Research Grants

Research Grant RFPs

NOTE: The Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) understands that public health concerns are a priority at this time and that research disruptions or delays may result in the coming weeks and months. The MRF and its Scientific Advisory Committee remain committed to our grantees and ensuring their important work continues through any constraints posed by the global COVID-19 response. We appreciate all that is being done to advance melanoma research in this time and are here to answer any questions you may have regarding MRF-funded research.

If you need flexibility in submission of required progress reports (either interim or final) and/or the option of a 1-year no-cost-extension (NCE) please contact MRF Science Officer Robyn Burns at [email protected] or 202.899.2674. 

Learn about Research RFPs!

Open RFPs:

Medical Student Research Grants

The Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) has been awarding Medical Student Research Grants since 2011 and since that time, 91 grants have been awarded to students at 49 different institutions. The purpose of these grants is to promote research opportunities to medical students early in their careers by funding clinical or laboratory-based research projects focused on better understanding the prevention, early detection, behaviors that impact melanoma risk, biology and treatment of melanoma, including cutaneous, ocular, mucosal, pediatric, etc. In 2023, in addition to awards focused on any aspect of melanoma research, the MRF is pleased to also offer at least one award focused specifically on ocular melanoma research. Applications are due by November 15, 2022 at 5pm ET. For additional information, including eligibility requirements and complete application instructions, download the 2023 Medical Student Research Grant Request for Proposals (RFP).

Mid-Career Bridge Grants

In response to a growing need in the field, the MRF has established its Mid-Career Bridge Grant to support investigators who are dedicated to melanoma research. This award will be for established researchers with pre-existing R01s, who have applied for a NIH R01 grant that was scored, but not funded. To support and sustain these investigators while they generate the data for the Response to Reviewers in the revised R01 (A1) submission, the MRF is offering bridge funding of up to $100,000 for one year. These awards will be competed 3 times in 2022 and application submission deadlines are on April 15th, August 15th, or December 15th, 2022. Additional information can be found in the 2022 Mid-Career Bridge Grant RFP.


Under Review:

ASCO Registry Melanoma Research Grant

Applications are currently under review. In partnership between the MRF, Conquer Cancer and the ASCO Foundation, a new grants program is available to foster research that uses data derived from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Survey on COVID-19 in Oncology Registry (the “ASCO Registry”) to inform the cancer community about the patterns of symptoms and severity of COVID-19 among patients with cancer, as well as how COVID-19 is impacting the delivery of cancer care and patient outcomes. The grant award will provide funding and access to deidentified ASCO Registry data for melanoma focused research. Additional information about the grant, eligibility requirements and application instructions can be found on the ASCO Registry Melanoma Research Grant page.

2022 MRF Research Awards

In 2022, the MRF offered Established Investigator and Career Development Awards, as well as Medical Student Awards, new Mid-Career Bridge Grants and a Young Investigator Team Award to advance the field of translational immuno-oncology (detailed in separate RFPs as noted below).


Career Development Awards (CDA)

Applications are currently under review. CDAs provide funding of up to $50,000 per year for two years to junior investigators. Researchers who are beginning a research career focused on melanoma are eligible. This year, in addition to general CDAs, the MRF offered specific career development awards focused on COVID and Melanoma (COV CDA) and Women in Science (Silverstein Family Research Grant Challenge WIS CDA). Additional information and application instructions can be found in the 2022 Request for Proposals (RFP).


Established Investigator Awards (EIA)

Applications are currently under review. EIAs provide funding of up to $100,000 per year for two years to established melanoma researchers, or senior researchers working in closely related fields who wish to move into melanoma research. Additional information and application instructions can be found in the 2022 Request for Proposals (RFP).


Young Investigator Research Team Award

Applications are currently under review. The MRF, through its Breakthrough Consortium (the MRFBC), is pleased to offer the MRFBC Young Investigator Research Team Award to advance the field of translational immuno-oncology, generously funded by a grant from Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS). This grant provides funding of up to $150,000 per year for two years to an investigative team consisting of junior investigators and senior mentors. Additional information and application instructions can be found in the 2022 MRFBC-BMS Young Investigator Research Team Award RFP.


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The MRF has been funding peer-reviewed research since 1998. The foundation provides emerging and established scientific investigators with highly sought-after grants that allow them to explore new, high-impact avenues in melanoma research. The types of grants offered are noted below:

  • Team Science Awards: The largest grant offered by the MRF, a Team Science Award, encourages collaboration across academic disciplines in an institution or among multiple institutions. Team Science Awards are required to address an unmet need or Special Topic area, as defined by the MRF’s Scientific Advisory Committee.
  • Established Investigator Awards (EIA): Applicants must have at least a position of Associate Professor and a demonstrated research track record. This award encourages proven researchers to continue research on emerging challenges in melanoma.  Ideally, this award will generate data that can justify a much larger competitive grant.
  • Career Development Awards (CDA): This award enables young researchers to generate the groundwork that can leverage additional grant funding from other funding bodies. As such, recipients must be either postdoctoral fellows with less than five years of postdoctoral experience or a research associate, instructor, assistant professor, or the equivalent.
  • Medical Student Awards: The MRF is committed to introducing students early in their careers to the clinical or research opportunities under the mentorship of an investigator engaged in melanoma research.

Occasionally, we also have special opportunities available that do not adhere to our usual categories. Specific details and application instructions for each MRF research opportunity will be available in the relevant RFP.

Questions regarding the research opportunities below can be directed to the MRF Science Officer at [email protected] or (800) 673-1290.