Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Alliance: 2021 Pershing Square Sohn Prize – $600K – LOI Due: November 9, 2020

Mon, Nov 9, 2020, 5:00 pm
Request for Proposals
Early Career
Life Sciences
Various Research Areas


The Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Alliance (PSSCRA) is dedicated to accelerating cures for cancer by advancing the pursuit of innovative cancer research and by facilitating collaborations between the science and business communities. PSSCRA seeks to guide philanthropic funds to feed critical scientific discoveries, attracting like-minded investors to the cause of fighting cancer and creating a pipeline for early-stage biomedical investments.

PSSCRA will begin accepting Letters of Intent for the 2021 Pershing Square Sohn Prize for Young Investigators in Cancer Research on October 5, 2020. The Prize provides New York area-based* early career scientists the freedom to take risks and pursue their boldest research at a stage when traditional funding is lacking.

* The greater New York City area includes New York City’s five boroughs, Long Island, Westchester County, New Jersey, and Western Connecticut (Fairfield and New Haven Counties).

Fields of Research:

  • Cancer research
  • Biomedical research


  • Radically innovative research: Novel approaches in cancer research characterizes by a strong scientific rationale and novel methodologies. Research areas may include, but are not limited to, basic research and technological applications. PSSCRA is seeking high-risk, high-reward proposals characterized by radically novel scientific approaches that would otherwise not be funded.
  • Scientific excellence: Scientific merit will be evaluated and determined by the Pershing Square Sohn Prize Scientific Review Council and Prize Advisory Board. For more insight please review the posted panel of board members and archive of past winning proposals on their website.
  • Application to cancer: Proposals that articulate a clearly defined application to cancer will be preferred. The goal is to advance research in new ways that will have an impact on understanding, diagnosis, prevention and/or treatment of cancer.
  • Applicants are encouraged, but not required, to submit proposals that leverage a multidisciplinary approach.


  • An MD, PhD, MD-PhD degree (or equivalent) is required.
  • Applicants must have at least two (2) years of experience running their own laboratories but no more than eight (8) years of experience by the anticipated start date of the research project (July 2020).
  • Principal Investigators (PIs) must hold faculty appointments at academic research institutions in the greater New York City area at the level of Assistant or Associate Professor (or equivalent).
  • An applicant who is not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, by submitting an application for this funding, assures that his/her visa status will provide sufficient time to complete the project and grant term within the United States.
  • Investigators need not be specifically trained in cancer research; however, they should be working in an environment capable of conducting high quality, high impact cancer research.

The Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Alliance does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability or any other legally protected characteristics.


  • Prize winners each receive $200,000 a year for up to three years.
  • At least six grants are awarded annually.
  • Indirect costs for this program are limited to 10% of the award amount.

In addition to receiving funding, Prize winners are given access to a unique network and are invited to participate in select programs, including:

  • facilitated partnerships with other researchers within and across institutions;
  • networking programs (including: collaborations/discussions amongst Prize winners and industry mentors, introductions to philanthropic and for-profit investors in the business community, and invitations to special industry networking and entrepreneurship events);
  • annual retreat and symposium; and
  • ability to present the best ideas at conferences and events (hosted by PSSCRA and other organizations).


The application portal for the Pershing Square Sohn Prize for Young Investigators in Cancer Research  will open on October 5, 2020 to accept Letters of Intent.

The application process will be conducted in three stages:

  • Stage 1: Applicants must submit their Letter of Intent (LOI) through the application submission website here. LOIs must be completed online. Please be sure to thoroughly read the 2021 Prize Application Guidelines before starting your application. If you have any questions about the online application, please email
  • Stage 2: Full Length Proposal (FLP) – By invitation only; based on a review by PSSCRA of the LOI submission. Will be due by January 29, 2021.
  • Stage 3: Presentation – Finalists will be invited to present their proposal to the Governing Board, Prize Advisory Board, and Scientific Review Council at the 2021 Prize Board Meeting.

NOTE: Process/budget questions which arise should be directed to ORPA and the proposal should be routed following the standard Princeton proposal process (Coeus, etc.)

Due Date(s):

  • The deadline to submit a LOI is 5 p.m. ET on Monday, November 9, 2020.
  • Selected applicants will be invited to submit a Full Length Proposal. Applicants will be notified about the status of their application no later than December 18, 2020. Proposals will be due by January 29, 2021.
Categories: Open Call RFPs