Developmental Research Program (DRP)

The Developmental Research Program will support new and highly innovative approaches to study head and neck cancer (HNC) with the aim of improving overall survival and quality of life for those with this disease. It is envisioned that the innovative developmental projects supported by this program will continue to impact HNC care by maturing into full projects that qualify as replacement projects for the Wisconsin HNC SPORE or successfully compete for other investigator-initiated extramural funding opportunities.

The Developmental Research Program of the Wisconsin Head and Neck SPORE seeks to fund pilot project applications that will:

  • Attract experienced investigators to the field of Head and Neck Cancer (HNC)
  • Promote basic, clinical, and translational HNC research
  • Result in preliminary data to support successful competitive national grants (R01 or equivalent)

 Proposed translational research is expected to address one or more of the following:

  1. Diagnosis, prevention and/or treatment of HNC
  2. Improved understanding of underlying biological mechanisms of HNC
  3. Identification of novel biomarkers and/or imaging modalities in HNC

Please review our website to find more information regarding HNC research projects, previously awarded HN SPORE pilots, and resources available from the HN SPORE Biostats and Pathology/Biospecimen Cores.


FUNDING LEVELS:  $25,000-$50,000 per year (2nd year dependent on competitive renewal)

ELIGIBILITY:  Funds from this program will support Wisconsin faculty (including Assistant, Associate and full Professor; tenure-track, research and CHS).

The University of Wisconsin is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.  The SPORE program places special emphasis on recruiting women and minorities.  Final recommendations for funding will be made by the DRP leadership and the HN SPORE pilot review committee.

Application Resources

Standard Timeline:

  • LOI: due within 2 weeks of full application
  • May 1:  Application Due
  • Jun:  Awardees Notified
  • Aug 1 – Jul 31:  Annual Project Period

DRP Review Committee



Susan Thibeault, MD (Chair) Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery
Paul Harari, MD (ex officio) Human Oncology
Timothy McCulloch, MD Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery
Shannon Kenney, PhD Oncology
Paul Sondel, MD, PhD Pediatrics, Human Oncology, Genetics
James Shull, PhD Oncology
Menggang Yu, PhD Biostatistics & Medical Informatics
Scott Perlman, MD, MS Radiology, Nuclear Medicine
Shigeki Miyamoto, PhD Oncology
Deric Wheeler, PhD Human Oncology