Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) -- Melanoma Research Program -- Melanoma Academy Scholar Award

Funding Agency:
Department of Defense

The MRP Melanoma Academy (MA) is a unique, interactive virtual academy providing intensive monitoring, national networking, collaborations, and a peer group for early-career faculty. The overarching goal of the MA is to develop a network of successful, highly productive melanoma researchers in a collaborative research and career development environment.

The MA is a multi-institutional virtual career and research development platform that consists of Scholars and their Career Guides (primary mentors), and is managed by an Academy Director and Deputy Director (i.e., the MA Leadership). The MRP Melanoma Academy Scholar (the investigator named as the Principal Investigator [PI] on the application) is expected to participate in all development and training activities hosted by the MA Leadership, such as participation in monthly webinars and one-on-one mentoring sessions. Additionally, the Scholar and Career Guide are expected to communicate and collaborate with other members of the MA (other Scholars and Career Guides, MA Leadership), and build relationships within the melanoma patient and advocacy community.

The MA Leadership serves as a resource for the Scholars and Career Guides, assessing the progress of Scholars, and facilitating communication and collaboration among all of the Scholars and Career Guides, as well as with national research and advocacy communities. In addition to fostering scientific development, the MA, through its Leadership, provides opportunities for professional and leadership development of the Scholars to include skills and competencies needed to fund and manage a productive laboratory.

This FY22 program announcement is soliciting Scholars to join the MA. This award mechanism enables the Scholar to pursue a melanoma project, under the guidance of the Career Guide, that may be basic, translational, and/or clinical research; is responsive to the FY22 MRP Challenge Statement; and addresses at least one of the FY22 MRP Focus Areas in Section II.A.1. The Career Guide is not required to be at the same institution as the Scholar. In addition to activities described above, the Scholar, with their Career Guide, is required to attend a DOD MRP biennial multi-day MA workshop. In alternate years, they must also attend a DOD MRP MA 1-day workshop.

The MRP encourages applications from Scholars whose ability to commit to conducting melanoma research is limited by minimal resources or a lack of resources, such as a qualified Career Guide at their institution, access to melanoma research tools, opportunities for establishing collaborations, or other obstacles. The MRP also encourages applications from minorities.

• Required Pre-Application Deadline: Sep. 14, 2022
• Application Submission Deadline: Oct. 5, 2022

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

  • Research across the entire spectrum (biology, etiology, prevention, diagnosis and detection, prognosis, treatment, and quality of life) for rare melanomas (e.g., uveal, acral, mucosal, pediatric) in patients and model organisms.
  • Identify and understand risk factor determinants for melanoma, including rare subtypes.
  • Develop prediction and surveillance tools for distinguishing patient populations at risk for second primary/recurrence and/or metastasis.
  • Understand how precursor lesions and environmental/endogenous factors influence melanomagenesis, including (but not limited to) race, sex as a biological variable, etc.
  • Develop new tools for the detection and diagnosis of melanoma, which includes easily accessible technology (beyond the dermoscope) for primary care physicians and dermatologists.
  • Identify how the tumor microenvironment (e.g., stromal, immune, microbiome) impacts tumor initiation, response to therapy, progression, recurrence, and/or dormancy.
  • Delineate the molecular pathways that influence metastatic spread, recurrence, and/or dormancy.

Eligibility Requirements


○ Must be within 7 years of terminal degree as of the full application submission deadline.

  • A Statement of Eligibility is required with the submission of the full application.
  • Time spent as a medical resident, clinical training, or on family medical leave is excluded.
  • Time spent as a postdoctoral research fellow is not excluded.

○ May be in a non-tenure track or tenure track position.

○ Must not have a concurrent career-development-like award at the time of this award.

○ Must have an institutional commitment of 50% protected time for melanoma research and Academy activities including participation in monthly webinars.

Individuals in a postdoctoral research position (Ph.D.) or clinical fellowship (M.D.), or equivalent at the time of full application are not eligible to be named as the PI.



Amount Description

The anticipated direct costs budgeted for the entire period of performance for an FY22 MRP Melanoma Academy Scholar Award will not exceed $550,000. Refer to Section II.D.5, Funding Restrictions, for detailed funding information.

Funding Type



Junior Faculty
Minorities encouraged


Engineering and Physical Sciences
Environmental & Life Sciences
Medical - Basic Science
Medical - Clinical Science
Medical - Translational

External Deadline

September 14, 2022