Award Categories

Award Ceremony
Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021
The Award Ceremony will feature recipients of the 2021 Young Investigator Awards, 2021 Presidential Award, JITC Best Paper Award, 2021 Annual Awards, as well as the winners of SITC's 2021 fellowships.

The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer's 2021 awards celebrate the achievements of current and future leaders in the cancer immunotherapy field. The work of these dedicated individuals that include young investigators, luminaries, leading organizations, regulatory agencies and industry seeks to propel the field forward and build a solid foundation for future advances and soon, a cure.

In celebration of the society’s 36th year of advancing cancer immunotherapy worldwide, SITC will present 36 travel awards to young investigators recognizing excellence in novel research, providing young investigators with the experience necessary for successful careers and acknowledging the need for the next generation of cancer immunologists to engage with luminaries in the field. Award recipients will receive travel reimbursement for SITC 2021.

All awards are supported by the Forward Fund. The Forward Fund was established by SITC to stimulate the future of science, development and application of cancer immunology and immunotherapy through financially supporting its education and research. Click here to contribute to the Forward Fund.


Richard V. Smalley Memorial Award and Lectureship

In memory of past society president and charter member, Dr. Richard V. Smalley, SITC is proud to present the Richard V. Smalley Memorial Award and Lectureship each year to a recognizable clinician or scientist and luminary in the field that has significantly contributed to the advancement of cancer immunotherapy research.

Established in 2005, the society’s most prestigious award serves to honor those that have been pioneers in their work and made a notable impact worthy of high regard and recognition by their peers.

Annual Awards

The SITC Annual Awards honor luminaries and other key contributors to the field of cancer immunotherapy. The 2021 award recipients will be honored during the SITC 2021 Award Ceremony on Saturday, Nov. 13.

  • Pedro J. Romero Service to JITC Award
  • SITC Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Tara Withington Public Service Award
  • Team Science Award

Young Investigator Awards*

Beginning in 1991, SITC established the Presidential Award to recognize the young investigator deemed to have the most outstanding oral abstract presentation at the SITC Annual Meeting. From there, SITC expanded its award opportunities and created an additional six Abstract Travel Awards in 2008.

Now in 2021, SITC will offer 36 Young Investigator Awards, all recognizing excellence in novel research and providing young investigators with the experience necessary for successful careers. 

*All Young Investigator Awards require SITC membership to qualify. Renew your dues or apply for membership here.

Since its inception, SITC has strongly supported the growth and achievement of young investigators in the field of cancer immunotherapy. As the field continues to expand, SITC has realized the even greater importance of fostering the growth and development of the next generation of cancer immunotherapy experts and tumor immunologists by providing them with additional support and opportunities to present their research at the SITC Annual Meeting.

Get information on other SITC award opportunities here.

Abstract Travel Awards 

Abstract Travel Awards were presented to young investigators who submitted an abstract for SITC 2021. Abstracts were judged by a committee of SITC leadership and Annual Meeting organizers.

Those selected had the opportunity to present a poster of their abstract during SITC 2021 and were eligible for oral presentations during Annual Meeting sessions. Award recipients also receive:

  • Up to $750 in travel reimbursement (applied to SITC 2021)
  • SITC Abstract Travel Award certificate and poster ribbon

Presidential Travel Awards

Four abstracts, submitted in any category and authored by young investigators, were selected for 15-minute oral presentations during the Presidential Session of SITC 2021. Presenting authors not selected for the SITC Presidential Award (described below) received a SITC Presidential Travel Award in recognition of their achievement. Recipients will also receive:

  • Up to $750 in travel reimbursement (applied to SITC 2021)
  • One-year complimentary SITC membership
  • Presidential Travel Award certificate and poster ribbon

Presidential Award

Established in 1991, the SITC Presidential Award serves as recognition to the young investigator deemed to have the most outstanding oral abstract presentation at the SITC Annual Meeting.

The recipient of the Presidential Award will receive:

  • $1,000 honorarium
  • Up to $1,000 in travel reimbursement (applied to SITC 2021)
  • One-year complimentary SITC membership
  • Commemorative Presidential Award plaque
  • Poster ribbon noting them as the Presidential Award Winner

All award recipients will be recognized through the 36th Anniversary Annual Meeting & Pre-Conference Programs and will also be featured on the SITC website, in society press releases, social media and other promotional outlets.

Award Eligibility 

To qualify for a Young Investigator Travel Award, the primary/presenting author must meet the criteria as outlined below prior to the submission deadline.

Both Abstract Travel and Presidential Travel Awards:

  • Be a current SITC member
  • Categorized as a Student, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Clinical Fellow, or Junior Faculty (instructor/assistant professor) with three or fewer years on staff (total from all institutions; inclusive of experience in all fields). A letter of support from a lab supervisor is needed stating this categorization as well
  • Serve as both the primary author and presenting author on the abstract
  • Meet the determined deadline for abstract submission and indicate that they wish to be considered for an award
  • Outline their contribution level to the four areas listed below. A greater level of participation will be judged more favorably and will be used as one of the criteria for judging award recipients. Categories include:
    • Conception and design
    • Collection and assembly of data
    • Data analysis and interpretation
    • Abstract writing

Young investigators from any work setting are eligible for Young Investigator Awards, including those from Industry.

Presidential Travel Award Only:

  • Authors selected for oral presentations must be capable and comfortable presenting the abstract to a large audience and answering audience questions
  • Individuals who have previously won the SITC Presidential Award are ineligible for the same award

 Questions? Please contact SITC staff at