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What sorts of research do we fund?

All types – from scientists working in labs, to doctors testing new drugs in hospitals, to researchers investigating the causes of cancer using data from large groups of people.


How do we do this?

We give grants to scientists and doctors working in universities, hospitals and our own Institutes and Centres. These grants pay for salaries, resources and equipment. In some cases we also provide funds for buildings and services. Our grants may be used to:

  • get a piece of work started (small awards of a year or two)
  • fund a large group of researchers over a number of years
  • train scientists and doctors
  • fund meetings at which researchers can talk about their work
  • develop and test new drugs

How do researchers apply?

Scientists and doctors send us an application explaining:

  • what research they plan to do
  • how the work will improve our understanding of cancer and help cancer patients
  • how they are qualified to do the research
  • how much it will cost

Sometimes we ask researchers to send us applications on a very specific topic if we want to encourage research in this area.


What do we do with applications?

We treat each application as fairly as possible. First, we send it out for 'peer review' by other scientists and doctors working in the same area. They give their expert opinion on:

  • the quality of the research
  • if the work is feasible
  • if it should be funded

Next, our expert committees look at the application and the comments of the reviewers and decide if we should fund it. Our committees meet regularly and have a great deal of knowledge of the charity, cancer research and science throughout the world. They decide if the work:

  • is new and not being done elsewhere
  • offers value for money
  • fits with our strategy

Finally, if we give a large amount of money over a long time, we invite a group of international experts to visit our scientists to look at their work in more detail. These experts tell us how our research compares to other international research.


How do we make the most of the money?

Research costs a lot so we sometimes team up with other funders to make sure that important, large pieces of work get done. We also make sure that all our funds are well spent and that the work is of the highest standard.

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