Research Fellowship Program

Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation

The Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation (“CCF”) is a non-profit organization created in 2006 to advance the scientific and medical research related to the diagnosis, treatment, and cure and for cholangiocarcinoma.

Research Fellowship Program

In 2015, the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation established a Research Fellowship Program aimed at supporting early career researchers focusing on the study of cholangiocarcinoma. The goal is to raise awareness about cholangiocarcinoma and inspire innovative, quality research. Collaboration is essential to the success of any research program. The Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation chooses grant recipients carefully to ensure that they will build working relationships between researchers, institutions, and industry and share information, samples, and expertise with others in the field.

Key Dates

  • Application Deadline: April 1, 2018
  • Award Announcements: June 1, 2018
  • Award Term: July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019
  • Contact: Donna Mayer, Executive Director
Learn more about our Research Philosophy

Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation Research Philosophy

Our objective is finding a cure.   This gives us a different perspective and informs our philosophy. We believe a cure relies on:

  • Research that provides essential resources and knowledge for the field (e.g. model systems, understanding genetic underpinnings, annotated patient specimens)
  • Innovative research that opens new pathways for diagnosis and drug discovery

We want our research dollars to make a difference

  • We support promising projects that are less likely to get traditional funding such as:
    • Seed funding that could yield breakthrough benefits for patients
    • High quality projects proposed by young investigators with demonstrated commitment to cholangiocarcinoma research
    • Foundational projects with an important but long-term payoff
  • Our research dollars should never substitute for or displace other funding (i.e. preference for new projectsover existing well-funded efforts)
  • We prioritize proposals that aimon finding a cure

We believe we can find a cure together

  • We value research that involves and catalyzes collaboration
  • We value open-access research (rapid sharing of reagents and models with the research community)

Our goal is a rigorous, yet efficient, process to find and fund high quality projects

  • For rigor, all proposals must undergo a comprehensive peer-review
  • For efficiency, proposals need only provide sufficient detail to facilitate a peer-review


  • Doctor of Medicine
  • Doctor of Philosophy
  • Doctor of Pharmacy
  • Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Academic Level
  • There will be two categories of awards, postdoctoral and junior faculty
    • Postdoctoral Fellows or Instructors who do not have faculty positions
    • Junior Faculty within first 4 years of appointment at the time of application; includes Instructors and Assistant Professors
    • There are no restrictions for applicants as to age or national origin
Institutional Requirements
  • Universities, hospitals or research institutions worldwide with not-for-profit status
  • Sponsoring institution must assign a mentor in the proposed research field who assumes responsibility and provides guidance for the research


  • The total award amount is up to $50,000 for one year, payable on July 1 and January 1 in two equal installments
  • The number of grants in each funding cycle are determined based on individual merit and availability of funds

Application Format

  • Page margins:  0.5 inches for all margins
  • Font:  11 point Arial for text, minimum 9 point for figure legends
  • Total file size:  Less than 10 MB

Application Components

Applications must include the following components:

  1. Title Page with Applicant Information
    • Name
    • Institution
    • Department
    • Degree(s)
    • Address
    • Phone
    • Email
  2. Project Information page
    • Project title
    • Research focus area (select one)
      • Basic
      • Translational
      • Clinical
    • Research Summary in Laymen’s Terms (<300 Words)
  3. Scientific Abstract/Specific Aims (<1 page) – provide an introductory paragraph presenting the overall rationale and underlying hypotheses for the project, a summary of any existing preliminary data, and overview of the general approach. Subsequently, enumerate the Specific Aims and provide information about how these aims will be realized and the hypotheses tested.

Sections 4, 5 and 6 have a maximum length of 5 pages in total.

  1. Background and Significance – include how the study seeks to shift current research or clinical practice paradigms or create essential resources for the field
  2. Preliminary data
  3. Research Plan – provide a description of the experimental design and methods used to address each of the aims. Include information about how data will be interpreted and what approaches will be incorporated to ensure scientific rigor.

Other sections (does not count toward the page limit)

  • References cited
  • Applicant’s CV or Bio-Sketch Form (<5 pages, preferable NIH format)
  • Letter of Support from Mentor (or from Department Chair for Independent Faculty)
  • Budget Form

The completed applications must be received before the deadline of 11:59pm ET on April 1, 2018. Must include BioSketch/CV, Letter of Support and Budget Form. Submit to fellowshipapplications@cholangiocarcinoma.org


Answers to our most frequently asked questions about the grant application process.

What is the review process for applications?
A Scientific Review Board comprised of leading experts in the field of cholangiocarcinoma review grant applications and submit funding recommendations. The Scientific Review Board provides independent, objective review and recommendations regarding each research application utilizing grant review guidelines established by CCF in accordance with the mission of the organization. Each reviewer votes on a scale of 1.0 to 5.0, using increments of 0.1.One (1.0) is the best score and 5.0 is the poorest among rated applications. The score of the Scientific Review Board is then calculated by averaging the individual scores and multiplying the result by 100. Ratings will be reached and recorded independently.

  • 1.0 – 1.5 Outstanding
  • 1.6 – 2.0 Excellent
  • 2.1 – 2.5 Very Good
  • 2.6 – 3.5 Good
  • 3.6 – 5.0 Acceptable

Overall Impact Reviewers will provide an overall impact score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the project to exert a sustained, powerful influence on the research field(s) involved, in consideration of the following review criteria, and additional review criteria (as applicable for the project proposed).   Scored Review Criteria Reviewers will consider each of the review criteria below in the determination of scientific and technical merit, and give a separate score for each. An application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact. For example, a project that by its nature is not innovative may be essential to advance a field. Significance. Does the project address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field? Is there a strong scientific premise for the project? If the aims of the project are achieved, how will scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice be improved? How will successful completion of the aims change the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field? Investigator. Is the PI well suited to the project? Do they have appropriate experience and training? Have they demonstrated a track record of accomplishments that have advanced their field(s)? Innovation. Does the application challenge and seek to shift current research or clinical practice paradigms by utilizing novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions? Are the concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions novel to one field of research or novel in a broad sense? Is a refinement, improvement, or new application of theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions proposed? Approach. Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the project? Have the investigators presented strategies to ensure a robust and unbiased approach, as appropriate for the work proposed? Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented? If the project is in the early stages of development, will the strategy establish feasibility and will particularly risky aspects be managed? Have the investigators presented adequate plans to address relevant biological variables, such as sex, for studies in vertebrate animals or human subjects? If the project involves clinical research, are the plans for 1) protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) inclusion of minorities and members of both sexes/genders, as well as the inclusion of children, justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed? Environment. Will the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Are the institutional support, equipment and other physical resources available to the investigators adequate for the project proposed? Will the project benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, subject populations, or collaborative arrangements? The Chairperson of the Scientific Review Board summarizes the recommendations and presents them to the CCF Board of Directors. Funding decisions will be arrived at taking several factors into consideration.  In addition to the Scientific Review Board’s recommendations, these factors may include such issues as the amount of money currently allotted for research funding, research prioritization, expressed wishes of donors, and efforts to support a wide variety of CCA researchers. A majority vote of the CCF Board of Directors will be required in order to approve funding of any grant proposal.

How many Research Fellowships do you award each year?
The number Research Fellowships we will award depends on our total grant budget for the year, and how our Grants Review Committee decides to distribute the research funds. It’s likely that we will award between 3-4 new grants this year.
Can past awardees reapply?
No. Each investigator may only be the recipient of one award.
Can multiple applicants from the same institution apply for this award?
Yes. Each investigator may only submit one grant application, but there is no limit to how many applications an institution can submit.
Is there a minimum, or maximum, number of PIs for this grant?
Yes, these are individual awards.  But collaborators who contribute to the project are encouraged.  Letters of support should be included for key collaborators.
Are PIs working in European, or other non-US based institutions, eligible for this award?
Yes. All institutions are eligible.
Can I budget for indirect costs?
Yes, you can budget up to 10% for indirect costs
Can I budget for animal supplies?
Should I use the NIH salary cap when budgeting for salary support?
Yes. For 2017, the NIH Salary Cap is $187,000.
Can I have an extension on the due date?
No. Applications submitted after the due date will not be considered.
The completed application must be received before the deadline of 11:59 pm ET on April 1, 2018Must include BioSketch/CV, Letter of Support and Budget FormSubmit to fellowshipapplications@cholangiocarcinoma.org
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