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Apply to the Discovery Grant Program

Supporting groundbreaking early-stage research aimed to advance the treatment and cure of blood cancers and potentially other cancers as well

The Discovery Grants Program is now closed. Thank you for submitting your Letters of Intent.


The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is proud to announce the Discovery Grant Program (DGP): a research award program designed to encourage basic research, technological innovation, and informatics pipeline development that can lead to an understanding of blood cancer disease mechanisms, the development of improved methods for detecting and monitoring cancer progression, and the identification of novel therapeutic targets. This is a dedicated mechanism to encourage established investigators to explore the biology of blood cancer and support proof-of-concept studies that could initiate completely novel approaches to treatment.

This same mechanism is currently also known as the "Blood Cancer Discoveries Grant Program (BCDG)".

Click here to see our active Discovery portfolio.

Please find all Discovery program documents available for download here:



  • If you currently hold a Discovery Grant Program (DGP) or Blood Cancer Discoveries Grant Program (BCDG) award, you may not apply to DGP in this cycle unless your current award is scheduled to end before October 1, 2024.
  • The Blood Cancer Discoveries Grant Program (BCDG) is now simply called Discovery Grant Program (DGP). This name change will only affect grantees activated after October 1, 2023
  • The applicant (PI) must be an established investigator, defined as a researcher with more than 3 years in an independent faculty appointment at the time of submitting the Letter of Intent


Examples of projects of potential interest include:

  • cellular activities that underlie the behavior and vulnerabilities of blood cancer cells including phenomena or processes such as clonal evolution, autophagy, unique metabolic vulnerabilities, inflammation/inflammasomes, DNA damage responses, organellar changes, and poorly understood cellular regulatory mechanisms
  • resistance mechanisms including immune evasion, resistant clone evolution and cellular changes underlying development of resistance to chemotherapies
  • novel biomarkers or techniques to detect and monitor blood cancer development and progression
  • discovery of neoantigens, including those that may reside outside of coding regions
  • blood cancer cell interactions with the microenvironment and with the immune system, including exploration of novel immune synapses


This program is not meant to support:

  • clinical trials or correlative studies associated with clinical trials
  • development of a drug or treatment that already has shown proof of concept
  • research that is primarily confirmatory or minimally incremental
  • research into cellular behavior, mechanisms or development not in the context of blood cancer
  • studies of normal hematopoiesis



  • Budget submitted should reflect the actual needs of the project but cannot exceed $250,000 USD per year / $750,000 USD total for the three (3) 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 10% 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.
  • Applicants must carefully read the program guidelines before beginning their applications.
  • See the table below for all the key dates and deadlines:

2023-2024 Application Key Dates

Phase Date
Call for Proposals August 17, 2023
Letter of Intent Due October 11, 2023, 3:00 PM (ET)
Notification of Full Application Invite Late January, 2024
Full Application Deadline March 4, 2024, 3:00 PM (ET)
Notification of Awards June 2024
Award Start Date October 1, 2024


Do you have any questions?

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