Distinguished Scientist Award

Funding Agency:
Sontag Foundation

The Distinguished Scientist Award (DSA) seeks to provide career and research support to early career scientists who demonstrate outstanding promise for making scientific and medical breakthroughs in the field of brain cancer research.

Recipients of the award are inspired individuals with projects that show potential to generate new knowledge relating to causes, cure or treatment of primary brain tumors/brain cancer. Applicants are carefully considered and selected by The Sontag Foundation and its independent Scientific Advisory Board based on the scientific merit of the proposed project, career trajectory, peer and mentor references and an onsite research facility visit. In determining the overall scientific merit of an application, the Scientific Advisory Board, scores applications based on the NIH review criteria of: significance, investigator, innovation, approach, and environment.

The award provides $600,000 in funding over a four-year period. Over that time, recipients also receive additional support from the Foundation through its vast network of scientists in the field primarily through the Foundation's annual Scientific Retreat.

Deadline: Mar. 16, 2020

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicants must hold a doctoral degree in a discipline which can be brought to bear on the intractable disease, brain cancer.
  • At the time of application, applicants have received their first faculty appointment no earlier than March 1, 2013 at a tax-exempt academic, research, or medical institution within the United States or an equivalent institution in Canada.
  • If the institution grants tenure, the qualifying appointment must be on the tenure track.
  • Research proposal submitted for funding must be a primary focus of applicant.
  • Applicant's career track and proposed research should demonstrate potential to generate new knowledge relating to causes, cure or treatment of primary brain tumors/brain cancer.
  • More than one individual from the same institution may apply for this award.
  • Re-applications from candidates who applied in 2016 may be accepted for a different research project, but must contact us for approval. 



Amount Description

  • The funding period for 2018 grants will begin on or about October 15, 2018 and end on September 30, 2022.
  • The DSA award provides $600,000 spread over a four-year period. The total amount of the award is based on an approved budget. Disbursements to the Institution are made quarterly.
  • The Sontag Foundation will allow up to $19,500 to support institutional overhead with the maximum annual grant payout remaining at $150,000.

Funding Type



Junior Faculty


Medical - Basic Science
Medical - Clinical Science
Medical - Translational

External Deadline

March 16, 2020