Brave Fellowship

What is the Brave Fellowship?

The Brave Like Gabe Foundation and Fred Hutch are dedicated to training a diverse group of world-class scientists. The Brave Fellowship was created in honor of Gabe Grunewald and part of an ongoing effort to support the work of post-doctoral researchers and graduate students engaged in rare cancer research who themselves have overcome barriers to pursue a research career.

This fellowship funds one post-doctoral fellow or graduate student for a period of one year. In line with the mission of the Brave Like Gabe Foundation, funding will ensure retention and help to foster a diverse community of scientists within rare cancer research. The 2022 fellowship application is closed.

How is the Brave Fellowship funded?

Gabe Grunewald taught many to be resilient, to be brave, to be hopeful. Brooks Running honored her spirit with the Brave Like Gabe special edition apparel collection designed in partnership with her family and friends. Now Brooks and the Brave Like Gabe Foundation have partnered with Fred Hutch to support the fellowship. 

Who was Gabe Grunewald?

Gabriele “Gabe” Grunewald was a professional American middle-distance runner who ran professionally for Brooks from 2010 until her passing in 2019. Throughout her 10-year battle with cancer, Gabe continued to compete and run professionally — using running as a tool to move through her cancer diagnosis. She also founded the Brave Like Gabe Foundation, which is focused on raising funds (and awareness) to support research and accelerate treatments for rare cancer patients.

Gabe’s positive spirit and love of the run were contagious—inspiring millions of people across the country. 

Fred Hutch's Dr. Abir Arfaoui, recipient of the 2021 Brave Fellowship, explains her work on fibrolamellar carcinoma, a rare and deadly liver cancer.

Video by Robert Hood / Fred Hutch News Service

Fellowship Funding Details

Funds may support salary, fringe, IDC, and tuition (for graduate students only) up to a total award amount of approximately $125,000. Fellow salary levels should at least meet the National Institutes of Health minimum for postdocs or current salary amount set by primary mentor or other sponsored funds. Awarded funds in excess of the above may be used to support other activities as approved by the foundation.

Eligibility Information

Who is eligible to apply?

Eligible applicants have an established relationship with a primary mentor based in one of the five scientific divisions within Fred Hutch. All self-identified underrepresented scientists are eligible and encouraged to apply. Specific eligible groups include but are not limited to: individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups; women and transgender scientists; individuals who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual; individuals with disabilities; non-US citizen international scientists; veterans; and individuals from other socially, culturally, economically, or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds that have inhibited their ability to pursue a career in health-related research. Eligibility is not limited to these general categories, however, and we recognize that individuals can be underrepresented specifically within their field or within Fred Hutch.

Postdoctoral Fellows

  • Applicants must have completed (and successfully defended, if applicable) one or more of the following degrees or its equivalent: M.D., Ph.D., M.D./Ph.D., D.D.S., DEV., D.O. 
  • Eligible applicants are current or to-be-hired Fred Hutch postdoctoral researchers
  • Applicants must have fewer than four years total experience as a postdoc
  • Foreign nationals are eligible to apply

Graduate Students

  • Applicants must be completing their Ph.D. dissertation work with a faculty member whose primary appointment is at the Fred Hutch
  • Applicants must be in the 2nd year of their Ph.D. program or beyond
  • Foreign nationals are eligible to apply

How do I confirm that my area of research is considered a rare cancer?

Rare cancers are defined by the United States National Cancer Institute (NCI) as those with an incidence of fewer than 15 per 100,000 people per year. Rare cancers account for approximately one quarter of all cancers diagnosed each year in the United States and Europe. Based on the traditional, organ-based classification of cancers, only 11 cancers would not be considered rare based on the US NCI’s definition: prostate, breast, lung, colon, uterus, bladder, melanoma, rectum, ovary, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and kidney. However, a growing number of rare subtypes of these “common” cancers are being identified, and some of these subtypes share molecular alterations with cancers originating in different organs.

View list of eligible areas of research


5q- syndrome
Acinic cell carcinoma
Acral lentiginous melanoma Acromegaly
ACTH-secreting pituitary adenoma 
Acute erythroid leukemia
Acute leukemia of ambiguous lineage 
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia congenital sporadic aniridia 
Acute megakaryoblastic leukemia
Acute monoblastic leukemia
Acute myeloblastic leukemia with maturation 
Acute myeloblastic leukemia without maturation
Acute myeloid leukemia with abnormal bone marrow eosinophils inv(16)(p13q22) or t(16;16)(p13;q22) 
Acute myeloid leukemia with inv3(p21;q26.2) or t(3;3)(p21;q26.2)
Acute myelomonocytic leukemia 
Acute non lymphoblastic leukemia 
Acute panmyelosis with myelofibrosis 
Acute promyelocytic leukemia 
Adenocarcinoid tumor 
Adenocarcinoma of the appendix 
Adenoid cystic carcinoma 
Adenosarcoma of the uterus
Adrenal cancer
Adrenal medulla cancer 
Adrenocortical carcinoma 
Aggressive NK cell leukemia 
Aicardi syndrome
Alveolar soft part sarcoma 
Ameloblastic carcinoma
AML with myelodysplasia-related features 
Anal cancer
Anaplastic astrocytoma 
Anaplastic ependymoma 
Anaplastic ganglioglioma 
Anaplastic large cell lymphoma 
Anaplastic oligoastrocytoma 
Anaplastic oligodendroglioma 
Anaplastic plasmacytoma 
Anaplastic small cell lymphoma 
Anaplastic thyroid cancer
Angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma 
Angioma hereditary neurocutaneous 
Angioma serpiginosum
Angiosarcoma of the breast
Angiosarcoma of the liver 
Angiosarcoma of the scalp 
Ataxia telangiectasia 
Atrial myxoma, familial
Autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome 
B cell prolymphocytic leukemia
B-cell lymphoma
Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba syndrome 
Basal cell carcinoma, infundibulocystic 
Basal cell carcinoma, multiple
Bazex-Dupre-Christol syndrome 
Becker nevus syndrome
Bednar tumor
Benign metastasizing leiomyoma
Benign multicystic peritoneal mesothelioma 
Bile duct cancer
Biliary tract cancer
Birt-Hogg-Dube syndrome
Blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell 
Bloom syndrome
Blue rubber bleb nevus syndrome 
Bowen's disease
Brain stem cancer 
Brain tumor, adult 
Brain tumor, childhood
BRCA1 hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome 
BRCA2 hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome 
Breast cancer, male
Brenner tumor of ovary 
Brenner tumor of the vagina
Bronchial adenomas/carcinoids childhood 
Burkitt lymphoma
Buschke-Lowenstein tumor 
Carcinoid syndrome 
Carcinoid tumor
Carcinoid tumor childhood 
Carcinoma of the vocal tract 
Carney complex
Carney triad 
Carotid body tumor
Cartilaginous cancer 
CDK4 linked melanoma
Central nervous system germinoma 
Central neurocytoma
Cerebellar astrocytoma, childhood 
Cerebellar liponeurocytoma 
Cerebral astrocytoma, childhood 
Cerebral sarcoma
Cerebral ventricle cancer
Cerebro-oculo-facio-skeletal syndrome
Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 
CHILD syndrome
Childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia 
Childhood brain stem glioma
Childhood hepatocellular carcinoma
Childhood Supratentorial Embryonal Tumor, Not Otherwise Specified 
Chordoid glioma of the third ventricle 
Choroid plexus carcinoma 
Choroid plexus papilloma 
Chromophil renal cell carcinoma 
Chromophobe renal cell carcinoma 
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia 
Chronic myeloid leukemia
Chronic myelomonocytic leukemia 
Chronic myeloproliferative disorders 
Chronic neutrophilic leukemia
Clear cell renal cell carcinoma 
CLOVES syndrome 
Cockayne syndrome type I 
Cockayne syndrome type II 
Cockayne syndrome type III 
Collecting duct carcinoma
Common variable immunodeficiency 
Costello syndrome
Cowden syndrome 
Cronkhite-Canada disease 
Cutaneous mastocytoma 
Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma
Deafness-lymphedema-leukemia syndrome 
Dendritic cell tumor
Denys-Drash syndrome 
Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans 
Desmoid tumor
Desmoplastic infantile astrocytoma 
Desmoplastic infantile ganglioglioma 
Desmoplastic small round cell tumor 
Diamond-Blackfan anemia
Diaphyseal medullary stenosis with malignant fibrous histiocytoma 
Diffuse astrocytoma
Diffuse cavernous hemangioma of the rectum 
Diffuse gastric cancer
Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma 
Digestive System Melanoma 
Disseminated peritoneal leiomyomatosis 
Dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumor 
Dyskeratosis congenita
Dyskeratosis congenita autosomal dominant
Dyskeratosis congenita autosomal recessive 
Dyskeratosis congenita X-linked
Eccrine mucinous carcinoma
Eccrine porocarcinoma 
Embryonal carcinoma 
Embryonal sarcoma
Embryonal tumor with multilayered rosettes 
Endemic Kaposi sarcoma 
Endometrial stromal sarcoma
Enteropathy-associated T-cell lymphoma 
Epithelial-myoepithelial carcinoma 
Esophageal cancer
Essential thrombocythemia 
Ewing sarcoma
Extragonadal germ cell tumor 
Extramammary Paget disease 
Fallopian tube cancer
Familial adenomatous polyposis
Familial breast cancer - Not a rare disease
Familial colorectal cancer
Familial hyperaldosteronism type 2 
Familial pancreatic cancer
Familial platelet disorder with associated myeloid malignancy 
Familial prostate cancer
Familial Wilms tumor 2 
Fanconi anemia 
Fibrolamellar carcinoma 
Follicular lymphoma 
Frasier syndrome
Functioning pancreatic endocrine tumor 
Gallbladder cancer
Gardner syndrome 
Gastric lymphoma
Gastric Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
Gastro-enteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumor 
Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors
Giant cell tumor of bone 
Giant congenital nevus
Glassy cell carcinoma of the cervix 
Glomus jugulare tumors 
Glomus tympanicum tumor 
Glomus vagale tumor 
Goblet cell carcinoid 
Granular cell tumor
Granulomatous slack skin disease 
Granulosa cell tumor of the ovary 
Gray zone lymphoma 
Hairy cell leukemia 
Heart tumor 
Hemangioma thrombocytopenia syndrome 
Hemi 3 syndrome
Hereditary diffuse gastric cancer
Hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal cell cancer 
Hereditary melanoma
Hereditary multiple osteochondromas 
Hereditary paraganglioma-pheochromocytoma 
Hereditary renal cell carcinoma 
Hodgkin lymphoma 
Hurthle cell thyroid cancer
Hyaline fibromatosis syndrome 
Hyperparathyroidism-jaw tumor syndrome 
Hypopharyngeal cancer
Indolent B cell lymphoma 
Infantile myofibromatosis 
Inflammatory breast cancer
Inflammatory linear verrucous epidermal nevus 
Inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor 
Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma 
Intraneural perineurioma 
Intraocular melanoma
Juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia 
Juvenile polyposis syndrome 
Kaposi sarcoma
Kaposiform Hemangioendothelioma 
Klatskin tumor
Krukenberg carcinoma

Langerhans cell sarcoma 
Laryngeal cancer 
Ledderhose disease 
Lentigo maligna melanoma 
LEOPARD syndrome 
Leukemia subleukemic 
Leukemia, T-cell, chronic 
Lhermitte-Duclos disease 
Li-Fraumeni syndrome
Linear nevus sebaceous syndrome 
Lip and oral cavity cancer 
Lung adenocarcinoma 
Lymph Node Neoplasm 
Lymphoblastic lymphoma 
Lymphoma AIDS related
Lymphoma, large-cell, immunoblastic 
Lymphomatoid papulosis 
Lynch syndrome - Not a rare disease
Maffucci syndrome 
Mahvash disease 
Malignant cylindroma
Malignant eccrine spiradenoma 
Malignant germ cell tumor 
Malignant melanoma, childhood 
Malignant mesenchymoma 
Malignant mesothelioma 
Malignant mixed 
Mullerian tumor
Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor 
Malignant Teratocarcinosarcoma
Mantle cell lymphoma 
McCune-Albright syndrome
Mediastinal endodermal sinus tumors 
Medulloblastoma, childhood
Megalencephaly-capillary malformation syndrome 
Melanocytic lesions of CNS
Melanoma astrocytoma syndrome 
Merkel cell carcinoma
Metaplastic carcinoma of the breast 
Metastatic insulinoma
Metastatic squamous neck cancer with occult primary 
Microcystic adnexal carcinoma
Microcystic lymphatic malformation 
Mosaic variegated aneuploidy syndrome 
Mucoepidermoid carcinoma
Muir-Torre syndrome 
Multicentric Castleman Disease
Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 
Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2A 
Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2B 
Multiple fibrofolliculoma familial 
Multiple myeloma
Multiple self healing squamous epithelioma 
Mycosis fungoides
Myelocytic leukemia-like syndrome, familial, chronic 
Myelodysplastic syndromes
Myeloid leukemia 
Myeloid sarcoma 
Myoepithelial carcinoma 
Myxoid liposarcoma
N syndrome 
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma 
Neural crest tumor 
Neurocutaneous melanosis
Neuroendocrine carcinoma of the cervix 
Neurofibromatosis type 2 
Neurofibromatosis-Noonan syndrome 
Nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome 
Nevus comedonicus syndrome
Nevus of Ito
Nijmegen breakage syndrome 
Nodular melanoma
Non functioning pancreatic endocrine tumor 
Non-involuting congenital hemangioma 
Nonseminomatous germ cell tumor
Noonan syndrome
Noonan syndrome 1 - See Noonan syndrome 
Noonan syndrome 2 - See Noonan syndrome 
Noonan syndrome 3 - See Noonan syndrome
Noonan syndrome 4 - See Noonan syndrome 
Noonan syndrome 5 - See Noonan syndrome 
Noonan syndrome 6 - See Noonan syndrome 
Ocular melanoma
Olfactory neuroblastoma 
Ollier disease 
Onychocytic matricoma 
Optic pathway glioma 
Oral cancer
Oral squamous cell carcinoma 
Orbital lymphangioma 
Orbital lymphoma 
Oropharyngeal cancer, adult 
Oslam syndrome 
Osteofibrous dysplasia 
Ovarian cancer
Ovarian carcinosarcoma
Ovarian epithelial cancer 
Ovarian germ cell tumor
Ovarian low malignant potential tumor 
Ovarian small cell carcinoma
Paget disease of the breast
Painful orbital and systemic neurofibromas-marfanoid habitus syndrome 
Pancreatic adenoma
Pancreatic cancer 
Papillary cystadenocarcinoma 
Papillary renal cell carcinoma 
Papillary thyroid carcinoma
Paraganglioma and gastric stromal sarcoma 
Paranasal sinus cancer, adult 
Paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration 
Parathyroid carcinoma
Pediatric T-cell leukemia 
Penile cancer
Peripheral T-cell lymphoma 
Perlman syndrome
Peutz-Jeghers syndrome 
PHACE syndrome 
Philadelphia-negative chronic myeloid leukemia 
Phyllodes tumor of the breast
Phyllodes tumor of the prostate 
Pilocytic astrocytoma 
Pineal parenchymal tumors of intermediate differentiation 
Pituitary cancer 
Plasma cell leukemia
Plasmablastic lymphoma 
Pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma 
Pleuropulmonary blastoma 
POEMS syndrome 
Polycythemia vera 
Polymorphous low-grade adenocarcinoma 
Primary central nervous system lymphoma 
Primary effusion lymphoma
Primary liver cancer
Primary malignant melanoma of the cervix 
Primary malignant melanoma of the conjunctiva 
Primary melanoma of the central nervous system 
Primary myelofibrosis
Proliferating trichilemmal cyst 
Proteus syndrome
Proteus-like syndrome 
Pseudomyxoma peritonei
Radiation induced angiosarcoma of the breast 
Radiation induced cancer
Radiation induced meningioma 
Rare adenocarcinoma of the breast 
Renal cell carcinoma 4
Retroperitoneal liposarcoma 
Rhabdoid tumor 
Rhabdomyosarcoma alveolar
Rhabdomyosarcoma embryonal 
Richter syndrome
Ring dermoid of cornea 
Rombo syndrome 
Sacrococcygeal Teratoma 
Saethre-Chotzen syndrome 
Salivary gland cancer, adult 
Sarcoma botryoides 
Schinzel Giedion syndrome 
Secretory breast carcinoma 
Sertoli-leydig cell tumors
Severe congenital neutropenia autosomal recessive 3 
Sezary syndrome
Shwachman-Diamond syndrome
Sideroblastic anemia pyridoxine-refractory autosomal recessive 
Simpson-Golabi-Behmel syndrome
Sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma 
Sinus cancer
Small cell carcinoma of the bladder 
Small cell lung cancer
Small intestine cancer 
Soft tissue sarcoma 
Sotos syndrome 
Splenic neoplasm
Squamous cell carcinoma - Not a rare disease
Squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck - Not a rare disease
Stomach cancer
Subcutaneous panniculitis-like T-cell lymphoma 
Subependymal giant cell astrocytoma 
Superficial spreading melanoma 
Supraglottic laryngeal cancer
Supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumor
Supraumbilical midabdominal raphe and facial cavernous hemangiomas 
Synovial sarcoma
T-cell large granular lymphocyte leukemia 
T-cell lymphoma 1A
T-cell/histiocyte rich large B cell lymphoma 
Teratoma with malignant transformation 
Testicular seminoma
Testicular yolk sac tumor 
Thoracolaryngopelvic dysplasia 
Thymic epithelial tumor 
Thyroid cancer, follicular 
Thyroid cancer, medullary
Tongue cancer
Transient myeloproliferative syndrome
Transitional cell cancer of the renal pelvis and ureter 
Transitional cell carcinoma
Trophoblastic tumor placental site 
Tuberous sclerosis complex 
Tufted angioma
Turcot syndrome
Tylosis with esophageal cancer 
Tyrosinemia type 1
Undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma 
Unicentric Castleman disease
Urachal adenocarcinoma 
Urachal cancer
Urethral cancer
Uterine Carcinosarcoma 
Uterine sarcoma 
Vaginal cancer
Verrucous nevus acanthokeratolytic 
Visual pathway and hypothalamic glioma, childhood 
Von Hippel-Lindau disease
Vulvar cancer 
WAGR syndrome
Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia 
Werner syndrome
White sponge nevus of cannon
Wilms tumor and radial bilateral aplasia 
Wilms' tumor
Wiskott Aldrich syndrome 
WT limb blood syndrome
X-linked lymphoproliferative disease due to SH2D1A deficiency 
X-linked lymphoproliferative syndrome
Xeroderma pigmentosum 
Zollinger-Ellison syndrome 
Zuska's disease

Application Process

Please read this section carefully.

Required Written Components:

  • Statement of Eligibility (250 word maximum): The Brave Fellowship provides financial support for self-identified underrepresented post-doctoral researchers and graduate students in order to ensure their retention and to foster a diverse community of scientists. Please describe how you identify as underrepresented.
  • Statement of Need (250 word maximum): What other sources of funding have you pursued, and why have those sources of funding been inadequate? Are there restrictions in your mentor's funding?
  • Research Project Abstract (250 word maximum): Summarize your research project using language that can be understood by non-experts.
  • Rare Cancer Research Significance: In two to three sentences, describe the relevance of your project to rare cancer research. Use language that can be understood by laypeople, avoiding the use of jargon and acronyms.
  • Optional - Connection to Running (250 word maximum): While a connection to running is not an eligibility requirement for this fellowship, we would like to learn how running has influenced your life, if it has. 

Additional Required Documents: 

Please upload the following documents in PDF format in the application form.

  • Current CV
  • Research Proposal (3 page maximum - excludes references): The proposal should include a brief background to the proposed research, specific research objectives/aims, a concise description of the method of approach, and explanation of the significance of the proposed research to human health as it relates to rare cancer. Figures or tables are optional, but if used should be embedded within the text of your proposal. Figures and tables are excluded in the three-page limit.
  • Personal Statement (1 page maximum): Describe your short- and long-term career goals and how The Brave Fellowship helps you to reach these goals.
  • Commitment to Diversity & Rare Cancer Research (1 page maximum): Our mission is to support research and accelerate treatments for rare cancer patients. To do this we believe firmly in the power of a diverse and inclusive workforce in biomedical research. What have you done in the past and what do you plan to do in the future that demonstrates your commitment to this mission? How does your background/perspective make you uniquely qualified to address biomedical workforce diversity? How do you plan to develop your skills as a leader in diversity?
  • Statement of Support (1 page maximum): A statement from your Fred Hutch research mentor describing resources available for your project (including equipment, facilities, and additional funding sources available) as well as a mentoring/career development plan tailored to the trainee.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Three letters of recommendation are required. 

Applications will not be reviewed until all materials have been received.

Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the deadline for the application?

Fellowship applications were closed on August 24, 2022.

When does the 2022 fellowship start?

The anticipated start date for the fellowship is October 2022.

What are the expectations for the fellowship recipient?

Participation in Brave Like Gabe Promotion

The Brave Fellowship was created to foster diverse leadership within biomedical research, specifically within rare cancer research. As such, the awardee will be asked to share their story as part of the Brave Like Gabe campaign and must also participate in at least one community outreach effort. Furthermore, because the fellowship is funded through the generous contributions of our donors, fellowship recipients may be called upon to attend fundraising events.

Progress Report

The progress report should include scientific progress on the project, a list of publications submitted/accepted during the funding period, presentations given and other relevant professional development activities. The progress report should also describe the recipient's involvement with rare cancer research overall at Fred Hutch as well as an individual development plan (IDP) signed by both the trainee and his or her research mentor. Following completion of the fellowship, awardees will acknowledge The Brave Like Gabe Foundation in any manuscripts they publish on work that was supported by the fellowship, and of future grants and awards they receive.

Funding Acknowledgement

Fellowship funding should be acknowledged in any supported research that results in a poster, oral presentation, or manuscript.

How are applications evaluated?

Proposals will be evaluated by a committee of scientific leaders from Fred Hutch, and members of the Hutch Philanthropy team. After verifying the eligibility of each applicant, at least two committee members will review each application independently and score them based on the quality of the applicant's Research Proposal, Personal Statement, Commitment to Diversity & Rare Cancer Research, Letters of Recommendation, and Statement of Mentor Support. The highest scoring applications will progress to the next round of evaluation, involving an application review by representatives from the Brave Like Gabe Foundation.

Mentors Play Key Role

The committee recognizes the important role mentors play in the success of their trainees by providing the physical and mental space they need to complete a challenging research project and offering invaluable career develop guidance.

The principal investigator supporting a current trainee's application for the Brave Fellowship is required to provide a one-page statement of support. This document should include the following elements:

  • Resources your trainee can access to successfully complete their proposed project, such as specialized facilities, equipment, and additional sources of funding.
  • A tailored mentoring and career development plan that links directly to the career goals your mentee described in his or her personal statement.

2020 Brave Fellowship Recipient: Dr. Alyssa Webster

In September 2020, Fred Hutch's Alyssa Webster, Ph.D. became the inaugural recipient of the Brave Fellowship. Learn more about Dr. Alyssa Webster, her research and how she uses running to relieve stress and clear her mind for research.

Contact Us

For more information or questions about the fellowship, contact Elizabeth Martin, Associate Director of Corporate Engagement at Fred Hutch.

Photo of Elizabeth Martin

Elizabeth Martin

Associate Director, Corporate Engagement