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Apply to the Academic Clinical Trials Program

Developing cutting edge treatments that will have meaningful impact for blood cancer patients through academic investigator initiated clinical trials (IIT).

ACT is now closed. Thank you for submitting your Letters of Intent.

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) recognizes the scientific and clinical merit of research developed and conducted by independent investigators affiliated with academic institutions. Such investigator-initiated trials (IITs) play an important role in developing experimental agents to address unmet medical needs, expanding the use of approved therapeutics, and improving the use of novel treatment regimens in real-world clinical settings. To support this important aspect of research, LLS created the Academic Clinical Trials Program (ACT) in 2022-23, and now presents a second request for applications.

The LLS ACT initiative is a clinical trial award program designed to develop cutting edge treatments that will have meaningful impact for blood cancer patients. These awards will fund clinical trials, up to $1M USD over a period of up to three years.

LLS is seeking truly novel advances. The primary focus will be Phase 1 or 2 clinical trials with novel experimental agents. Repurposing of approved therapies into novel indications will also be considered. Investigators conducting existing trials and expansion of existing trials are welcome to apply. Investigation of corporate-owned assets is allowed. If a corporate asset is studied, a clear path to market must be obtained and demonstrated. Proposals may include correlative studies including but not limited to biomarker identification, mechanism of action studies, and/or patient selection characteristics.

Please find all ACT program documents available for download here:


Examples of projects of potential interest include:

  • Novel immunotherapy approaches (cells, biologics, small molecules) relevant to blood cancers
  • Cell therapies and biologics targeting tumor antigens or tumor microenvironment 
  • Treatment approaches in premalignant conditions for the prevention of disease 
  • Personalized medicine approaches for blood cancers, including novel companion diagnostics 
  • Clinical protocols that move cell therapies/bispecific antibodies to first line therapy  
  • Enhanced safety and/or efficacy of stem cell transplantation  
  • LLS has a special opportunity to co-fund proposals addressing follicular lymphoma:

In this round, LLS has a particular interest in funding meritorious projects addressing follicular lymphoma. This funding will be provided in a collaborative partnership with the Follicular Lymphoma Foundation. The maximum amount for a co-funded award will not exceed $1 M USD. See Cure FL Appendix for details (pages 19-21 of the 2023 ACT Guidelines & Instructions).

New to the LOI and Application Process this year:

  • A Structured Clinical Abstract at the LOI stage will provide succinct information about the objectives, expected outcomes, and clinical significance of the proposed study.
  • An optional Clinical Protocol Synopsis may be presented in the Appendix of the Full Application.  
  • A Patient Involvement Plan (up to 2 pages) is expected in the Full Application. Patient engagement activities help assure that patients’ needs (both unmet medical needs and first-hand experiences) are reflected in the design of the clinical trial.
  • Applicants will provide an IRB approval date OR a scheduled IRB review date at both the LOI stage and in the Full Application. Similar to the 2022-2023 round, an application may be submitted with IRB approval pending, but an award will not be made without documented IRB approval. Projects that can begin near or on the specified Award Start Date of July 1, 2024 may be prioritized.



  • Budget submitted should reflect the actual needs of the project but cannot exceed $1M USD in total for up to three years of the grant.
  • This budget ceiling includes all costs associated with the grant including indirect costs (often referred to as Institutional Overhead), which will be capped at 15% of the total award.


How to apply:

  • Please refer to the Guidelines & Instructions document above
  • Is this your first time applying for an LLS Research grant? You can get started by requesting a new account in the LLS Research Portal by clicking here.
  • See the table below for all the key dates and deadlines: 

2023-2024 Application Key Dates

Phase Date
Call for Proposals September 6, 2023
Letter of Intent Due October 25, 2023, 3:00 PM ET
Full Application Due January 23, 2024, 3:00 PM ET
Panel Review Meeting Late March 2024
Award Notification May 2024
Award Start Date July 1, 2024


Do you have any questions?

Please refer to the downloadable Guidelines and Instructions document above for answers and for contact information.