petri dish

Hold’em for Life Early Career Professorships in Cancer Research

Acknowledging that starting a career as a clinician scientist has become increasingly challenging with limited opportunities, these professorships are designed to launch and provide some initial support for early career researchers. 

The Office of the Vice Dean, Research and Health Science Education at the Temerty Faculty of Medicine aims to support early career clinician-scientists as a top priority. We are pleased to launch the search for at least one Hold’em for Life Early Career Professorship in Cancer Research that provides resources to support the research activity and career trajectory of new clinician scientists, clinician investigators, and quality & innovation clinicians (within the first 5 years of academic appointment) to enhance innovation in academic medicine.

Each professorship valued at $225,000 ($75,000 per year for 3 years), will be awarded to a clinical faculty member focused on various aspects of Cancer Research that holds a full-time academic appointment in Temerty Medicine.

These early career professorships have been possible because of the generous donation offered by Hold’em for Life. Founded in 2006, Hold’em for Life is an entirely volunteer run non-profit organization raising funds for cancer research. In 2019, Hold’em for Life made a generous and transformative donation to cancer research and education – establishing the Hold’em for Life Oncology Fellowships – at the University of Toronto’s Temerty Faculty of Medicine and our partner hospitals. Since then, 138 fellowships have been awarded to clinician scientist trainees. With this new gift, Hold’em for Life is further investing in the clinician scientist talent pipeline, supporting those early in their independent careers and academic appointment.

The Temerty Faculty of Medicine is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes awards applications from racialized persons/persons of colour, women, Indigenous/Aboriginal People of North America, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ2S+ persons, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas.


To support the career trajectory and research activities of early-career clinician-scientists by protecting time and adding resources to help achieve success in academic medicine in the area of Cancer Research.

Value and Duration

Each professorship is valued at $225,000 for a 3-year term ($75,000 per annum) effective July 1, 2024. The number of professorships available will be confirmed prior to the NOI deadline.

There is at least one professorship available for the July 1, 2024 start date.

Eligibility Criteria

Early Career Clinician-Scientists, as well as Clinical Investigators and QIs, focusing on all areas of cancer research from basic-science to various aspects of preclinical/clinical research and knowledge translation are welcome to apply.

Full time clinical faculty members with an academic position description of Clinician Scientist, Clinical Investigators and QIs, at the minimum rank of Assistant Professor within the first 5 years of their academic appointment. Applicants with confirmed offered positions and full-time academic appointment in Temerty Faculty of Medicine can also apply. 

Applicants who are more than 5 years from their first appointment, but experienced career breaks, such as maternity, parental or extended sick leave, clinical training, etc., may have their eligibility assessed by the review committee. At the NOI stage, please provide a brief statement and timeline explaining any disruptions.

Notice of Intent (NOI) and Application Due Dates

  1. Notice of Intent: November 27, 2023
    1. Please complete the web form and submit a well-formatted CV of your choice to with "Hold'em for Life" in the subject line.
  2. Applications due: January 29, 2024
  3. Decisions made: April, 2024
  4. Funding Start date; July 1, 2024

Full Application Details

Completed applications should be emailed to Joanna King by 5pm on Monday, January 29th, 2024.

  1. Application cover sheet
  2.  Research Summary
    • Include a one-page research statement that describes how your program supports or plans to advance Cancer Research. Include the following:
      • The title of the proposal.
      • The broad goal(s) of the proposed research.
      • A brief statement of relevant background information and/or rationale for the proposed research.
      • The specific research aims with a brief overview of the methodology that will be used to address each of the aims.
      • The nature of the core expertise being brought together to address the proposed research. Information may include your important collaborations, within or outside of the research community that will be accessed to achieve the outlined research goals.
      • Expected outcomes of the proposed research that highlight the significance or potential impact of the proposed research. Explain how the research will advance knowledge and/or improve health care, health systems and/or health outcomes, in the context of the disease.

3. Detailed Research Proposal (3-4 pages)

  • Provide a detailed narrative of your research plan. Describe the research concept and focus on the originality. Highlight the research approach and how the expertise would allow you to be successful. Highlight how findings would move towards understanding of the disease and identifying relevant therapies, potential impact on graduate/fellow supervision/training and mentorship. Include the following sections: Introduction, Proposed research program, Significance and innovation, Translation strategy. 

4. List of top 5 publications or scholarly outputs (1 page)

  • List your top 5 publications or comparable scholarly outputs in order of significance/impact. These must be completed and published. Works in progress or under review will not be considered. 
  • You may include a brief description to highlight the importance of the selected publications.

 5. Well-formatted CV 

  • Include a copy of your up-to-date CV, tailored to your clinical research achievements (Maximum 30 pgs).

Review Process

A committee Chaired by the Director of Clinical Research and Translation will review the submitted applications. Reviewers will be asked to identify all areas of conflicts of interest before being selected to review applications. Top candidates will be recommended for professorship appointment to the Dean of Temerty Faculty of Medicine.  

Administration and Reporting

Funds can be offered to the awardees as a stipend to the winner, a research allowance towards their research program or a combination of the two.

The successful applicant will submit an annual report to the Director of Clinical Research and Translation before the anniversary end date of the award.

For questions related to this opportunity, please contact Joanna King