Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs -- Kidney Cancer Research Program -- Academy of Kidney Cancer Investigators – Early-Career Scholar Award

Funding Agency:
Department of Defense

The Academy of Kidney Cancer Investigators (AKCI) is a virtual career development and research mentoring platform that consists of Early-Career Scholar (ECS)/Designated Mentor pairs from different institutions and an Academy Dean. The KCRP AKCIECSA is not a traditional career development award; the ECS is expected to conduct research, participate in monthly webinars, and annual workshops and to communicate and collaborate with other members of the Academy (other Early-Career Scholars, mentors, Dean) as well as with the kidney cancer advocacy community.

The KCRP Academy of Kidney Cancer Investigators – Early-Career Scholar Award supports a unique, interactive virtual academy providing intensive mentoring, national networking, collaborations, and a peer group for junior faculty emerging as potential leaders of kidney cancer research. The overarching goal of the AKCI is to advance kidney cancer research through development of highly productive kidney cancer researchers in a collaborative research and career development environment.

This FY23 program announcement is soliciting Early-Career Scholars and Designated Mentors to join the existing Academy of Kidney Cancer Investigators. This award mechanism enables the ECS (the Scholar named as the Principal Investigator [PI] on the application) to pursue a kidney cancer project that may be basic, translational, and/or clinical research. The Designated Mentor is not required to be at the same institution as the ECS.

The KCRP encourages applications from Early-Career Scholars whose ability to commit to conducting kidney cancer research is limited by minimal resources or a lack of resources, such as a qualified Designated Mentor at their institution, access to kidney cancer research tools, opportunities for establishing collaborations, or other obstacles, which should be identified in the application.


• Required Pre-Application Deadline: Sep. 15, 2023
• Application Submission Deadline:  Oct. 6, 2023

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

Academy of Kidney Cancer Investigators – Early-Career Scholar Award applications must address at least one of the FY23 KCRP Focus Areas, as presented below. Selection of the Focus Area(s) is the responsibility of the applicant.

• Conduct basic biology research to better understand etiology and cancer progression, metastatic disease, refractory disease and therapeutic resistance, genetic and environmental risk factors, and the prevention of kidney cancer.

• Identify and develop new strategies for screening, early-stage detection, and accurate diagnosis and prognosis prediction of kidney cancers, with examples including biomarkers and imaging, treatment of early-stage cancers.

• Define the biology of rare kidney cancers and develop treatments to improve outcomes and reduce death.

• Develop novel therapeutic strategies for the treatment of kidney cancer, such as novel drug targets, therapeutic modalities and agents, treatment combinations, and drug delivery systems.

• Identify and implement strategies to improve the quality of life and survivorship for patients.

• Identify and implement strategies to mitigate health disparities, such as access to healthcare, social and cultural factors, environmental factors, and biological contributors.

• Increase research capacity through support and development of research conducted by the next generation of kidney cancer researchers, cultivate collaborations in kidney cancer research, or patient care in alignment with KCRP Overarching Strategic Goals.

Eligibility Requirements

Each Scholar may be named on only one KCRP AKCIECSA application as a PI.

• Early-Career Scholar o Must be less than 4 years from their last postdoctoral research position (Ph.D.), clinical fellowship (M.D.), or equivalent as of the full application submission deadline. – A Statement of Eligibility is required with the submission of the full application. o Individuals in a postdoctoral research position (Ph.D.), clinical fellowship (M.D.), or equivalent, at the time of the full application submission deadline, are not eligible. o May be a research- or physician-scientist. o Must commit no less than 25% effort to this award for the first 2 years.

• Designated Mentor o Must be an independent, established kidney cancer investigator with a record of kidney cancer publications in peer-reviewed journals. o May be at the same institution as the ECS. o If not at the same institution, another mentor (“Other Mentor,” see below) at the ECS’s institution must also be included in the application submission. o Must demonstrate a commitment (at least 5% effort for mentoring and participating in Academy activities, e.g., offsite meetings and webinars) to develop and sustain the ECS’s independent career in kidney cancer research. o Mentoring responsibilities include mentoring the ECS (i.e., the PI of this award) and an additional ECS within the Academy. o An AKCI Designated Mentor may serve as a Designated Mentor to only one AKCI-ECS. o The Dean of the Academy may not be listed as a Designated Mentor. o Off-site Academy activities include annual in-person workshops and monthly web-based meetings.

• Other Mentor (if applicable) o Must be at the same institution as the ECS. o Must be an independent researcher, with relevant expertise but not necessarily in kidney cancer. o Must show cancer research funding (past and present).



Amount Description

The anticipated direct costs budgeted for the entire period of performance for an FY23 KCRP AKCIECSA should not exceed $725,000. Refer to Section II.D.5, Funding Restrictions, for detailed funding information.

Funding Type



Junior Faculty


Medical - Basic Science
Medical - Clinical Science
Medical - Translational

External Deadline

September 15, 2023