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Our Grant Process

Our research goal is simple — find answers that help save lives.

Our strategy for funding research is just as straightforward — fund the best science — and that's what our extensive scientific peer-review process ensures.

This strategy and process has helped support numerous important discoveries and some of the brightest researchers, including 50 Nobel Prize winners to date. 

Preparing a Grant Application 

Potential grantees fill out applications in ProposalCentral. 

Make sure to include contact information for yourself, the institution official, technology transfer officer, and the department head.


Applications for most grant types are accepted 2 times a year – April 1 and October 15. If the grant application deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, applications will be accepted the following business day. 

Submit by 11:59 p.m. ET on the deadline.

See the individual grant types for more deadline information.

How Applications Are Reviewed 

The Scientific Directors distribute applications to the most appropriate peer review committee and then assign each application to at least 2 committee members for independent and confidential review.

Peer Review Committees

Each has 12 to 25 members who are leaders in their areas of expertise, plus up to 3 other ACS Community Research Partners.

Each PRC’s ranking, critiques, and scores are then reviewed at the second tier for final funding decisions.

Discovery Scientific Council

Final funding decisions are made at the second tier of peer review.

Application Notifications

About 1 month after submitting an application, applicants will receive an email with an application number and names of their Scientific Director and Peer Review Committee. 

About 4 months after submitting, applications will have been reviewed and applicants will receive reviewer critiques

In March and September, final funding decisions are made.

Resubmission Process 

Applications that are not funded may be revised and resubmitted either once or twice, depending on the grant mechanism. 

See Grant Policies to learn when resubmissions are acceptable. (Check the table of contents for Peer Review of Applications. For specific grant mechanisms, go to your grant mechanism on the table of contents, then look for Resubmission of Unfunded Applications. For IRGs, see Eligible Institutions and Institutional Responsibilities.

See Grant Instructions for an explanation of how to resubmit applications. (Check the table of contents for your grant mechanism, then see: Previous Critiques or Reply to Previous Review.)

Reports & Change Requests for Active Grants

We use ProposalCentral’s post-award management system for the administration process of American Cancer Society (ACS) research grants.

The site houses all reports, change requests, and correspondence about a grant and is accessible to both ACS program staff and grantees.

Grant recipients use ProposalCentral to:

  • Get detailed information about their grant award
  • Upload requests for grant changes
  • Submit required deliverables such as Intellectual Property (IP) reports, annual progress reports, and final reports
  • Provide access to information about their grant to others at their institution (such as grants officers)