Researchers & Healthcare Professionals

Screen to Lead Program


Screen to Lead Program (SLP)



The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is sponsoring and issuing this Request for Applications (RFA) from qualified academic laboratories for drug discovery support specifically directed towards medicinal chemistry and/or drug target screening in hematological malignancies.  LLS recognizes a significant need for investigators to receive resources for high-throughput screening and optimization of small molecules into drug-like compounds suitable for in vivo testing in a disease-relevant model that can be used for further preclinical proof-of-concept testing of the new drug target.  Last year, the first year of this new funding mechanism, 6 projects were chosen for funding by an acclaimed peer review panel. This year, new laboratories/projects will be selected to participate in this model of collaboration whereby LLS, grantee, sponsoring institution and appropriate contract service organizations (CROs) or core facilities at academic institutions work together to develop compounds with the potential to change the standard of care for patients with blood cancer.  Continued funding/sponsorship will be contingent on available funds and assessments of progress toward the goals outlined in each individual proposal accepted by LLS.


The goal of this RFA is the development of small molecule for in vivo proof of concept studies in disease relevant animal models for hematological malignancies. Proposals should include strong scientific rationale for a new drug target in a hematological malignancy; provide information to assess existing intellectual property or the potential for novel chemical space; demonstrate or explain how a screening assay can be developed to accommodate a high volume of compounds; or indicate how a tractable lead compound can be further developed.


Investigators at academic laboratories are eligible to apply. Investigators must demonstrate that their research environment is equipped and suitable for aspects of the work plan that would be carried out at their facility or in their lab rather than at a CRO. Collaborations between multiple investigators to strengthen the work proposed will be considered favorably, but are not a requirement. Applicants need not be United States (U.S.) citizens nor associated with a U.S.-based institution. Applicants should hold a Ph.D., M.D., D.V.M. or equivalent degree.


LLS plans to sponsor several awards during this year of this program.  It is anticipated that each project will be unique and the cost of each work plan variable, depending on the nature of the work required.  For this reason, applicants will need to submit a proposed work plan (subject to modification by LLS and collaborators upon review) and a proposed budget with justification for its relationship to the work plan.  These factors will be evaluated as part of the peer review application process.  As collaborators in CROs or core facilities may conduct the greater portion of the work, LLS will coordinate the appropriate contracting for services according to the work plan.  LLS will work with applicants to determine where the work should be conducted and help to manage the process.  For any budgeted line items that are specifically related to the PI, for work conducted in their laboratory, indirect costs will be capped at 11.1%.  Any new intellectual property created through this collaboration shall be owned and managed by the academic institution.  LLS and CRO subcontractors shall assign all ownership rights to the institution.  LLS will put in place, as it does with all its grants, an IP policy that must be executed by the researcher and researcher's academic institution at the time the application is submitted.

Applicants should include the following in their application:

  • Scientific rationale for novel target in hematologic malignancies and summary of supportive data;
  • Characterization of existing compounds, where appropriate;
  • A summary of the intellectual property landscape (to the best of knowledge) on the target/chemical space;
  • Description of unmet medical need, i.e., what therapeutic deficiency will this new drug target address; and
  • Capabilities of support from laboratory (i.e., describing the level of throughput for assays applicants propose to run in their laboratories)


Application templates are web-based and may be obtained on our website at: under Screen to Lead Program. Applications are restricted to the capacity of the web forms. The form for budgets allows multi-year entries but only the first year is considered for this award. Please include only costs associated with your institution. Any CRO costs, if needed, will be determined by LLS and added to your budget. If you have had prior discussions with a CRO and have a budget estimate, you are welcome to upload this under the appropriate section but no other supporting documentation is allowed except the signed IP policy which is part of the RFA and must be included with your application.

The cut off for the receipt of applications is on the following date/time schedule:

Call for Proposals: mid September 2013

Deadline: December 15, 2013, 3:00 p.m., ET

Scientific Peer Review Committee: April 2014

Notification of Awards: June/July 2014

Anticipated Funding Start Date: October 2014


Each application will undergo a thorough review that consists of two parts. There will be an internal review by LLS Research staff for compliance with guidelines, eligibility, and responsiveness of the project to the RFA. The internal review may involve additional requests for more detailed information on the project and direct discussions between the PI and LLS Research staff regarding the proposal to assess the appropriateness of the project.

There will be a second review hosted by LLS that is a more extensive external peer review by experts in drug discovery and development, medicinal chemistry, and hematological malignancies.

The application will be assessed upon the following criteria:

  • Scientific Rationale and Supportive Data
  • Unmet Medical Need/Scientific Impact
  • Research Plan & Feasibility
  • Resources & Qualifications of the PI
last updated on Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Why LLS?

Your gift will be used to fund vital research and support our patient and community services.

Questions? Contact us.



A free resource provided by the National Institutes of Health - access more than 20 million biomedical literature citations.

Learn More