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Blood Cancer Discoveries Grant Program guidelines

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



The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is proud to announce the Blood Cancer Discoveries Grant Program (BCDG), a new grant 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. 

LLS is sponsoring and issuing this Request for Applications (RFA) from independent academic investigators for support of foundational, discovery-stage research that can lead to advances in the treatment and cure of blood cancers. LLS recognizes the need for 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.

Description of Award

The Blood Cancer Discoveries Grant Program (BCDG) is aimed at supporting cutting edge, innovative research that is discovery oriented, concerned with understanding blood cancer properties and vulnerabilities and aimed toward advancing treatments for blood cancers.

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

The 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 11.1% of the total direct costs.


Application Information

The application process will occur in two phases. The first phase is submission and consideration of a Letter of Intent (LOI). The second phase is the invitation for and submission of a Full Application. Both the LOI and the Full Application must be submitted electronically to the LLS Research Portal ( The Applicant, Financial Officer, Institutional Signing Official, and Technology/Transfer Official must be registered independently with the LLS Research Portal ( in order for the applicant to apply. One additional administrator/assistant may also be registered in order to access the application in the system. To request new registrations, contact with the name and email address of each person requiring an account. Additionally, if your institution is not listed as an option on the application, please email to register the institution.

Applicants must carefully read the program guidelines before beginning their applications.

2021-2022 Application Key Dates

Phase Date
Call for Proposals September 2021
Letter of Intent Due November 4, 2021, 3:00 PM (ET)
Notification of Full Application Invite after January 17, 2022
Full Application Deadline March 14, 2022, 3:00 PM (ET)
Notification of Awards June 2022
Award Start Date October 1, 2022