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Liz and Eric Lefkofsky Innovation Research Awards

As a result of a very generous donation from Liz and Eric Lefkofsky, the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University is again soliciting proposals from both beginning and senior Cancer Center investigators for new, highly innovative, cancer-relevant pilot studies that can serve as foundations for larger, nationally funded studies. This year,  pilot studies in all research categories will be eligible for funding.  

Two new studies will be funded at $75,000 for a term of one year, and recipients of the Liz and Eric Lefkofsky Innovation Research Awards will be designated as Liz and Eric Lefkofsky Scholars. One of the newly funded studies will be eligible for a second year of funding at $100,000. 

Eligibility and Process

Proposals are limited to 5 pages (excluding references) and should include scientific and lay abstracts, background, significance, specific aims, research design, and plans for data analysis.  Proposals must include a separate paragraph that describes the innovation of the proposed study and why it is so novel that it is unlikely to be funded by an NIH grant or other established mechanisms. The potential of the proposed study to impact our current understanding of cancer etiology, biology, response to treatment, or survivorship should also be described. Applications should also include a project budget and biosketches of the principal investigator and other key personnel that includes current and pending research funding.  Kindly submit the entire application as a single pdf.

Previous Lefkofsky Scholars may submit a proposal for a new study that is substantially different from the study that received prior Lefkofsky support.  Current Liz and Eric Lefkofsky Scholars who seek to renew their Innovation Research Award must include a one-page progress report in their proposal.

Proposals will be reviewed by a Lurie Cancer Center committee composed of senior scientific leaders of the Lurie Cancer Center and Liz and Eric Lefkofsky of the Lefkofsky Family Foundation.  In addition to the overall scientific merit of the proposed project, its novelty will be a very important criterion in the evaluation process.

At the end of the project term, awardees will be required to submit a detailed progress report describing the results of their study, possible future directions, publications or submitted manuscripts resulting from the study, and plans to procure extramural funding to continue and expand the study.

Application Deadline Is Monday, November 27.

Please direct any questions regarding this funding opportunity to Benette Phillips, PhD , Scientific Program Director of the Lurie Cancer Center (

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