Prize Description

The Pershing Square Sohn Prize for Young Investigators in Cancer Research provides early career, New York area scientists the freedom to take risks and pursue their boldest research at a stage when traditional funding is lacking.  Prize winners each receive $250,000 a year for up to three years. At least six grants are awarded annually.

The Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Alliance (PSSCRA) is dedicated to accelerating cures for cancer by advancing the pursuit of innovative cancer research and by facilitating collaborations between the science and business communities. PSSCRA seeks to guide philanthropic funds to feed critical scientific discoveries, attracting like-minded investors to the cause of fighting cancer and creating a pipeline for early-stage biomedical investments.

In addition to receiving funding, Prize winners are given access to a unique network and are invited to participate in select programs, including:

  • Facilitated partnerships with other researchers within and across institutions
  • Networking programs (including: collaborations/discussions amongst Prize winners and industry mentors, introductions to philanthropic and for-profit investors in the business community, and invitations to special industry networking and entrepreneurship events)
  • Annual retreat and symposium
  • Ability to present the best ideas at conferences and events (hosted by PSSCRA and other organizations)

Read about the 2023 Winners.


  • Discover and develop the next generation of innovation in cancer research.
  • Facilitate collaborations between early-career academic researchers, clinical researchers and pharmaceutical scientists. Most young investigators lack an understanding of the many steps required to translate great research into a great medicine: formulation, stability, delivery, clinical trial design, regulatory submission, manufacturing, supply chain and market analysis are just some of these steps.
  • Bridge the gap between academia, foundations, investors and pharmaceutical partners to create a generation of partners working for cures.
  • Strengthen the network around innovative life sciences in New York City.
  • Highlight the importance of innovation in academic research in New York City and eventually tie the innovation to the commercialization of life sciences in New York City.
  • Create a cohort of Pershing Square Sohn Prize winners that will benefit both from interaction with each other and with the business and philanthropic communities.
  • Focus on establishing New York as a biotech hub and facilitate the participation of many of New York’s great research leaders who would be unlikely to become involved and lend their names to our project if the scope was global at the start.
  • Spur industry collaboration by facilitating the conversations between our Prize winners and experts from industry and the business community to expose them to the factors beyond research that determine if a drug will ever be developed. While there is no IP transfer to pharma, nor a subsidy to pharma research, our Prize winners will have the unique opportunity to learn about how drugs are developed and make connections with these groups with the hope that pharma or biotech may license the researchers’ work and take it through the “valley of death” to drug development.
  • Celebrate scientists and generate excitement about the pursuit of research science as a career.

How to Apply