AHEAD (Advancing Health Equity and Addressing Cancer Disparities) Awards

American Cancer Society
Application Due Date
Brief Description


In this era of precision oncology, sophisticated technologies (including ’omic-based risk assessment, multi-cancer early-detection tests, and advancements in targeted and immune therapies) continue to drive progress against cancer. However, many people across the United States who need more personalized care are not benefiting from these innovations.

As the ACS boldly strives to end cancer as we know it for everyone, we recognize that a truly transformational impact on health equity in oncology requires investing in early-stage, and perhaps unconventional, approaches for meeting people where they live.

The spirit of our AHEAD Awards highly aligns with the Cancer Moonshot goal—to make the cancer experience less burdensome for patients and their families and caregivers. This special funding opportunity was inspired, in part, by successes made during the COVID-19 pandemic to pivot the delivery of medical care away from major health centers into communities and even the comforts of home. The COVID-19 pandemic also highlighted the value of facilitating home care in innovative ways, especially for immunocompromised cancer patients and other vulnerable populations. 


AHEAD Awards will fund exploratory, novel research studies that seek to improve access to quality cancer screening and/or cancer care by bringing technologies to individuals rather than requiring travel to health care facilities. A scientist’s proposed research may break new ground or strategize a new application of existing technologies or new intervention. We encourage the testing of high-risk, high-reward pilot projects to maximize the likelihood for breakthrough research and clinical impact.

Examples of possible research areas:

  • Digital technologies to democratize clinical trials
  • Biometrics and wearables
  • Remote imaging and at-home testing
  • Novel strategies for telehealth
  • Remote and at-home cancer screening
  • Innovative modes of delivering at-home care


The principal investigator must:

  • Have a doctoral degree
  • Work at a US academic institution or eligible non-profit organization
  • Have an independent faculty appointment (or equivalent position)

Each award is for 2 years with $125,000 direct costs each year plus 20% allowable indirect costs, for a total amount of up to $300,000.

All application materials are located on proposalCENTRAL under the ACS Discovery Boost Grant funding mechanism.