Here is some more information on where your donation money goes, how research projects are chosen and funded, and more:


How Does the American Cancer Society Choose Which Research Grants to Fund?

The vast majority of the American Cancer Society's research funds are directed to grants that fund individual investigators in medical schools, universities, research institutes, and hospitals. The rigorous peer review process employed by ACS lies at the heart of our success in identifying the most innovative scientific ideas. Each investigator's grant request undergoes stringent review by discipline-specific Peer Review Committees The committees are populated by 10-25 volunteer senior scientists from the top medical and academic institutions around the country (peers) ; and one or more lay people (stakeholders) who have been touched by cancer, and who bring a fresh perspective to the reviwe process. Grants are selected on scientific merit, relevance to the ACS mission and the amount of money available.

Several highly rated cancer research projects go unfunded each year due to finite resources in relation to the number of qualified projects. As a result, a significant number of approved and innovative research ideas could not be pursued by these investigators. On average, nearly one-third of the approved grants are placed in this category annually. What if the answer to the cancer puzzle lies in the first approved but unfunded research grant?


How You Can Help

The American Cancer Society's track record of identifying and funding ground-breaking cancer research is unparalleled. We are primarily committed to funding beginning investigators, a niche overlooked by many organizations. These scientists flourish under the sponsorship of a world-class organization that gives them the greatest possible freedom to follow the mandates of their research efforts. This approach has led to the funding of 40 young scientists who later went on to receive Nobel Prizes for their work.


Help us ensure that every promising idea and every possible breakthrough is investigated. An exciting new era of lifesaving discoveries awaits your investment.


  • $100,000 will fund on two-year postdoctoral research fellowship
  • $163,500 will fund one three-year postdoctoral fellowship.  This award is to support the  training of researchers who have received a doctoral degree to provide training leading to an independent career in cancer research.  Awards may be for three years with progressive stipends of $48.000, $50,000 and $52,000 per year, plus a $4,000 per year fellowship allowance.  In addition, $1,500 will be forwarded in the last year to attend the ACS Postdoctoral Fellows Symposium or a domestic scientific meeting.
  • $750 – $1 million will fund one five-year research scholar grant