Research FAQs

About Gateway

Founded in 1991 by Mr. Richard J Stephenson, Gateway for Cancer Research has raised more than $90 million to fund more than 190 cutting-edge clinical trials around the world. This nonprofit organization spends 99 cents of every dollar received from public contributions to fund these trials, due to the generous underwriting by the Stephenson family, which has changed the course of life and hope for over 9,000 cancer patients. Mr. Richard J Stephenson is Chairman of the Gateway Board of Directors, and his wife Dr. Stacie J. Stephenson serves as Vice Chair.

What kind of research does Gateway for Cancer Research fund?
Gateway funds Phase I and II patient-centered cancer clinical trials that have the potential to shift the paradigm for standard of care. We strive to fund treatment-based studies at the bedside, including all types of cancers. We advance our mission by funding early phase clinical trials focusing on the following priority research areas:

  • Biomarkers/Molecular Markers (genomic or proteomic)
  • Gene Therapy
  • Histology Agnostic/Basket Trial
  • Immunotherapy
  • Targeted Therapies

Our focus is on the following therapeutic areas:

  • New Investigational Therapies
  • Novel Use or Approach
  • Precision Medicine
  • Integrative Medicine

We seek to bring urgency to the process of cancer research for those patients who are looking for treatments today and are faced with difficult decisions without innovative life-saving options.  Gateway will place increasing emphasis on funding patient centered and novel research that includes approaches with a high potential for success.

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What kind of research does Gateway for Cancer Research NOT fund?
Gateway does not fund any of the following:

  • Institutional overhead (indirect costs)
  • Consultant fees, capital equipment, and computer hardware or software, unless specified in the original Application and approved by Gateway
  • Travel costs, unless approved by Gateway
  • Basic laboratory research
  • Pre-clinical animal research
  • Early prevention or early detection studies
  • Device testing studies
  • Retrospective, translational, or non-interventional studies
  • Educational studies
  • Comparative effectiveness research (CER) studies
  • Dose-ranging pharmacokinetics that do not include clinical efficacy measures

Correlative studies using human bio specimens may be considered if:

  • It directly leads to or supports the clinical trial in the grant application.
  • It is used to interrogate the tissues of patients within the clinical trial of the grant application, to understand actual patient response or toxicities experienced to inform future work.

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What are the current programs funded by Gateway for Cancer Research?
Gateway has a variety of core research programs that enable the organization to have a broad impact on early phase cancer research, including the following:

Gateway Traditional Grant Program

Core grants funding early phase clinical trials for cancers of all types at renowned institutions around the world. These grants are typically 2-5 years in duration with award amounts from $200,000 to $1.5 million.


Applicants can apply directly through Gateway’s grant management system via the link below.

GFCR Grant Program


Decentralized Clinical Trial Initiative

In May 2020, a new grant program funding research leveraging site-less, technology-informed trials was launched, with the objective of bringing clinical trials directly to patients’ doorsteps.

Applicants can apply directly through Gateway’s grant management system via the link below.

GFCR decentralized DCTI Grant Program


Discovery Grant Program

Established through a scientific partnership with Conquer Cancer®, the ASCO Foundation, this prestigious grant funds a compelling area of inquiry with a $1.5 million grant awarded every two years.


Letter of Intent (LOIs)  are accepted the year prior to the award year.  Currently, we are accepting LOIs through August 16, 2021 for the 2022 Discovery Grant Award.  The theme for this cycle is cancer health disparities. LOIs may be submitted at ASCO, Conquer Cancer and Gateway are working collaboratively to orchestrate peer review of both the LOIs and Full Grant Applications (FGAs). Once the slate of FGAs is submitted to Gateway, our Board of Directors will have the final approval. 


Application Deadline: August 16, 2021

Award Term: July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2027


Integrative Research

Gateway is focused on funding integrative oncology research that pairs conventional therapies with evidence-based complementary therapies to manage symptoms and side effects from treatment. This also aims to increase quality of life, especially post-treatment.


Applicants can apply directly through Gateway’s grant management system. GFCR Integrative Program


We are encouraged by our new partnership with the Society for Integrative Oncology (SIO).

Society for Integrative Oncology (SIO)

To bring the most promising patient-centered, integrative oncology research proposals forward, Gateway is partnering with SIO to support integrative clinical trials conducted by principal investigators and institutions among its membership. SIO’s mission is to advance evidence-based, comprehensive, integrative healthcare to improve the lives of people affected by cancer.

Applicants can apply directly through Gateway’s grant management system. SIO Integrative Program

National Cancer Institute (NCI)/Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE)/ P20 Program


Gateway is partnering with the NCI seeking proposals from SPORE and P20 awardees that could enable principal investigators and their respective institutions to expand their trial by adding an additional arm, new patient cohorts to an existing trial and/or generate new correlative analysis. This grant program will support translational research through clinical trials conducted by institutions that receive NCI SPORE awards. Gateway will issue grant awards based on an application and review process that Gateway conducts and controls.


Applicants can apply directly through Gateway’s grant management system.



Gateway Concierge


Our organization has a substantial fundraising infrastructure in place that we invite you to leverage. This program is tailored to the individual interests and passions of high-net-worth philanthropists, empowering donors to make a substantial impact in cancer care by directly supporting transformational clinical trials.

In short, we would be happy to work with you to catalyze additional philanthropic support for your specific research project through Gateway’s Concierge program.


If this is an opportunity you’d like to explore, please contact Jessica Cestone, Executive Director, Gateway Concierge,


Rising Tide Portfolio


Gateway provides scientific review and post-award grant management services for this Switzerland-based foundation.


Please contact us via email to apply for a Rising Tide Foundation grant.


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How does Gateway for Cancer Research fund cancer research projects?
Grants are generally awarded for a 2-5 year period, with total award amounts generally ranging from $200,000 to $1.5 million.

Gateway uses a “pay-per-patient” model for grant payments based upon patient enrollment in the study. To facilitate start-up, Gateway provides 20% of the grant as seed money at initiation of a trial after the successful completion of the grantee checklist. The principal investigator must then demonstrate patient impact through semi-annual reporting, which triggers subsequent payments.


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Who is eligible to apply for Gateway’s grant funding?
Any investigator who is ready to conduct a novel clinical trial in cancer research—one which will have an immediate impact on cancer patients—may apply for funding. An investigator-initiated application from any academic, non-profit or for-profit organization, institution, or medical center is welcome. The principal investigator will be required to submit a bio-sketch illustrating their work as a clinician and/or researcher.

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What is Gateway’s grant approval process?
The grant award process begins with the submission of a Letter of Intent (LOI) from a research scientist seeking funding for a clinical trial through the secure grants management system portal on Gateway’s website. The Research and Grants Committee reviews and assigns a score to each LOI based on the scientific rigor of the proposed research and alignment with Gateway’s mission. If the Committee approves the LOI, a researcher is then invited to submit a Full Grant Application (FGA). The FGA is similarly reviewed and scored by the Research and Grants Committee. If the Research and Grants Committee approves the FGA, it is presented to the Gateway Board of Directors for final fiduciary approval.


The application process is rolling and aggregated four times a year.

Approval Process


  • Letter of Intent (LOI) submission – As part of a Letter of Intent (LOI), researchers answer basic questions about fit with Gateway’s mission and funding criteria, and provide contact information, high level information related to the proposed project, a concise summary of the study rationale, current standard of care, an overview of specific aims/objectives, and proposed research design/approach. LOIs are pre-generated/templated applications and must be submitted before the deadline listed in the portal to be reviewed in upcoming cycle.
  • LOI review – LOIs are assigned to scientists and patient advocates on Gateway’s Research and Grants Committee for peer review. The LOIs are reviewed within seven days after the LOI deadline has passed.
  • Full Grant invitation to submit – Applicants who demonstrate that their project is in line with Gateway’s mission and are approved by the peer reviewers are invited to submit a Full Grant Application (FGA). Applicants will be given 4-5 weeks to complete a full grant application.
  • Full Grant review – Once the FGA is submitted to Gateway, each application is reviewed by the full Research and Grants Committee at a convened meeting and given a score per the NIH scoring model to indicate funding priority. The most promising grants are presented to Gateway’s Board of Directors.
  • Final approval – Gateway’s Board of Directors reviews the promising grants and determines final fiduciary approval of grant awards.

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What is the role of Gateway’s Research and Grants Committee?
The Research and Grants Committee is comprised of MDs, DOs, PhDs, NDs, patient advocates, and biostatisticians from cancer institutions and organizations around the world. The committee reviews both inbound LOIs and FGAs, providing scoring (based on the NIH model) and commentary.  These are used to create the slate of candidate grantees presented to the Board of Directors for final fiduciary approval.  Should an application not score within the fundable window, the commentary is shared with the prospective grantee as feedback to assist in the resubmission process. The committee also acts as an advocate and driving force for connecting Gateway with like-minded partners in the field.

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How do I apply for a grant to become a researcher for Gateway?
Please visit our grant management system portal and review the programs offered.  If you feel you would qualify, create an account and proceed accordingly based on your area of interest.

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Is there a cap on the awards granted by Gateway?
While Gateway does not cap any of its cancer research grant awards, Gateway typically funds research studies with a budget estimate in the range of $200,000 to $1.5 million. Applicants should apply for the amount they believe is needed to conduct their clinical trial. Gateway does require supporting documentation for budgets, as well as semi-annual progress and financial reports throughout the life of the grant.

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How many years is the Grant Application for?
While Gateway does not have a maximum term for a grant, Gateway typically funds research with study periods in the range of 2-5 years. Applicants should apply for the amount of time they feel is necessary to successfully complete the research study.

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How are grants managed by Gateway once approved? 
Once approved you will receive an Award Package including an award letter, financial snapshot and terms and conditions.  Gateway will work with your general counsel to execute all documents.  You will then use Gateway’s grant management system to submit all required documents to fully activate the project. This is used to manage all post-award activity including semi-annual reporting and financial grant tracking.

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Once my grant is approved for funding, what triggers a payment?
Unlike many other foundations, Gateway uses a “pay-per-patient” method for grant payments based upon targeted patient accrual in the study. In order to facilitate start-up, Gateway provides 20% of the grant as seed money at the beginning of the trial once the grantee checklist is completed. After that, patient impact must be demonstrated through semi-annual reports in order to trigger the next payment. After the expenditure of the first approved bucket of funding, Gateway will review the semi-annual reports submitted by the grantee in order to determine whether the research project merits further funding. 

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Fund One Day

It costs just $19.62 per patient per day in a Gateway-funded cancer clinical trial.

Help us fund another day of research, another week or more. You can even mark your gift with a special date, such as an anniversary, birthday, wedding, bar/bat mitzvah or graduation.