Karin Decker Noss Scholarship

2017-19 Application will be available in spring 2017.

Purpose:  The Karin Decker Noss Scholarship is provided to fund training for the selected participant in medical research and legislative advocacy to carry on the work that Karin began. This scholarship program aims to encourage increased knowledge and education related to breast cancer resulting in stronger breast cancer advocacy and more involvement in VBCF’s breast cancer advocacy program.

Award:  A $5,000 reimbursable award will be available to the recipient for two calendar years after the award is made. The funds may be used for expenses, such as travel, lodging, meals, and registration fees for approved conferences and educational courses.

Eligibility:  Any breast cancer advocate who resides in Virginia and commits to apply the knowledge acquired and abide by the commitment guidelines may apply for the award. Prior participation in VBCF advocacy work (such as attending a state or national advocacy day) is preferred.

Eligible Activities:  The following educational programs are automatically approved:  NBCC’s Project LEAD Institute, NBCC Leadership Summit, San Antonio Breast Cancer SymposiumASCO and NCI sponsored events related to breast cancer; AACR annual meeting and workshops. Other programs may be approved, but the recipient must notify VBCF for approval prior to attending.

If the awardee has not completed NBCC’s Project LEAD, s/he must apply for Project LEAD Workshop and/or Institute as one of their educational courses. Project LEAD Institute must be completed prior to attending San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, ASCO and other scientific conferences.

Process:  An Awards Committee will make a recommendation to the Board for approval. Applicants will be notified of the decision by May 15. The award will begin as soon as an agreement is signed by the awardee and VBCF.


The recipient of the Karin Decker Noss Scholarship must agree to:

  • Serve as an active member of the VBCF Advocacy Committee for three calendar years after the award is made.
  • Submit an educational article for each conference attended for the VBCF newsletter.
  • Attend the NBCC Leadership Summit (four days typically held in May including National Advocacy Day).
  • Attend state and national advocacy days with VBCF and serve as a team leader.
  • Expand their advocacy involvement at the local, state or national level.
  • At the end of the award period, the recipient must provide a written document that describes how the funds were used, what was learned, and how the knowledge will be used to advance breast cancer advocacy and the mission of VBCF. Examples of the written document include an action plan or a journal article.

Background:  Karin Decker Noss was a dedicated board member and past president of the Virginia Breast Cancer Foundation. A retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel, Karin served in the military for over 20 years. When she was diagnosed with Stage IIB breast cancer in July 1995, her life changed forever. Karin quickly dedicated her life to breast cancer advocacy – working tirelessly in both the legislative and medical communities and dedicating herself to furthering knowledge of scientific issues associated with breast cancer. She wanted people to know the truth about breast cancer. Karin began serving on the Virginia Breast Cancer Foundation (VBCF) in 1997 and represented VBCF on the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC) Board of Directors as well as numerous committees beginning in 1998. She was a graduate of both the Project LEAD and Project LEAD Clinical Trials programs. She served as president and committee chair on the Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization Board and served the Y-ME National Capital Area Affiliate in several roles, including president. Karin also served on several peer review panels for both the Department of Defense (DoD) and California Breast Cancer Research Programs and was a member of the DoD Breast Cancer Research Program Integration Panel. Karin lost her battle with breast cancer on February 16, 2008, but many will benefit from the work that she did and the trials in which she participated.

Questions? Please contact Kirsta Millar, Advocacy Manager, at kirsta@vbcf.org or 800-345-8223, ext. 203.