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The UNC Lineberger Developmental Funding Program is intended to support the development of cancer research led by faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and to stimulate new applications for extramural funding. All UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center members, UNC-Chapel Hill faculty, and UNC system school faculty are encouraged to apply.

Funding decisions for Spring 2022 applications are expected by the third week of May.

Please read below for new RFAs as well as some changes to our process.  We hope these updates will encourage new submissions and provide a quicker review.

New RFAs

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
  • 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.

Jump to targeted RFAs list


We are making two structural changes to our Innovation awards:

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 (due April 4, 2022)/Fall 2022 cycles. 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 LCCC 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.

PI names and project title Letter of Intent (due March 7, 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 one month prior to the application due date. We request only the PI names and a project title.

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



Funds are awarded in the spring and fall. The application submission periods are announced prior to opening.

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.

Available targeted RFAs for Spring 2022 cycle:

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

Applicants are allowed to resubmit once. If your proposal is not funded, you may submit the same idea again (revised or not) one time. Reviewers will not necessarily know if you’ve submitted before and will not see the former review comments. This limitation in resubmissions is in the interest of stimulating innovation and limiting the burden on reviewers.

Please note: Former awardees must submit progress report. If you have received a UNC Lineberger Developmental Award since 2014 (inclusive), you must include a progress report attached to the end of your single PDF, before your new proposal will be reviewed. The report must include Title/year of funding, team, accomplishments (details of new external grants, publications, etc.), and UNC resources utilized.

Application guidelines

View PDF of UNC Lineberger Developmental Funding Program general guidelines


The Spring 2022 application portal is now closed. The application deadline was April 4 by 5 p.m.
To be eligible for review:
  • Submit your application online
    • Investigators must upload their entire application as a single PDF; the file name should include the PI’s last (family) name.
    • The file size of the single PDF must not exceed 3MB.
  • Applications missing one or more of the required components will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed.
  • Supplementary or additional materials will not be accepted after the submission deadline.
  • No deadline extensions will be granted.


If you have questions, please contact our team at