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.

Rita Allen Foundation Scholar grant funds may only be used for direct project expenses, including up to 50 percent of the Scholar's compensation.

Number of Applications
Amount of Funding

 $550,000 (up to $110,000/yr x max 5 years; for pain research, $150,000 total ($50,000/yr x max 3 years)


Applicants are encouraged to consult with their Associate Deans for Research prior to internal submission to assure they meet eligibility criteria and their projects meet stated program objectives.

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.

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 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.

Submission Process

Step 1

For consideration as a finalist, investigators must submit the following proposal materials as a single PDF email attachment to Stephanie Endy at stephanie.endy@case.edu no later than 5:00 p.m. on September 19, 2017:

  1. one-page, 12-point font, one-inch margin cover letter, including PI name, department/division, school/college, project title and brief summary of the applicant's project, and
  2. A federal-grant-style biosketch (typically NIH or NSF).
Step 2

Final nominees will be notified of their selection by September 29, 2017.

Step 3

Case Western Reserve submits a letter of inquiry by December 8, 2017.

Step 4

Final proposal must be received by the Office of Research Administration by January 12, 2018 at 5:00pm EST.

Step 5

Final proposal must be received by the sponsor by January 19, 2018 at 5:00pm EST.


Abstract or LOI to ORA Chosen Proposal Announced ORA Final Proposal Due Date Sponsor Submission Deadline Days Until Due
09/19/2017 09/29/2017 01/12/2018 01/19/2018 CLOSED