Funding Opportunities and Deadlines

Find a range of funding opportunities to support University of Illinois Cancer Center members’ cancer research. 

Internal Funding Opportunities

Mary Kay Ash Foundation Cancer Research Grants

Funding amount: up to $100K (combined direct and indirect costs) for a two-year period. The Foundation anticipates funding between 10 and 15 grants. See description below for more details.

Only one grant application will be accepted from each accredited cancer research institute or medical school. To be considered as the University of Illinois Cancer Center nominee, please follow the internal application instructions and submit an internal application. The Cancer Center nominee will be selected after review of all concept papers.

Internal concept paper deadline: December 7, 2022, by 5:00 PM CT

Internal application portal:

Sponsor application deadline: February 1, 2023, by 11:59 PM CT

Internal Application Components

Concept Paper:

Please upload a 2-page concept paper (pdf file format) outlining your proposed project for this opportunity.

  • All figures and text must be contained within the 2-page limit.
  • References may be included as a 3rd page.
  • This competition is being managed by the Cancer Center. Please contact Farah Mirza ( with any questions.


Please upload your biosketch, using the current NIH format.

Internal concept paper deadline: December 7, 2022, by 5:00 PM CT

Internal application portal:


The Mary Kay Ash Foundation is a non-profit public foundation, which focuses on funding research for innovative grants for translational research of cancers affecting women (ovarian, uterine, breast, endometrial or cervical cancer among others). Translational research is broadly defined as research that will provide a scientific link between laboratory research and the clinic. Such research would lead to improvement in diagnosis, prognosis, prevention, or treatment of the cancer.

Your grant proposal will be reviewed by a Scientific Research Review Committee composed of notable members of the American medical and scientific community. The grant will be up to $100,000 (combined direct and indirect costs) for a two-year period. The Foundation anticipates funding between 10 and 15 grants.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Principal Investigator must be Full-time Assistant Professor or higher (Assistant, Associate, or Full Professor) and commit a minimum 5% effort
  • Staff scientists, postdoctoral trainees and instructors are NOT eligible
  • Up to 1 co-PI is permitted. Co-PI must meet the same eligibility requirements as PI (Assistant Professor or higher)
  • Post-doc contributors may be listed as co-investigator but not co-PI
  • The maximum total budget is $100,000. Indirect costs may not exceed 15% of direct costs (E.g., Direct costs ≤ $86,956, Indirect costs ≤ $13,044.)
  • U.S. citizenship is not required.

Timeline: The deadline for internal applications is Wednesday, December 7, 2022 at 5:00 PM CT. The chosen nominee will be notified by early January and will submit a full proposal to the Foundation by the deadline of February 1, 2023. Required components of the full proposal can be found in the Foundation’s guidelines document.

U2D2: The University of Illinois Cancer Center – UICentre Drug Discovery Program 

The University of Illinois Cancer Center is partnering with UICentre, the campus-wide drug discovery initiative at UIC, to launch a collaborative grant program entitled U2D2, directed at the development of new anti-cancer therapeutics. UICentre, in partnership with the High-Throughput Screening and Biophysics Cores of the RRC, exists to create and support drug discovery collaborations by providing bioassay development, chemical library screening, hit counterscreening and biophysical confirmation of compound binding and activity, hit-to-lead medicinal chemistry optimization, drug metabolism and pharmacokinetic (DMPK), and lead compound selection. It is anticipated that several U2D2 funding opportunities will be announced in the period FY2023-2026. In this Inaugural RFA, U2D2 is offering seed grants for up to $25,000 for a one-year duration focused on small-molecule drug discovery. Future U2D2 offerings may expand to additional drug discovery approaches, such as biologic or nanoparticle development.

Inaugural RFA Requirements:

  1. The seed grant proposal must be related to small-molecule cancer drug discovery, including an effort in one or more of these components:
    1. High-throughput screening and/or assay development
    2. Hit-to-lead medicinal chemistry optimization of an anticancer small molecule
    3. Lead optimization, including DMPK studies
    4. Target validation involving synthetic chemical probes 
  2. The PI must be a UI Cancer Center member
  3. Budgeting guidelines ($25,000 max):
    1. No more than 25% of the budget may be spent on personnel in the PI/Co-I’s laboratories. 
    2. Estimated funding for UICentre contribution  (personnel, reagents, DMPK) to the proposed work should be included in the budget estimate.  Applicants can receive budget estimate assistance by contacting, no later than 11/28/22.
    3. Budget details will be finalized once projects are selected. 

Please review the RFA here

Applications must be emailed to by Friday, December 9, 2022 (5 pm)

Any technical questions, please send an email to

External Funding Opportunities

Funding Opportunities from Pivot-RP

Pivot is a searchable database of external funding opportunities from federal, non-federal, and international sponsors in all disciplines. Below is a curated search based on the keyword “cancer”.

In addition, University of Illinois Cancer Center members and faculty can create user profiles to set up customized searches with e-mail alerts about new opportunities that match your search criteria. 

Clicking on a specific listing will require you to log into Pivot-RP. If you have questions about Pivot-RP or are having trouble logging in, email

Funding Opportunities from

View more at

Take Action at the Cancer Center

Translate »