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Career Development Program (CDP) guidelines

Supporting the future leaders in blood cancer research and treatment


The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) offers career development awards to postdoctoral fellows and instructors, as well as early-career independent investigators, engaging in basic, clinical, or translational research to help understand and treat hematologic malignancies and relevant premalignant condicitons.


See the Guidelines & Instructions for each award category listed in the sections below. 

Award Categories

Brief descriptions of each category are provided below. Please refer to the Eligibility Outline in the next section or the Guidelines & Instructions for each category to determine which category is most appropriate for your application.



Award: $120,000 per year for five years

Requirements: The Scholar award supports rising stars in the blood cancer research field. You must be a highly qualified investigator who has shown a capacity for independent, sustained, original investigation in the field of hematologic malignancies. You should hold an independent faculty-level position and should have obtained substantial support for your research from a national agency. Note that the application and selection process has changed from project-centric to research program-centric. This is a fundamental change in the Scholar award mechanism that is described in the Guidelines & Instructions.

Scholar in Clinical Research

Award: $125,000 per year for five years

Eligibility was recently expanded to include any permanent, independent, clinical faculty who are not on a laboratory-based, tenure-track career path (those with tenure-track positions are still eligible). The research support requirement is expanded to include funding from any source that adequately supports the research. Protected time for research is now defined to be in the range of 20-40%. Some of the award may be used for salaries of other personnel who are directly connected with the clinical research activities of the applicant.
**Please refer to the Guidelines & Instructions for more details regarding changes to the eligibility criteria if applying to this category.

Requirements: You must be a highly qualified investigator who holds an independent faculty-level appointment and is conducting original, independent clinical research, often involving early-stage clinical trials that will advance the prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of hematologic malignancies. The research should be related to your clinical activities, and must directly involve patients. You're expected to have concomitant support for your research from another source or agency.

Investigators who are primarily laboratory-based, and/or who are working on primarily blood cancer model systems rather than patients, are not eligible for the Scholar in Clinical Research Award, and should consider the Scholar Award.

Special Fellow

Award: $67,000 per year for two or three years

Requirements: You must be a highly qualified postdoctoral fellow or instructor who's completed a minimum of 2.5 years of postdoctoral research training and is in a mentored research position, continuing a research program of direct relevance to hematologic malignancies and/or relevant pre-malignant conditions. In addition, your Sponsor must have the appropriate experience to mentor you as you engage in blood cancer-relevant research. This award provides you with the opportunity to continue building a research program that will make you competitive for an independent position by the end of the award funding period. 


Award: $60,000 per year for three years

Requirements: You must be a promising investigator with less than 2.5 years of postdoctoral research training. This award encourages you to embark on an academic career involving basic or translational research in hematologic malignancies and/or relevant premalignant conditions under a research sponsor's direction. The proposal must be directly relevant to hematologic malignancies and/or relevant pre-malignant conditions. In addition, your Sponsor must be have the appropriate experience to mentor you as you engage in research of direct relevance to blood cancer. 

2021 Application Timeline

Please note that in the event that an application deadline falls on a weekend or US holiday, the deadline will be enforced at 3:00 PM (ET) on the business day immediately following the listed deadline.

Phase Date
Eligibility Phase Open August 16, 2021
Eligibility Due

November 1, 2021, 3:00 PM (ET)

Eligibility determination by LLS scientific staff Rolling
Notification of eligibility By November 8, 2021
(typically within 5 business days after submission)
Abstract Phase: Open Immediately after eligibility is approved
Abstract Phase: Close November 15, 2021, 3:00 PM (ET)
Full Application Phase: Open Immediately after Abstract Phase submission
Reference Letters Due December 17, 2021, 3:00 PM (ET)
Full Application Phase: Close

December 17, 2021, 3:00 PM (ET)

Award Notification

May 2022

Award Start Date July 1, 2022 


How to Apply

The CDP application will be completed in 3 Phases: Eligibility, Abstract, and Full Application. Below are step-by-step instructions for applying:

  1. Use the Eligibility Outline chart on this page to determine which award category is right for you.

  2. Download and read the Guidelines & Instructions for your award category (linked in each category section above).

  3. Log in to the LLS Research Portal (Fluxx) and select Career Development Program. Click "Apply Now" to begin the application process.

    If you have applied to LLS in the past, you do not need to create a new registration and can log in with your username (e-mail address associated with your account) and your password. If you forgot your password, simply click the “reset or create password” link and enter your email address. The system will send your username and a link to update your password.

    If you are a first time user to the LLS Research Portal, please contact so an account can be created for you.

  4. Follow the instructions on the LLS Research Portal and in the Guidelines & Instructions to complete your Eligibility submission. Please note that this year's Eligibility requirements include completion of an uploaded document. Special Fellow applicants must have this document signed by their Sponsor.

  5. LLS scientific staff will determine eligibility on a rolling basis using the criteria described in the Guidelines & Instructions. You may be contacted by an LLS staff member if more information is needed for your eligibility submission. If eligibility is rejected, the applicant may submit one more time if new information is provided and the eligibility deadline has not passed.

  6. You will receive an email notifying you of your Eligibility approval status. Once your Eligibility is approved, return to the LLS Research Portal, select "New or Pending" under Requests on the left panel, and follow the instructions on this site and in the Guidelines & Instructions to begin the Abstract Phase of the application.

  7. Once you have submitted the Abstract Phase, you may immediately begin your Full Application. Carefully follow the instructions on the LLS Research Portal and Guidelines & Instructions. Full Applications require completion of both the online form and the current application template, which should be downloaded from the Project Document section of the LLS Research Portal. Failure to follow all application instructions may result in administrative triage of your application.

  8. Request letters of reference well in advance of the Full Application deadline. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that all letters of reference are received by LLS by the full application deadline.

  9. Submit your Full Application to LLS prior to the Full Application deadline. We strongly recommend submitting at least 1 week in advance of the deadline, as site traffic on the day of and days leading up to the deadline will be heavy.

Carefully check every page of your application prior to submission. The applicant is ultimately responsible for this submission, even if someone else submits on the applicant's behalf.

At any time during the application process, including after submitting your Full Application, you can check the status of your application by logging in to the LLS Research Portal, selecting your application (under Requests in either “New or Pending” or “Submitted”) and referring to the Status in the yellow box at the top of the page.

If you have any technical difficulties with the LLS Research Portal, please contact


Blood Cancer Relevance

Researchers supported through CDP must primarily focus on those questions of direct relevance to blood cancer. Applicants whose primary focus is not on blood cancer will be triaged without full review.

Need More Information?

Contact with any questions not addressed on this page, the program guidelines, Policies & Procedures, or the above FAQ.