Skip to main content

ACS & ASCO are Stronger Together: Cancer.Net content is now available on


Research We Fund: Extramural Discovery Science

HEALED Gold Medal RFA to Support Mind-Body-Spirit Wellness in Cancer Survivors

Application Deadline: April 1, 2024


The American Cancer Society (ACS) is committed to promoting active living, healthy behaviors, and general wellness for cancer prevention, as well as improving cancer-related outcomes for cancer survivors. To boost wellness in cancer survivors, ACS has launched the HEALED Gold Medal initiative to support research that seeks to better understand the effects of mind-body-spirit wellness, increase adoption of healthy behaviors, and more effectively implement well-being interventions within this population. A consortium of HEALED Investigators will meet annually to share research findings and facilitate collaborations.


Many of the more than 18 million cancer survivors living in the US today face considerable emotional, social, financial, and physical effects resulting from their diagnosis and life-saving therapies that require additional focus for optimal health. Growing evidence supports the importance of mind-body-spirit wellness, which includes mental health, exercise, healthy eating, and emotional wellbeing, for cancer-related outcomes. Regular physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight, consuming a balanced diet, getting adequate sleep, maintaining healthy relationships, and avoiding harmful behaviors are all associated with better quality of life and outcomes for cancer survivors.

Scientific Scope

Successful applications will propose studies with direct application to improving the lives of cancer survivors (defined as anyone diagnosed with cancer from the date of diagnosis through the end of life) and will include patient reported outcomes, as well as objective measures (e.g., VO2 max, grip strength, skeletal muscle index, cortisol, insulin). While novel descriptive studies are accepted, priority will be given to studies focused on translation and implementation in diverse/understudied populations.

Possible research topics could include, but are not limited to:

  • Meditation to reduce fatigue and sleep disturbances
  • Stress coping strategies on stress indicators, life milestones (e.g., employment, relationship satisfaction), and weight maintenance
  • Impact of yoga on cognitive decline in cancer survivors with history of anxiety and/or depression
  • Exercise and/or nutrition interventions for chronic treatment-related effects
  • Culturally adapted healthy behavior promotion strategies (e.g., healthy eating, strength training, and aerobic exercise) in an understudied group of cancer survivors
  • Mindfulness-based interventions for smoking cessation, alcohol reduction, weight loss, and other healthy behaviors

Eligibility and Budget 

Applications will be accepted for mentored grants (Postdoctoral Fellowships and Clinician Scientist Development Grant) and Research Scholar Grants ($215k/yr direct costs for 4 years). RSG applicants for the HEALED Gold Medal initiative may be at any stage of career. All HEALED Gold Medal applications will follow the same guidelines and terms as other ACS Grant applications unless specifically noted here.

Applicants will apply by selecting the appropriate grant mechanism in ProposalCentral and then selecting the HEALED RFA on the title page. See the application instructions for more information. Please include “HEALED” in the title (e.g., HEALED: The effect of an exercise intervention in Black prostate cancer survivors).

Contact: Joanne Elena, PhD, MPH, Scientific Director, Clinical and Cancer Control Research, Extramural Discovery Science,