Announcing the shortlist for the Cancer Grand Challenges awards

21 June 2021

Nearly 170 diverse, global teams submitted bold ideas outlining how they would solve some of cancer’s toughest challenges. Today, we reveal the 11 teams selected to compete for a share of £80m.  

We were delighted to receive applications from teams spanning more than 60 countries, uniting more than 1,960 investigators with expertise ranging from oncology, cardiology and circadian rhythm to evolutionary biology, mathematical modelling and bioengineering.  

“This round of Cancer Grand Challenges has demonstrated the fresh thinking that can be sparked when global teams unite across disciplines to bring new perspectives to tough challenges,” says David Scott, director of Cancer Grand Challenges. “We were thrilled to receive such a strong response from the global research community.” 

The Cancer Grand Challenges scientific committee was tasked with narrowing the 169 innovative ideas down to a shortlist of just 11 teams, who will now compete for a share of £80m.  

“We were very impressed with the quality of the applications,” says Dinah Singer, deputy director for scientific strategy and development at the National Cancer Institute, US. “The 11 shortlisted teams working across geographical boundaries now have the opportunity to further develop their vision to advance bold cancer research. I’m looking forward to seeing their full applications.” 

What’s next for the teams?  

Shortlisted teams now receive seed funding to develop their idea into a full proposal, which will be scrutinised by the scientific committee later in the year. Winners will each receive up to £20m (c $25m), providing them the freedom to come together, think differently and unleash their scientific creativity against some of cancer’s toughest challenges.  

Meet the 11 shortlisted teams. Winning teams will be announced in early 2022.