Research Grants

View Our Research Grant Recipients


Funding novel research ideas:

Maine Cancer Foundation provides start-up funds for a new researcher or a researcher with a new idea. With a Pilot Grant and one year of funding, the scientist can test a theory and produce evidence worthy of future study. With a Program Accelerator Grant and two years of funding, a researcher can generate the data that will establish a novel approach and qualify it for national grants.

Kevin Mills, PhD of The Jackson Laboratory and Edward Bilsky, PhD of The University of New England are just two MCF-funded researchers who have seen their initial inquiries lead to multimillion dollar grants from the National Institutes of Health, or to the launch of independent Maine-based biotechnology companies that further the treatment of cancer.

Inspiring the next generation of cancer researchers:

In each research lab, students gain experience and credentials under the tutelage of a principal investigator. Predeep Sathyanarayana, Ph.D., after working in Dr. Wojchowski’s lab, was promoted to Scientist I. As an independent MMCRI faculty member, he submitted and received NIH approval for a related project looking at roles of Podocalyxin during the onset of progression of acute myeloid leukemia.

Interpreting new knowledge for clinical care:

For most cases of cancer the exact cause is unknown. However, about 10% of cancer diagnoses can now be traced to inherited genetic alterations. Identifying the underlying genetic basis is an important part of cancer care for the patient. Equally important is cancer prevention for the patient's family members who share a cancer susceptibility gene.

Integrating genetic risk assessment into cancer medicine is becoming a standard of care but that was not the case in 1998 when Maine Cancer Foundation funded the first hereditary cancer risk assessment and prevention program in the state and one of the earliest programs of its kind in the nation.

Support from Maine Cancer Foundation established the cancer genetics program at Maine Center for Cancer Medicine, Scarborough. Maine’s first cancer genetics program continues to serve hundreds of patients and families, reaching every county in Maine.

Apply for a Cancer Research Grant:

Maine Cancer Foundation is one of the only sources available to Maine-based researchers seeking financial support. After competitive peer review, the Foundation awards grants that advance science-based research of a clinical, laboratory or outcomes nature. Of priority are those projects that seek to:

  • Explore the molecular basis of cancer
  • Improve cancer prevention, detection and treatment
  • Implement translational findings
  • Analyze treatment outcomes

The Foundation offers two types of grants:

Pilot Research Grants:

  • One year in duration
  • Limited to $50,000
  • Preliminary data is permissible, but not required
  • Requires a shorter application (3 pg narrative) and a one page final report at the end of the funding term
  • Results can be used to apply for a Program Accelerator Grant in subsequent years

Program Accelerator Grants:

  • Two years in duration
  • Approximately $170,000 total maximum budget; larger requests will be considered with adequate justification
  • Preliminary data is required
  • Requires a more comprehensive application (6 pg narrative), an initial progress report at 10 months and a final report at the end of the funding term.
  • Non-renewable

All applications are now submitted electronically to

Due: April 1; late submissions will not be accepted.

Note: When April 1 falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline is moved forward to the following Monday.

Questions? Call the Foundation at (207) 773-2533 or email