634 or via e-mail to


Curtis Henry, PhD
Assistant Professor, Pediatrics
Delineating how Obesity-induced Chronic Inflammation Impacts Leukemogenesis and Therapeutic Responses

Lingtao Jin, PhD
Associate Scientist, Hematology and Medical Oncology
The functional role of AGGF1 in taxol resistant cancer

Katherine Minson, MD
Assistant Professor, Pediatrics
The Role of Nuclear Localized MERTK in Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Brian Olson, PhD
Instructor, Hematology and Medical Oncology
BET inhibition as a novel strategy to enhance immunotherapy in Rb-deficient prostate cancer

Janice Withycombe, PhD, RN, MN, CCRP
Assistant Professor, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing
Patient Reported Outcomes and Associated Metabolomic Profiles in Children Undergoing Cancer Therapy


Karen Effinger, MD 
Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics
Emory University School of Medicine
Improving Physical Function and Fitness in Pediatric Sarcoma Patients: A Feasibility Study

Vikas Gupta, MD, PhD
Instructor, Department of Hematology & Medical Oncology
Emory University School of Medicine
B Cell Markers Predict Response to Venetoclax in Multiple Myeloma

Bernardo Mainou, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics
Emory University School of Medicine
Development of Designed Combinatorial Viral Oncolytic Therapeutics Against Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

Soma Sengupta, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Departments of Hematology & Medical Oncology, Neurology
Emory University School of Medicine
Targeting medulloblastoma with benzodiazapines delivered using tunable biodegradable hydrogels


Bradley Carthon, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology
Emory University School of Medicine
Role of the PD-1 and PDL-1/2 Axis in Papillary Renal Cell Carcinoma

Jun Fan, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology
Emory University School of Medicine
Targeting ACATI to treat human leukemia

Yonggang Ke, PhD
Assistant Professor, Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering
Georgia Tech University
Systematic study on therapeutic siRNA delivery for cancer treatment using DNA nanotechnology

Jessica Wells, PhD, RN
Assistant Professor
Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University
Exploring the Anal Microbiome and anal Cancer Risk in HIV-infected and Uninfected Women


Sarah Blake, PhD, MA
Assistant Research Professor, Department of Health Policy and Management
Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University
Transitions to Care for Older Women Seeking Cancer Screening Services in Safety Net Settings in Georgia

Jennifer Felger, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Emory University School of Medicine
Inflammation-Induced Alterations in Neurocircuitry During Breast Cancer Treatment

Mohammad Khan, MD, PhD, DABR
Assistant Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology
Emory University School of Medicine
Enhancing Post Radiotherapy Abscopal Effects By Combining Immunotherapy and Radiotherapy

Kate Yeager, PhD, RN, MS
Research Assistant Professor
Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University
Caregivers Influence on Adherence to Cancer Pain Treatment for AA Cancer Patients

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