The BCRP Distinguished Investigator Award enables established visionary leaders from any field to pursue innovative ideas that could accelerate progress toward ending breast cancer. These individuals should be exceptionally talented researchers who have shown that they are leaders in their field(s) through extraordinary creativity, vision, and productivity. The Principal Investigator (PI) is expected to have a renowned reputation as a researcher who has made groundbreaking contributions to advancing his/her field. He/she should have demonstrated success at forming and leading effective partnerships and collaborations. Through his/her distinguished record of research and leadership, the PI should demonstrate the potential to make unique and significant advances in breast cancer. The central feature of the Distinguished Investigator Award is that the PI must propose research that is a fundamental shift from his/her track record of research and addresses one or more BCRP overarching challenge(s). Proposals that are a continuation or incremental change from the PI’s published line of research do not meet the intent of this award. High-risk/high-reward proposals with limited preliminary data are welcomed, but not required. All applications must include a well-formulated, testable hypothesis based on strong scientific rationale. Experience in breast cancer research is not required; however, the application must focus on breast cancer. Individuals from other disciplines who will apply novel concepts to breast cancer are encouraged to submit. The PI is expected to assemble a research team that will provide the necessary expertise and collaborative efforts toward accomplishing the research goals. If the PI does not have experience in breast cancer, inclusion of at least one collaborator with breast cancer expertise on the research team is required. The PI’s research team must also include two or more breast cancer consumer advocates. As lay representatives, the consumer advocates must be individuals who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and are actively involved in a breast cancer advocacy organization. Their role should be independent of their employment, and they cannot be employees of any of the organizations participating in the application. The consumer advocates should have a high level of knowledge of current breast cancer issues and the necessary background or training in breast cancer research to contribute to the project. Their role should be focused on providing objective input on the research and its potential impact for individuals with, or at risk for, breast cancer.
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