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Spring 2023 Awards Cycle Update

  • Information about the RFA’s will be posted by mid-February 2023
  • Letter of Intent deadline: March 28, 2023
  • Spring applications deadline: April 18, 2023

Fall applications were due October 3, 2022 by 5 p.m.

The UNC Lineberger Developmental Funding Program (the Innovation Awards) is intended to support the cancer research innovations led by faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and in several of our sister Universities. The objective is to initiate new directions leading to successful new applications for extramural funding.

All UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center members and UNC-Chapel Hill faculty are encouraged to apply. A separate RFA encourages applications from several UNC System schools.

Two tiers of awards will be accepted: Tier 1: Pilot Awards and Tier 2: Stimulus Awards. Within each tier, proposals are accepted in basic, clinical/translational, and population science. Additionally, targeted RFAs may be added to each funding cycle, and proposals of high merit in each tier may be considered for the targeted RFA mechanism.

Study sections chaired by UNC Lineberger Associate Directors will review all Tiers of proposals.

Tier 1: Pilot Awards will consist of up to $50,000 for one year, with expected start dates of July 1 or January 1, depending on submission. They should have only one principal investigator. Basic and pop-sci research categories require applicant to be a faculty member of any rank, tenure-track or non-tenure-track. Applicants in the clinical/translational category ONLY may be non-faculty (clinical fellow) with faculty sponsor. Go to Pilot Awards

Tier 2: Stimulus Awards allow for 1-2 principal investigators (PIs). The award will consist of up to $100,000 per year, for one or two years. Research proposed should be innovative and have potential for advances that can enhance our scientific understanding of cancer and/or clinical and public health practice. Go to Stimulus Awards

In this round, we will be featuring several targeted RFAs that address specific strategic aims for the Center. These include:

  • Matching funds for single cell nucleic acid sequencing and geospatial analysis
  • Virology associated collaborations and projects
  • Cancer survivorship
  • Population science approaches to address cancer disparities in NC
  • Protein binding therapeutic/diagnostic shared resource
  • Proposals outside these areas are strongly encouraged and the overarching goal of this program remains to fund innovative and cutting-edge work that increases the likelihood of extramural funding

 Go to Targeted RFAs


We are making two structural changes to our Innovation awards:

1. Postdoctoral fellow eligibility for Tier 1 awards Spring/Fall 2022

The Cancer Center biannual innovation awards program has traditionally been open to all UNC faculty to promote innovative cancer research allowing groups to branch out in new directions.

To promote the ability of postdoctoral fellows to obtain future independent funding to support novel and innovative ideas, postdoctoral fellows will be eligible to submit Tier 1 ($50,000) proposals as the PI with a letter of support from their faculty mentor for the Spring/Fall 2022 cycles (Fall cycle due October 3, 2022). The proposals should have an element of innovation and not just be to complete existing research. The proposals can be in any arena and will be reviewed by UNC Lineberger leaders in the population, basic, translational and clinical sciences.

Proposals will be evaluated on the same criteria as other awards, but postdoctoral proposals will receive special consideration to enhance chances of funding while competing against more established faculty. The purpose of the awards program remains to fund cutting-edge, innovative science that can initiate a program of future funding.

2. PI names and project title Letter of Intent (due September 12, 2022)

To expedite our review process and get final decisions to a submitter sooner, we are now asking for a non-binding LOI be submitted approximately one month prior to the application due date. We request only the PI names and a project title. Please submit to

Even if you miss the LOI submission, we encourage you to consider submitting a proposal.


The application website will be announced and opened approximately one week ahead of the deadline. Both registration and submission must be completed by 5 p.m. on the deadline date.


If you have questions, please contact our team at