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Szent-Györgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research

Award to a USA, Canada, or International Scientist
for a Significant Breakthrough in Cancer Research

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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National Foundation for Cancer Research

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Award of $25,000 to a USA, Canada, or International individual to recognize an original breakthrough or discovery in the field of cancer research. Candidates for this award have furthered cancer prevention, treatments, and early diagnosis. The discovery must have had a significant impact on the cancer field and made a direct impact on saving lives.

The Szent-Györgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research was established to honor an outstanding researcher whose scientific achievements have expanded understanding of cancer and cancer causation; whose vision has moved cancer research in new directions; and whose discoveries have resulted in notable advances in cancer prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. The Prize also promotes public awareness of the importance of basic cancer research and encourages the sustained investment needed to accelerate the translation of these research discoveries into new cancer treatments.

The Prize recipient will be honored at a formal dinner and award ceremony and will also receive an honorarium. The 2019 Szent-Györgyi Prize Dinner and Award Ceremony will be held on Saturday, April 25, 202 in Washington, DC. The individual winning the Prize will receive media and press attention and global recognition for his/her work. In addition, the Prize recipient will lead the next “Szent-Györgyi Prize Committee” as honorary chairman.

The Szent-Györgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research is named in honor of Albert Szent-Györgyi, M.D., Ph.D. who was a pioneer, and, like many other explorers, he challenged the conventional thinking of the day to pursue his novel and promising ideas.

After winning the Nobel Prize for his study on vitamin C and cell respiration, Dr. Szent-Györgyi set his sights on finding a way to defeat cancer.

Beyond his laboratory, Dr. Szent-Györgyi was a leading advocate for developing resources to provide scientists with the financial support necessary to pursue novel cancer research ideas. In 1973, he changed the face of cancer research funding by co-founding NFCR with entrepreneur Franklin C. Salisbury. Since then, NFCR has provided more than $360 million in support of cancer research and prevention education programs.

NFCR is committed to upholding Dr. Szent-Györgyi’s vision of curing cancer through innovation and collaboration. As part of this commitment, NFCR has established this Prize to honor scientists who have made extraordinary progress in cancer research and to focus attention on the essential role of basic research in finding the
still elusive answers to the mysteries of cancer.

The Szent-Györgyi Prize serves to stimulate continued investment in the pioneering research that will produce scientific breakthroughs and lead to a deeper understanding of the scientific concepts underlying the genetics and molecular makeup of cancer. By calling attention annually to achievements in this area, the Committee intends to heighten awareness of the kind of research and discovery that must be accomplished before cancer cures may be produced.

Candidates will be reviewed and evaluated based on the following criteria:
1. Seminal discovery or a body of work that has resulted in, or led toward, notable contributions to cancer prevention, diagnosis, or treatment; and
2. The discovery has had a lasting impact on the cancer field with a high direct impact of saving people’s lives.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 172204

Number of Grants:


Estimated Size of Grant:

The Prize recipient will receive a $25,000 honorarium.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Candidates must have made an original discovery or breakthrough in scientific understanding that has led to better prevention, earlier diagnosis, or new treatments for patients with cancer.

Pre-Application Information:

Nominations for the 2020 Szent-Györgyi Prize are now open until September 30, 2019.

Nominations for the Prize may be made by individuals from the research community, industry, government, or other organizations who are sufficiently familiar with the research accomplishments and contributions of the nominee. Self-nominations will not be accepted.

All nominations will require the following documents:

-A letter of recommendation (800 words or less) outlining the nominee’s significant contributions to cancer research. The letter should outline the impact that the nominee’s research has had on understanding of the root causes of cancer, on strategies for preventing cancer, on the development of more effective cancer therapies, or other aspects of cancer treatment.

-A simplified current curriculum vitae of the nominee; ten (10) pages maximum.

-A listing of fifteen of the nominee’s most important published papers, in the view of the nominator. No press clippings please.

-Complete contact information of nominee including cell phone.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.


National Foundation for Cancer Research
Attn: Albert Szent-Györgyi Prize Committee
5515 Security Lane, Suite 1105
Rockville, MD 20852

(301) 654-1250

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International country outside of the USA, Israel and Canada.