Rita Allen Foundation Scholars Program*

PSOM Limited Application - Rita Allen Foundation Scholars Award program

To:           All Faculty Members

From:      Jon Lindstrom, PhD - Chair, PSOM Limited Applications Committee 

Subject:   2021 Rita Allen Foundation Scholars Award Program


Date:        July 2, 2020

The University has been invited to submit one nomination for the 2021 Rita Allen Foundation Scholars Award Program. The Office of the Vice Provost for Research (OVPR) is coordinating the final applicant review and selection process. Each school within the University may submit one nomination to OVPR.

The Rita Allen Foundation Scholars program supports basic biomedical research in the fields of cancer, neuroscience and immunology. The program concentrates on young leaders in bio-medical research who are advancing the understanding of the human condition. The program embraces innovative research with above average risk and groundbreaking possibilities.


  • 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 Rita Allen Scientific Advisory Committee.)
    • Associate professors should not be candidates.
    • Candidates must have received committed start-up funds from their

                                  respective institutions.

  • Candidates must have lab space from their institutions.
    • Note: Candidates nominated by the university in previous years should not be re-nominated.

Award Amount:

  • $110,000 annually for up to 5 years
  • Entire grant is for project expenses, including up to 50% of the Scholar’s compensation
  • No overhead is provided

Note:  Rita Allen Foundation Scholars may not accept an award from the Beckman Young Investigator Program, Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences, Searle Scholars Program or Vallee Scholars Program that would take effect beginning in year one 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. Other sources of funding also may influence selection.

For FAQ and a list of all previous Scholars please go to the following link: http://ritaallen.org/scholars/

PSOM Limited Applications Committee Review and Selection Process:

Candidates must submit the following in their application:

  • A cover sheet with nominee’s name, department, telephone number, address, and e-mail address, and date of appointment to tenure track position and title of proposal.
  • Letter of support from department chair or division chief; Letter should confirm that start-up funds and lab space were provided to the candidate.
  • A research proposal (no longer than two pages, references not included in two page limit). Explain how this proposal differs from or relates to the candidate’s other supported projects.
  • CV including current, past, and pending funding, with award amounts.

Submission should be in a single pdf file in the following order:  cover sheet, letter of nomination, research proposal, CV. The pdf document should be titled as follows: RitaAllen__InvestigatorSurname_Investigator first name. For example: RitaAllen _Doe_Jane.pdf. 

Proposals must be submitted to Connie Weinstein at clw@pennmedicine [at] upenn.edu by 9:00 AM, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020.

Questions can be directed to Connie Weinstein at clw@pennmedicine [at] upenn.edu.

Please send any questions to clw [at] pennmedicine.upenn.edu