2024 Scientific Retreat & Patient Forum Scholarship

7 September 2023 | Events

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MRA’s Patient Advocate Scientific Retreat & Patient Forum Scholarship encourages the engagement, education, and inclusion of patient advocates in melanoma research by providing support for their attendance at the Annual Melanoma Exchange Patient Forum and Scientific Retreat.

Each year, MRA’s Melanoma Exchange Patient Forum brings together melanoma patients, survivors, advocates, caregivers, and loved ones to provide lay-friendly, state-of-the-science education, promote collaboration, and provide networking opportunities across the melanoma community.

Alongside the Patient Forum, MRA’s Annual Scientific Retreat brings together physician scientists, pharmaceutical and biotech representatives, government officials, and patient advocates for an invitation-only, think-tank-style meeting focused on the exchange of cutting-edge melanoma research.

Scholarships Available: a total of 15 scholarships will be provided by MRA to support patient/advocate participation at the 2024 Forum. Scholarships include travel to Washington, DC and two nights of hotel at the JW Marriott (February 20 – 22 or February 21 - 23 based on awardee preference), and a stipend to defray the costs of local travel and any incidental expenses.

Scholarship Criteria and Considerations

  • History of Melanoma: A minimum of 50% of scholarships are designated for people living with or those with a history of melanoma.
  • Geographic Diversity: Attendees from across the United States are encouraged to apply.
  • Service to Community: Applicants should have strong connections to the melanoma community, at a national, state, or local level. This can include participation in programming at MRA (or other non-profit organizations), Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP), or a local cancer center/hospital.

To be considered for a scholarship, please complete the online application (CureMelanoma.org/Scholarship) by Friday, October 13, 2023. Late applications will not be accepted.

Scholarship Application Timeline

  • October 13, 2023: Applications due.
  • November 10, 2023: Scholarship Awardees selected and notified.
  • December 15, 2023: All scholarship recipients must finalize all hotel/travel requests through the MRA portal. Failure to complete hotel/travel arrangements may result in revocation of scholarship.
  • February 2024: An informational meet & greet will be hosted virtually for all scholarship awardees. This session will overview how to make the most of your time at the MRA Scientific Retreat & Patient Forum. Participation is not required but is highly encouraged. Date TBD.

Attendance and Expectations

Scholarship awardees are REQUIRED to fully participate in all scheduled activities. This includes the Melanoma Exchange Patient Forum on February 21 from 11 am – 7:30 pm, all sessions of the 2024 Scientific Retreat, and any additional sessions hosted by MRA during the time period. A full schedule of events will be provided in advance.

Scholarship awardees who are attending the MRA Scientific Retreat & Patient Forum for the first time will have the opportunity to meet with MRA’s Exchange Community Leaders either before or during the Forum to get a lay of the land, ask any questions, and meet other first-time attendees.

Application Questions (please provide no more than 250 words per answer)

1. Provide a brief statement summarizing your experience and interests related to melanoma.
2. Describe your current familiarity with the melanoma research landscape. What aspect of melanoma research are you most interested in (prevention, earlier detection, novel treatment strategies, etc.)?
3. How are you currently involved with the melanoma community at a national, state, or local level? Examples may include participation in programs hosted by MRA or other non-profit organizations, CDMRP, or services hosted by a local hospital or cancer center.
4. Have you participated in MRA’s Scientific Retreat &/or Patient Forum before? If so – what did you get out of it? If you haven’t – what do you hope to get out of this experience?

All applications MUST be submitted through the online application (CureMelanoma.org/Scholarship) no later than October 13, 2023. Late – or incomplete – applications will not be accepted.

Applications are no longer being accepted.

COVID-19 Policy

MRA's 2024 Melanoma Exchange & Scientific Retreat will follow all published national and state COVID-19 guidelines in effect at the time of the event. 


Any questions or concerns about the scholarship application process should be directed to Renee Orcione at renee@curemelanoma.org