Pelotonia Fellowship Program Overview

Students from any discipline and level of scholarship at Ohio State who want to conduct cancer research with faculty mentors can receive the funding boost they need to get started through the Pelotonia Fellowship Program.

Since the program began in 2010, it has received $11 million in Pelotonia funds to support the award of 353 student fellowship grants to 154 undergraduates, 98 graduates, four medical students, 69 postdoctoral fellows and 28 international scholars who likely would have received no other funding opportunities.

“External grants are very hard to come by, especially for students,” says OSUCCC Director and James CEO Michael A. Caligiuri, MD, “so it’s important for us to fund the next generation of promising young cancer researchers and maintain our momentum toward ending this disease.”

In its most recent allocation (spring of 2015), the program awarded 55 new fellowships to students, including 25 undergraduates, 21 graduates, two postdoctoral fellows and seven international scholars, bringing the six-year total to 353.

A 46-member committee containing some of Ohio State’s top cancer researchers reviews all Pelotonia fellowship applications and issues the awards. The committee is chaired by Fellowship Program Director Gustavo Leone, PhD, a professor in Ohio State’s Department of Molecular Virology, Immunology and Medical Genetics, and associate director for basic research at the OSUCCC – James. Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, PhD, a Distinguished University Professor in Ohio State’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, and a member of the Cancer Control Program at the OSUCCC – James, is co-chair.

Leone says fellowship award decisions are based on quality of applications rather than a set number to be issued each year. “This program is truly multidisciplinary,” he adds. “We have awarded fellowships to students working with mentors in 10 colleges and 48 departments at Ohio State, and also from applicants at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.”

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