TSF AstraZeneca Reversing Health Disparities in Lung Cancer Research Award

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons and its charitable arm, The Thoracic Surgery Foundation are collaborating with AstraZeneca to establish the Reversing Health Disparities in Lung Cancer Research Award. The purpose of the award is to provide support to investigators conducting health disparity research related to lung cancer.

Examples of Research Topics for Consideration include, but are not limited to:

  • Interdisciplinary minority health and other health disparities and equity research, including basic, clinical, translational, behavioral, health services and social sciences research to advance understanding of disease/disability development and progression.
  • Research that improves approaches for diagnosis, prevention, and treatment. 
  • Potential pathways to disparities in health outcomes, environmental exposures, genetic variations and/or other underlying biological factors, ethnic and familial factors.
  • Developmental influences across the life span, specific health behaviors, and discrimination in health processes, psychosocial and socio-cultural influences, and socioeconomic (SES) related factors such as differential access to health care.  Health processes include the technical and interpersonal activities pertaining to disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment that go on between patient, their families and practitioner.

This grant is for cardiothoracic surgeons, or research or physician scientists in a cardiothoracic surgery research group who are seeking initial support and recognition for their original research project. Awards of up to $50,000 per year for up to two years are granted to support the work of early-career cardiothoracic surgeons, research or physician scientists. The awarded funds must be used solely for the direct expenses related to the proposed research project, including salary, services, and supplies; no additional funds will be provided. The award is not to be used to cover indirect expenses, fringe benefits, or expenditures that are not related to the project.

Preference will be given to either clinical- or laboratory-based investigations that are judged likely to generate data that will, in turn, facilitate subsequent funding support for the applicant. In making the awards, emphasis will be placed on originality; clear, concise presentation of a logical project; high probability of successful project completion; and importance of the work toward the advancement of lung cancer research focused on treatment and eliminating health disparities and achieving health equity in underserved populations. If two years of funding are requested and awarded, a progress report must be approved by the chairperson of the TSF Research Committee prior to release of payment for the second year.

Eligibility – The applicant should be one of the following:

  1. Cardiothoracic surgeon who has completed a program leading to certification by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery or its equivalent in a country outside of the United States, and is within 7 years* of their first faculty appointment.
  2. Research or Physician Scientist** – At the time of application, the applicant must hold a doctoral degree and have a faculty appointment or equivalent with demonstrated institutional commitment (salary support, research space) in a recognized academic or other not-for-profit institution and part of a cardiothoracic surgery research group; Fellows and PhD post-docs are eligible to apply only if their Department Chair can assure a promotion to faculty status by the start of the award.

*Extending applicant eligibility beyond seven years of his/her first faculty appointment may be considered under extraordinary circumstances. Examples include career interruptions caused by military service, health challenges, or unusual family responsibilities. Exceptions must be requested in writing and approved by the President of the TSF Board of Directors prior to the application deadline.

**Board certification is not required.

AstraZeneca and The Thoracic Surgery Foundation recognize that the support provided by the AstraZeneca/TSF Reversing Health Disparities in Lung Cancer Research Award may not be sufficient to fully fund operational costs. Therefore, TSF’s Research Grant awardees are permitted to secure other research grants to supplement a TSF Research Grant but are expected to have 30% of their time protected for research pursuits. Prior receipt of an NIH grant (K08, K23, R01) will weigh heavily against an applicant’s candidacy in the absence of mitigating circumstances. Application for NIH support during the TSF award period is strongly encouraged. If an awardee receives NIH funding during the period of a TSF award, the TSF funding will be managed administratively on a case-by-case basis; a TSF awardee is obligated to notify the TSF in the event of such an award.

AstraZeneca/TSF Reversing Health Disparities in Lung Cancer Research Award applications will undergo a structured, unbiased scientific peer review process by a committee of TSF volunteer cardiothoracic surgeons. The review process will also include input and review by the STS Workforce on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. AstraZeneca is not involved in the selection process.

Application Open: July 1, 2024
Application Deadline:
September 15, 2024

Required Application Materials:

  • Completed online application*
  • Applicant’s NIH Biosketch (pdf)
  • Sponsor/Mentor’s NIH Biosketch (pdf)
  • 2 Letters of Support (pdf)
  • Budget (pdf)
  • Optional: Other relevant data, such as figures, additional letters of support, etc. (pdf)

*Online Application (Information collected)

  • Lay Summary: 500 words or less
  • Career Goals: 100 words or less
  • Candidate Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: 200 words or less
  • Career Development Plan and Environment: 1,400 words or less
  • Specific Aims: 700 words or less
  • Background and Significance: 700 words or less
  • Research Plan: 3,500 words or less
  • Budget and Justification: 1,400 words or less