Our Mission

The primary focus of the Extramural Discovery Science (EDS) team, led by Elvan Daniels, MD, MPH, is to identify and invest in the most creative young investigators across the country who are doing the most innovative cancer discovery research by using a rigorous, independent, anonymous, and highly competitive peer review process.

Discovery research takes place throughout the American Cancer Society’s research programs. The mandate of the EDS department is to review and fund research performed at eligible US research institutions external (extramural) to the ACS that can help cancer patients and their families.

We are committed to maintaining a cancer research portfolio that includes any type of cancer, spans the cancer research continuum, and is aligned with our research priorities.

NEW GRANT REQUIREMENTS

All applications must fit into at least 1 of 6 research priority areas.

Learn more

Our priority focus on health equity places special emphasis on addressing the social determinants of health that drive cancer health disparities and funding innovative solution-based health equity research.

We strongly encourage all ACS grantees to share their data freely and rapidly with systems that are open to the public to maximize value to cancer patients.  

In addition to our traditional extramural research grants program, our portfolio also includes the newly launched Diversity in Cancer Research (DICR) Internship Program, the funding of Cancer Health Equity Research Centers, and the TheoryLab Collaborative and TLC grants.

The funds that we use to support research grants are possible because of generous donations to the ACS. See our current research investments.

Key Terms

  • Discovery research: Experiments with genes, cells, animals, or people to find a new or improved understanding of an action, health behavior, process, technique, technology, or model to improve care.
  • Research continuum: The full scope of research—often referred to as bench to bedside. The research can be performed in a research lab, in clinical trials, with health care providers, in health care systems, and within communities. 
  • Social determinants of health: Non-medical factors that influence health. These include conditions in the environments where people are born, live, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, quality-of-life outcomes and risks, and the social, economic, and political systems that shape the conditions of daily life. 

Our Work

The Extramural Discovery Science (EDS) team facilitates the evaluation of grant applications by external and independent reviewers and manages the grant portfolios, providing appropriate oversight and stewardship of donors’ investments in cancer research. 

I was on the verge of shutting down my laboratory. In a career-changing move for me, the American Cancer Society funded my first grant.

Dr. Gary Hammer, M.D., Ph.D, - American Cancer Society Grantee