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Research We Fund: Extramural Discovery Science (EDS)

We are the research-funding arm of the American Cancer Society (ACS).

Our grants fund high-impact and innovative cancer research conducted by hundreds of promising scientists and health care professionals - primarily early in their careers - at institutions across the United States. 

The funds that we use to support research grants are possible because of generous donations to the ACS.

New ACS Professorship

Attention Leaders in Prostate Cancer Research

See The ACS-IMPACT Research Professor Grant

We Fund All Types of Cancer Research

In the lab . . . technologies and treatments . . . health services . . . population science.  . . access to care and health equity . . . in the clinic . . .


microbiology research abstract concept background

Studies Selected for Funding

We support independent investigators and offer mentored awards. Our funds support institutions, professors, and early-career scientists. We keep raising the bar with requests for applications (RFAs) for focused and pivotal topics. 

The ACS determines which studies to fund based on an extensive peer review process led by renowned medical professionals, research scholars, and stakeholders volunteering their time. 

It’s very exciting, as we fund studies that will increase our understanding of genetics and cancer risk and explore better ways to find, treat, and survive cancer, focusing on equity and optimizing quality of life for cancer survivors.”

William Dahut, MD

Chief Scientific Officer, Discovery Science

Bill Dahut

Bill Dahut, MD

Why Apply for an ACS Grant?

ACS and the EDS team have learned the value of investing in early-career investigators, allowing cancer researchers to share ideas and collaborate, and supporting post-docs. Here are examples of the extra value grantees get when they're awarded an ACS grant. 

Investing in Research Pays Off

See how. Check out easy-to-understand summaries of recent studies, including ones published by ACS grantees.


Bald Girl Hugging paper

Our Mission

As the nation's largest private, not-for-profit source of funds for scientists studying cancer, the American Cancer Society and Extramural Discovery Science (EDS) is committed to maintaining a cancer research portfolio that includes any type of cancer across the cancer research continuum that's aligned with our research priorities.

Our Goal

Our research goal is simple — find answers that help save lives from cancer.

Our Strategy

Our strategy for funding research is just as straightforward — fund the most innovative cancer research. In fact, we've helped make possible many of the major cancer research breakthroughs.

Our Priority

Our priority focus on health equity places special emphasis on addressing the social determinants of health that drive cancer health disparities and on funding innovative solution-based health equity research.

The EDS team facilitates the evaluation of grant applications by external and independent reviewers and manages the grant portfolios, providing appropriate oversight and stewardship of donors’ investments in cancer research. 

Some grantee projects are spotlighted here on in Research News and in ACS Research Highlights. We strongly encourage all ACS grantees to share their data freely and rapidly with systems that are open to the public to maximize value to cancer patients. 

Glossary for Nonscientists

Featured Term:
Discovery Research

Experiments with genes, cells, animals, or people to find a new or improved understanding of an action, health behavior, process, technique, technology, or model to improve care.

I was on the verge of shutting down my laboratory. In a career-changing move for me, the American Cancer Society funded my first grant.

Dr. Gary Hammer, MD, PhD

American Cancer Society Grantee