While these days blur into one another, each much the same, it’s a joy to announce something fresh and new. In a press release, The Hope Foundation for Cancer Research has just unveiled an all-new grant – the John Crowley, PhD Award, a one-month residency named for the long-serving SW

This award is wholly unique for SWOG and Hope. It’s the first Hope grant program to focus solely on biostatistics. It’s also a residency, providing a one-month stay to work side-by-side with experts at the SWOG Statistics and Data Management Center, which is comprised of staff at both Fred Hutch and CRAB. Finally, the award is open and customizable. Any mid-career cancer researcher with a PhD in biostatistics is eligible to apply, so are medical doctors, those with a master’s degree in public health, or doctoral recipients from any computational field.

All that is required is an interest in statistics, and possessing an idea for development of a SWOG research concept. Projects could include the use of SWOG data to illustrate statistical design and analysis methods, a SWOG cross-study analysis, or statistical methods research. Winners can tailor their experience by selecting the staff and faculty they want to work with. Housing and travel will be covered, and a $3,000 stipend will be provided toward living expenses during the residency.

To get full details, visit the program page on the Hope website.

The John Crowley, PhD award is an illustration of Hope’s increasing support for our stats team. Since its start 12 years ago, the Dr. Charles A. Coltman, Jr. Fellowship has been open to SWOG statisticians, and three have won the honor: Megan Othus, Joe Unger, and, most recently, Yingqi Zhao. In 2018, the Hope board of directors upped the ante by approving $1 million in new stats funding over four years, or $250,000 per year, which has allowed our SWOG Statistics and Data Management Center to significantly expand their staff. Now, we’ve got the Crowley Award.

This new direction for Hope reflects SWOG’s recognition of the vital importance of statistics to our clinical trials. Our statisticians have long helped shape trial designs, set enrollment parameters and endpoints, and aided investigators in accurately interpreting results.

John Crowley, meanwhile, is the perfect person to honor with this award. He has been a central force in SWOG, serving as group statistician from 1984 to 2012. For more than 45 years, he has focused on trial analysis and design, along the way authoring over 400 journal articles, producing or editing nine books or scholarly volumes, and winning major awards, including the Mortimer Spiegelman Award, given every year by the American Public Health Association to an outstanding young biostatistician, and the Marvin Zelen Leadership Award in Statistical Science given out by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health each year.

Currently the chief of strategic alliances at CRAB, which he founded in 1997, Dr. Crowley continues to be active in SWOG, particularly with our SWOG Latin America Initiative.

My thanks to Hope for their vision, and to John for his trail blazing. The deadline for applications is October 15, 2020.