At LUNGevity, we define impactful research as research that is patient-centered, drives the science of cancer research, and is sustainable.

To this end, we continuously measure the impact of the research we fund. Recognizing the multifactorial nature of impact, we use the following aggregate metrics to assess the progress of our research.

Return on Investment and Cross-Pollination

Return on investment (ROI) is defined as follows:

ROI = Dollars of follow-on funding generated / Dollars invested by LUNGevity,

where follow-on funding is defined as “awards or other monies generated from research supported by LUNGevity.” It is a measure of sustainability — and demonstrates that research is continuing in the area of interest.

LUNGevity also measures follow-on funding generated from research supported by LUNGevity that impacts other areas of cancer research and treatment (cross-pollination). It is an important metric that measures direct impact on other disease spaces. Cross-pollination drives innovation in other diseases.

LUNGevity awardees are impacting other fields of cancer research, such as research in melanoma, colon, prostate, lung, breast, and brain cancers.

Field of Research ROI (per $ invested)
Lung cancer-specific $7.35
Other cancers $4.96
Total ROI of LUNGevity-funded research projects $12.31

In other words, for every dollar that LUNGevity invests in lung cancer research, scientists are able to generate $12.31 in follow-on funding to continue their research.


Publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals are used as a measure of academic success. They are an important indicator of the impact of research on the wider scientific community.

At LUNGevity, we use citation benchmarking — a measure of how citations received by a scientific article compare with the average for similar articles in the same field — to measure the impact of a publication.

We are particularly proud that since LUNGevity created its own Scientific Program in 2010, the number of citations that are in the 90-99th percentile has increased exponentially.

Citation benchmarking graph

Note: Graph includes only publications that acknowledged LUNGevity or co-funders. A publication with a citation index of 99 indicates that article is in the top 99th percentile of highly cited articles in that particular field.