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 or 202.899.2674. 

Learn about the research we fund!

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.
  • Society for Melanoma Research (SMR) Awards: The MRF has partnered with SMR to sponsor two awards – a Young Investigator Award “presented to an individual researcher, in the junior stage (typically within first 5 years) of their career and who has made contributions in the area of melanoma research that significantly exceed the average for this career stage,” and the Christopher J. Marshall Award “presented to a student who has made substantial published and original contributions to studies of signal transduction and melanoma within the previous two years.”

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.

2021 Medical Student Research Awards

The 2021 Medical Student Research Award Request for Proposals (RFP) is now available! The Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) has been awarding Medical Student Research Grants since 2011 and since that time, 69 grants have been awarded to students at 43 different institutions. Medical Student Research Awards promote scientific inquiry and research opportunities to medical students early in their careers by funding concise clinical or laboratory-based research projects focused on better understanding the prevention, biology and treatment of all forms of the disease, including cutaneous, ocular, mucosal and pediatric melanoma. These grants are in the amount of $3,000 for a period of one year. To be eligible, applicants must be a medical student in good academic standing at an accredited medical school or institution in the United States. MD and/or MD/PhD students are eligible to apply. In 2021, in addition to awards focused on any aspect of melanoma research, the MRF is pleased to also offer two medical student awards focused specifically on mucosal melanoma research. Applications will be accepted beginning September 8, 2020 and ending on November 9, 2020 at 5:00 PM ET. Funded researchers will be notified by January 19, 2021 and funds will be disbursed when all required paperwork is submitted to the MRF. To begin the application process, download the 2021 Grant RFP.

Learn about research currently underway by viewing the 2020 Medical Student Research Award recipients.

2020 MRF Research Awards

The 2020 MRF Research Awards have been awarded! The Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) is committed to advancing research across the spectrum of melanoma – from prevention through diagnosis, staging, treatment and survivorship. In 2020, the MRF awarded 19 (to date) research grants supporting cutaneous, ocular, mucosal and acral melanoma, including Established Investigator, Career Development and Medical Student Awards, as well as a Young Investigator Team Award to advance the field of translational immuno-oncology. Learn more about the funded projects and investigators on the 2020 MRF Grant Awardees Report.

2020 MRFBC-BMS Young Investigator Translational Immuno‐Oncology Team Science Award

The 2020 MRFBC-BMS Young Investigator Translational Immuno-Oncology Team Science Award has been awarded! The MRF congratulates Diwakar Davar, MD (Mentor: Hassane Zarour, MD), recipient of the 2020 Melanoma Research Foundation Breakthrough Consortium – Bristol-Myers Squibb (MRFBC-BMS) Young Investigator Research Team Award to Advance the Field of Translational Immuno-Oncology. Dr. Davar is an assistant professor of medicine and medical oncologist/hematologist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. With Co-PIs Meghan Mooradian, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School (Mentor: Ryan Sullivan, MD) and Julie Stein, MD, Johns Hopkins University (Mentor: Janis Taube, MD), Dr. Davar’s proposal is titled Integrative Analysis of Prognostic Factors to Neoadjuvant Nivolumab/CMP-001 in Stage III B/C/D Melanoma and seeks to improve the use of neoadjuvant immunotherapy agents to prevent melanoma recurrence in high-risk melanoma patients while avoiding adverse effects of treatment.


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Notify Me

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