News Releases

Ludwig Cancer Research launches Leadership Fellows Program

OCTOBER 17, 2023, NEW YORK – It is with great pleasure that Ludwig Cancer Research announces its launch of the Ludwig Leadership Fellows Program.

Conceived, funded and managed by the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, the Program aims to accelerate the careers of exceptional young scientists by helping them establish genuinely independent programs of research immediately after the completion of their graduate studies.

“Our hope is that the Leadership Fellows program will contribute to a pipeline of outstanding future leaders of cancer research,” said Chi Van Dang, scientific director of the Ludwig Institute. “We and many others have grown increasingly alarmed by the growing loss of young talent from academic science, a trend that threatens to compromise the advancement of cancer research just as the convergence of multiple scientific disciplines on the field is revolutionizing not only our understanding of the origins and progression of cancers but our ability to diagnose and treat them as well.”

The efflux of talent from biomedical research—which has been exacerbated by the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic—has many causes. Among the most prominent are the uncertain prospects of securing long-term, stable funding for research and the extended period of training that typically precedes the launch of an independent research career. These challenges, which often arise as young researchers are starting families and in need of professional and financial stability, discourage otherwise bright and engaged scientists from pursuing careers in academic research.

The Program addresses these issues by allotting Leadership Fellows their own laboratory space at one of three Branches of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research—Ludwig Princeton, Ludwig Oxford or Ludwig Lausanne—along with the resources required to conduct an independent program of research.

Specifically, Fellows will receive up to five years of support, including the equivalent of up to $350,000 per year for research or laboratory expenses and salary for the Fellow plus the equivalent of one full-time employee. Additionally, a total equivalent of $150K for equipment will be available to each Fellow, who will also have full access to all state-of-the-art equipment at the Branches.

Leadership Fellows will be formally reviewed at the end of the third year, with continued participation in the fellowship contingent upon a successful review. Those who leave after three years in the Program will be offered bridge funding to ease their transition to new positions. After the full five years, successful Fellows may be offered a position at the Branch on a Member track or in some other capacity.

“Each of the Fellows will also benefit from the guidance of a mentoring committee that will provide invaluable advice not only on their scientific aims but on the management of their careers,” said Dang. “We want this program to offer not only the material resources but also the intellectual and professional support—and mentorship—indispensable to a successful scientific career.”

Applications to the Ludwig Leadership Fellows Program and a complete description of terms and requirements are available here on the Ludwig Cancer Research website.


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