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Emerson Collective Cancer Research Fund

Emerson Collective – the philanthropic arm of the Jobs family – has launched their cancer research grant program again this year which might be of interest to your faculty. To-date this fund has provided more than $7M in support to 37 faculty members from across Johns Hopkins Medicine.  Our consistently high volume of applications is a large reason why. As such, we encourage any interested investigators to apply.

Cancer Research Fund 

The Cancer Research Fund (CRF) is the flagship program of Emerson Collective’s health program, and is responsible for the bulk of their philanthropic support to SOM departments since 2016. This is the fourth cycle we’ve been invited to compete in, and JHU has the largest cohort of CRF investigators across Emerson’s 21 active sites alongside Stanford.

Focus Areas

The program projects related the following topic areas:

  • Engineering allogeneic cells with new properties to:
    • prevent their recognition by the host immune system;
    • promote their persistence in the host;
    • defeat suppressive mechanisms of the tumor microenvironment;
    • synergize with host innate and adaptive immune systems; and/or,
    • allow gating or other regulation of their functions temporally or geographically to improve potency or reduce toxicity.
  • Validating new target antigens for cell therapy in cancer
  • Targeted intracellular gene or protein delivery mechanisms
  • Enabling early cancer detection

The program prioritizes high risk/high reward initiatives.

Funding Term & Amount

$50,000 to $400,000 total for projects 1-2 years in duration. Note, this is double the top-line amount from prior cycles.


All faculty and trainees sponsored by faculty across Johns Hopkins

Evaluation Criteria

  • The potential of the proposed research to affect multiple cancer types
  • The potential to translate said research into further experiments, and clinical trials
  • The applicant’s lack of resources to pursue the proposed research
  • Compliance with a two-year maximum timeframe for research


Wednesday, June 16 with funding decisions to be made before the end of the year.

Application Requirements

Proposals are to be submitted via the Emerson Collective application portal located here, and consists of the following main components:

  • Lay Abstract  (350 words)
  • Scientific Abstract (350 words)
  • Background (500 words)
  • Significance (250 words)
  • Innovation (250 words)
  • Scientific Approach (1000 words)
  • Budget
  • Current & Pending Support
  • Biosketches
  • References
  • Preliminary Data

For the full RFA, click here.

Please direct any questions and notify of submissions to:

Andrew Isaac |
Director of Foundation Relations
Johns Hopkins University & Medicine
3400 North Charles Street
San Martin Center
Baltimore, MD 21218
Phone:  410.516.2319


Kelsey Bennett