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Apply for funding

Challenging the world’s brightest scientists to come together, think differently and take on some of cancer’s most complex challenges.

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Funding team science on a global scale

Through a series of £20M (c.$25M) awards, we’re giving you the freedom to think big, innovate at pace and carry out cutting-edge research.

Our 9 challenges
focus on the following areas:

Choose your challenge and start building your team.
Each has the potential to transform cancer research.

Find full details on each challenge here.

How to apply

After you have selected your challenge, follow these three steps to begin your application.

Shortlisted teams receive seed funding of £30,000 (c.$40,000) to get their ideas off the ground and make their full proposal.

Winning teams will be announced in early 2022 and will receive £20M (c.$25M) over 5 years. This will fund research costs, salaries and equipment or licensing costs to support your team.

Read our

They’ve got everything you need to know about eligibility requirements, how to build your application, the review process, and more.

Download the guidelines
Complete the

This must be completed by your team’s Principal Investigator to help us confirm your eligibility.

You don’t need to have identified all your team members at this stage, but must have a clear understanding of the different roles and disciplines that will make up your team.

Submit your questionnaire as soon as possible as it can take up to 2 weeks to review and you’ll need to allow time to complete your EOI.

Deadline for pre-submission questionnaire: 1 April 2021

Complete the questionnaire
Complete your
of interest

We’ll get in touch to open your EOI after confirming your eligibility.

Filling out your EOI is straightforward: if you have a clear plan for how you’ll tackle your chosen challenge and who you’ll need to work with, it shouldn’t take longer than a half a day to write.

Deadline for expression of interest: 22 April 2021

Global. Multidisciplinary. Exceptional.

Building a great team with the right mix of expertise is essential to a successful application. The teams must be multidisciplinary and international. We’re seeking to harness ideas from across diverse scientific disciplines and the broadest range of experience possible to create unthought-of approaches that will transform our capabilities.

Consider carefully what the make-up of your team needs to be to successfully take on your chosen challenge. Every team will be different.

It’s never too early to start building your team. If you’ve decided on a challenge you want to tackle, or you’re even just thinking about it, reach out to your network and start exploring how you can work together.

For full eligibility requirements, read our guidelines.

Points to consider:

  • Your team must have a Principal Investigator (PI) and Co-Investigators (Co-I)
  • Your team should be international, with researchers based in different countries and a maximum of 70% of the team based in any one country.
  • Your team should be multidisciplinary. We encourage teams to include team members who are new to cancer research.
  • Your team should be diverse. You should consider the balance of gender, ethnicity and career stage when building your team.
  • You can include commercial partners in your team as Co-Investigators.
  • Your will need to develop a strategy to engage advocates (people affected by cancer) and the public in your programme. Your final team needs to include advocates, but you don’t need to have recruited these members at EOI stage

Key details & important dates

Select your challenge and start building your team (from 14 October 2020)
Decide which of our 9 challenges you’re ready to take on. Reach out to your international network and start building your team of collaborators from a variety of disciplines.
Submit your expression of interest (EOI) (22 April 2021)
Once you’ve completed our questionnaire, we’ll contact you to open your EOI application.
Shortlist announced (June 2021)
Our Scientific Committee review all applications. If your team makes the cut, you’ll receive seed funding of £30,000 (c.$40,000) to develop your proposal.
Submit your full application (October 2021)
If you are shortlisted, the Scientific Panel will provide feedback on your EOI. The Advocacy Panel will provide feedback on your Advocate Involvement and Engagement Strategy. You’ll also receive dedicated support from the Cancer Grand Challenges team to help build your full application.
After submitting your full application, you'll be interviewed by the Scientific Committee, including the Chair of the Advocacy Panel.
Awards announced (early 2022)
Successful teams will each receive £20M (c.$25M) over 5 years to fund research costs, salaries and equipment or licensing costs.

Contact us

Read the guidelines? Still have questions? Get in touch with our team by emailing [email protected] or +44 (0) 20 3469 8855. Note our grants office is based in the UK so responses may be slower outside of GMT working hours.