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Research We Fund: Extramural Discovery Science

Postdoctoral Fellowships

Grant Overview

Postdoctoral Fellowships (PF) support new investigators in research training programs to to position them for independent careers in cancer research. As part of their evaluation, peer reviewers consider how well the fellowship will broaden the applicant’s research training and experience.


You ARE eligible to submit a proposal if you:

  • Work at a US academic institution or eligible non-profit
  • Are a US citizen or a non-citizen holding an appropriate visa when you submit your application
  • Have had your doctoral degree for LESS than 4 years; time spent in clinical-only training is not counted. To ask about exemptions due to personal or professional leave, at least 6 weeks before the application deadline, send your questions to
  • Do not have a faculty appointment (e.g., Instructor, Research Assistant Professor)

Applicants should review the American Cancer Society’s Grant Policies and the Instructions about the PF.

Grant Term and Budget

Awards are for up to 3 years with recently increased progressive stipends of $66,000, $68,000, and $70,000 a year.

Depending on availability of special endowment funds, the American Cancer Society (ACS) annually selects one or more of the top-ranked fellowships to be supplemented above the standard stipend.

Fellowship Allowances: Fellows will receive $4,000 a year to help defray costs such as health insurance, workshop costs, and expenses associated with presenting at a domestic scientific meeting.

In the last year, an additional $1,500 is added to the fellowship allowance for PFs to attend either the ACS Postdoctoral Fellows Symposium or a domestic scientific meeting. 

Parental Leave Option

PFs may elect  a minimum of 4 weeks a year, up to 12 weeks, for paid maternity/paternity leave for births and adoptions.

In addition, the grant term will be extended for the same number of weeks taken for leave, AND the stipend will continue for those extra weeks.

This policy allows the PF to both complete the full fellowship term and have continuous stipends throughout parental leave when they are not performing research and throughout the extended term as they complete their research. 

Application Deadlines

April 1 and October 15