Over $12.8 million in research funding awarded through 2009

About The Sontag Foundation's
Distinguished Scientist Awards

Inspire us. We're looking for early career scientists with the potential to create new waves across the brain cancer field. We're looking for increased survival rates and improved recovery for patients. We're looking for a cure or at the very least, treatments to make brain cancer a manageable chronic disease.

In October, The Sontag Foundation presented its 2015 Distinguished Scientist Awards to two outstanding early career scientists with inspiring, potential-laden brain cancer research proposals. Each Award included a four-year grant totaling a maximum of $600,000. 2015 Grantees are: Peter E. Fecci, M.D., Ph.D. of Duke University and Kyle Walsh, Ph.D. of The University of California, San Francisco.  To see where past and present Sontag Foundation grantees are conducting research,
click Link to DSA sites.

2016 Application deadline is March 16, 2016.

Eligibility Requirements for 2016 Distinguished Scientist Awards

  • Applicants must hold a doctoral degree in a discipline which can be brought to bear on the intractable disease, brain cancer.
  • At the time of application, applicants must hold their first independent full-time faculty appointment at the level of assistant professor, independent researcher or equivalent position at a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) academic, research or medical institution within the United States or an equivalent institution in Canada, appointment must have been made no earlier than March 1, 2013.
  • If the institution grants tenure, the qualifying appointment must be on the tenure track.
  • Applicant's career track and proposed research should demonstrate potential to generate new knowledge relating to causes, cure or treatment of primary brain tumors/brain cancer.
  • Research proposal submitted for funding must be a primary focus of applicant.
  • More than one individual from the same institution may apply for this award.
  • Reapplications in subsequent years of eligibility will be accepted by invitation only.


Up to $150,000 each of four years–as supported by budget request.

Budgets must be approved in advance; funds will be disbursed to the institution in quarterly payments for up to four years, depending upon evidence of satisfactory progress. Progress reports must be received and approved prior to second, third and fourth year of funding. The Sontag Foundation will allow up to 15% of the award to support institutional overhead. Indirect costs are calculated based on the direct costs for a maximum annual payout of $150,000.
Funding period for 2016 grants will begin on or about October 15, 2016 and end on September 30, 2020.

Terms of Award

Acknowledgment of support from The Sontag Foundation should be made when findings from sponsored research are reported.

Should the recipient wish to discontinue or substantially change the proposed project, leave the current institution or otherwise modify any terms of the award, he or she must seek approval of The Sontag Foundation in advance.

Four-year support is contingent upon continued evidence of satisfactory progress.

Progress Reporting

Recipients must submit a written progress report by September 1 during each of the first three years of the award. Report should include the following:

  • Two-page summary of scientific progress to date
  • Financial report detailing expenditures to date
  • Itemized budget for the next year of funding
  • Bibliography listing papers published or in press relating to Sontag project; include copies of published papers and accepted manuscripts
  • Short (less than one-page) update of research progress to date in layman's terms

Informal progress reports are encouraged, and representatives of the Foundation may make periodic site visits at pre-arranged times.

A final written report with copies of all publications relevant to awardee's research will be required within ninety days of completion of funding. Final fiscal report will also be required at that time. For additional information regarding reports, click here

Application Process: Deadline is March 16, 2016.

  • Forms should be downloaded from the Apply for Grant section of this website.
  • For additional information regarding the application process, review the FAQ.  Do NOT contact the foundation office with questions until you have first sought answers in the FAQ's.
  • 2016 applications must be received in the Foundation office on or before Noon on March 16, 2016. Facsimiles and e-mail submissions are NOT accepted. Guidelines found in the Application Checklist must be followed. The original application plus one (1) print copy should be sent to:
                The Sontag Foundation
                816 A1A North, Suite 201
                Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082
  • E-mail notification will be sent to candidates upon receipt of application packet.
  • Selection procedures have been designed to identify scientists who show the most outstanding promise of making fundamental/crucial contributions to new knowledge regarding primary brain tumors. In addition to scientific merit and the theme of the proposed research, consideration is also given to the individual's past performance and promise as evidenced by the documentation submitted.
  • Applications will be evaluated by an independent Scientific Advisory Board comprised of established scientists; The Sontag Foundation's internal selection committee will also evaluate applications. All candidates will notified of the status of their applications in early August.
  • Once finalists have been identified, site visits by a lay committee of The Sontag Foundation will be scheduled.
  • Final recommendations will be made by the committee and submitted to the Board of Directors of The Sontag Foundation for approval.
  • The number of awards given is dependent upon receipt of applications of high scientific merit.
  • Final selections for 2016 awards will be announced in October 2016.