Ovarian Cancer SPORE Grant Career Development Program and Developmental Research Program

The Mayo Clinic Ovarian Cancer SPORE's Career Development Program and Development Research Program explore novel and important themes and observations from clinical practice requiring laboratory investigation and from laboratory knowledge requiring clinical research. These programs facilitate translational research at Mayo Clinic through critical review of Ovarian Cancer SPORE projects, scientific cores, developmental projects and mentorship of young laboratory and clinical investigators.

Career Development Program

Director: William A. Cliby, M.D.

A crucial component of the Mayo Clinic SPORE in ovarian cancer is increasing the quality and depth of the translational investigator base in ovarian cancer. The Career Development Program within the Ovarian Cancer SPORE identifies and mentors new and upcoming investigators in ovarian cancer who demonstrate the clear potential to become independent translational researchers. It also attracts established scientists who want to refocus on ovarian cancer. Emphasis is placed on attracting highly qualified individuals often under-represented in medicine, including minorities and women.

Career Development Program awardees are chosen after a rigorous review of the most talented and promising candidates. Once selected, the awardees are provided with intense mentoring and integration into ongoing Ovarian Cancer SPORE activities. In addition to having a primary mentor, awardees also have complementary mentors in clinical, basic or population sciences to help ensure successful development of a translational research career. This mentorship capitalizes on numerous strengths present within the Mayo Clinic environment. The Career Development Program maintains close oversight of the mentoring activities and the progress of the awardees.

Developmental Research Program

Director: Scott H. Kaufmann, M.D., Ph.D.

The Developmental Research Program in the Mayo Clinic SPORE in ovarian cancer supports innovative, scientifically sound research projects from which findings can be translated into clinically relevant interventions that will reduce the burden of ovarian cancer.

The Developmental Research Program:

  • Fosters innovative laboratory, population and clinical study proposals that have strong translational potential
  • Encourages and supports interdisciplinary collaboration in translational research in ovarian cancer
  • Generates new hypotheses that can be tested in larger scale research projects or in clinical trials of ovarian cancer

The Developmental Research Program provides $200,000 to support four meritorious projects annually ($100,000 from the SPORE and a matching $100,000 from Mayo Clinic). A second year of funding might be possible depending on a project's progress.

The Developmental Research Program uses a defined process to call for applications and to review submissions with the expertise of the Ovarian Cancer SPORE Grant's internal Scientific Advisory Committee and other experienced investigators as needed.

Criteria for selection of research projects for funding include:

  • The likelihood that the work will impact major challenges in ovarian cancer
  • Scientific merit
  • Originality
  • Translational potential
  • Qualifications of the key personnel
  • Interactivity

It is anticipated that support of pilot projects through this program will generate new hypotheses that can be addressed in existing SPORE-sponsored projects or through peer-reviewed external grant support.