2023 call for applications – Stanley Cohen Innovation Fund

The Vanderbilt University School of Medicine is pleased to solicit faculty applications for research awards from the Stanley Cohen Innovation Fund. The Cohen Fund supports high-risk, groundbreaking research with the potential to open new fields of scientific inquiry and biomedical impact. Initial awards of up to $100,000 (direct costs) will be made from the fund. Awardees can apply for a second year of funding, in which case their application will compete with new proposals.

The awards honor and are in memory of 1986 Nobel laureate and Emeritus Professor of Biochemistry Stanley Cohen, whose discovery of epidermal growth factor and its mechanism of action revolutionized our understanding of cellular signaling in fields of biomedical research such as development, wound healing, and cancer and led to high-impact therapies across a range of diseases. Professor Cohen’s work will serve as the prototype for research that will be supported by the fund.

Nomination process

Applicants should be tenured or tenure-track faculty with their primary appointment in a School of Medicine department. They must be nominated by their department chair; only one nomination will be accepted from each department.

The following nomination materials must be submitted as a PDF document to LSO@vanderbilt.edu by July 15, 2023:

  • Two-page description of the research plan, including title and figures (references can be separate)
  • Budget with justification (travel and entertainment costs are not allowed)
  • NIH biosketch
  • Brief letter of nomination by the department chair

Given the intent of the fund, emphasis should be placed on the novelty of the proposed research and the potential for future discovery and impact. Research that is a continuation or incremental extension of ongoing research programs will not be considered.

All applications will be peer reviewed by a committee that will select final nominees. Finalists will be asked to give a presentation on their proposed research project to the committee in August 2023. Funds will be available September 2023.

Any questions about this opportunity can be directed to chuck.sanders@vanderbilt.edu (Basic Sciences faculty) or amy.f.martinez@vumc.org (VUMC faculty).