Limited Submission: Rita Allen Foundation Scholars Program


The Rita Allen Foundation Scholars program funds basic biomedical research in the fields of cancer, immunology and neuroscience. The Foundation also supports an award for scholars in pain research, who are selected in collaboration with the American Pain Society. Learn more about the Rita Allen Foundation Award in Pain here. The Rita Allen Foundation Scholars program has supported more than 150 scientists since 1976. The program embraces innovative research with above-average risk and groundbreaking possibilities. Scholars have gone on to win the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, the National Medal of Science, the Wolf Prize in Medicine and the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences.

The application period opens on October 30, 2017.

Please read the Program FAQ before preparing your internal application.

Award Amount

  • Scholars can receive up to $110,000 per year for a maximum of five years. Scholars in Pain Research can be granted $50,000 per year for up to three years.
  • Rita Allen Foundation Scholar grant funds may only be used for direct project expenses, including up to 50 percent of the Scholar’s compensation.


  • Only invited institutions are eligible to submit a nomination for consideration for the Rita Allen Foundation Scholars program.
  • The Rita Allen Foundation Scientific Advisory Committee reviews and recommends eligible institutions, which are confirmed by the Rita Allen Foundation Board of Directors.
  • The Scientific Advisory Committeereviews and selects finalists from the eligible institutions for the Scholars program. Only one nominated candidate per eligible institution is accepted per year.
  • To be eligible for a Rita Allen Foundation Scholars Award, candidates must be nominated by an invited institution and have completed their training and provided persuasive evidence of distinguished achievement or extraordinary promise in research in one of the relevant fields (cancer, immunology, neuroscience or pain).
  • United States citizenship is not a requirement; however, awardees must be legally employed at a U.S. degree-granting or research institution that is an invited participant in the Rita Allen Foundation Scholars Program.
  • Awards are made to the 501(c)(3) organization; awards are not made to an individual.
  • Scholars must perform research at a non-profit institution in the U.S. during the entire period of Rita Allen Foundation support.

Nomination Criteria

  • Institutions should consider the following when considering whom to nominate for the Rita Allen Foundation Scholars program:
    • Candidates should be independent investigators in the early stages of their careers and research.
    • The caliber of early-stage investigators suggests nominees would be appointed to tenure-track positions at their respective institutions.
    • It is preferable that candidates be in the first three years of their tenure track. (This is taken into consideration in the rating of applications by the Scientific Advisory Committee.)
    • A senior postdoc should not be a candidate; wait until s/he is in a tenure-track position, as described.
    • Associate professors should not be candidates.
    • Candidates must have received committed startup funds from their respective institutions.
    • Candidates must have lab space from their institutions.
  • Other sources of funding may influence selection. Rita Allen Foundation Scholars may not accept a faculty development award of more than $200,000 from another private funding organization for the first year of the RAF award. Rita Allen Scholars may apply for awards from these organizations that would take effect beginning in year two of the RAF award.
  • Nominating institutions should consider the highly competitive nature of the Rita Allen Foundation Scholars program and submit their strongest nominee for consideration. The Rita Allen Foundation requests that eligible institutions share with us a description of the process they follow to nominate candidates.
  • Further questions regarding the Rita Allen Foundation Scholars program should be directed to those responsible for the internal nominating process within a given eligible institution.

Limitation Details

Institutions are limited to submitting one nomination per review cycle. If you are interested in competing for this program, you must first submit an internal application to according to the required instructions below.

Internal Applications must include the following:

  • A cover page listing
    • The name of this funding opportunity
    • Your name, UGA position, home department, email, and UGA contact information
  • A (maximum two-page) self-assessment that specifically addresses how Rita Allen funds will be used for innovative research with above-average risk and groundbreaking possibilities
  • One paragraph describing why this proposal should be UGA’s submission (i.e., why it will be the most competitive for this program)
  • PI’s curriculum vitae

Internal Submission Instructions

The above internal application materials should be submitted via email as a single .PDF file to by the internal deadline listed above.


Please submit questions regarding the internal competition to Lauren Sisko at

For questions directly related to this program, please contact the Rita Allen Foundation at 609-683-8010 or

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