Changes to our response mode funding schemes for clinical research – FAQs

Why has Cancer Research UK been reviewing its clinical research funding schemes?

We released our Statement of Intent (SoI) for clinical research in November 2015, outlining our strategic priorities within the clinical research arena. This maintains the emphasis on a broad portfolio of clinical research, but highlights areas of priority under the overarching aims of funding research with high patient impact, and learning the most we can from each patient. It includes an explicit recognition of the novel trial designs that have started to be developed by the clinical research community, and the interest in biological as well as clinical endpoints.

As a result, the remits of the clinical research funding schemes have been reviewed and updated to ensure they align with the SoI and enable us to support the best research proposals in the clinical arena.

How were the scheme revisions decided upon?

We gathered extensive input from the research community during the development of the SoI, which in turn informed the review of each response mode funding scheme under the Clinical Research Committee (CRC) by the Clinical Research Funding team. This included consideration of the remits of each scheme, the funding amounts provided, the durations of funding and the criteria for review. This was done in consultation with the managers of other funding committees at CRUK, to ensure that the clinical research funding schemes fit into the overall spectrum of funding opportunities and avoid gaps or overlap.

What response mode schemes now exist under the Clinical Research Committee?

There were previously five funding schemes under the CRC covering:

These five schemes have been updated and all remain open.

A new scheme has also been added, for large-scale experimental medicine studies:

What has changed within the schemes?

The major changes are:

  • The lifting of funding caps, moving instead to ‘guide costs’ and an invitation to contact us for advice on any application that falls substantially outside these guide costs
  • The opportunity to incorporate sample collection and biomarker work into feasibility study and late phase trial applications, where this work is integral to the endpoints of the trial
  • The addition of a new scheme for studies addressing large, high impact translational questions in a clinical setting.

Further details can be found on the webpages for each of the individual schemes.

When can I apply?

The updated funding schemes open for the next round of applications on 20 April 2016, with an application deadline of 20 June 2016. For late phase trials, and the new scheme for experimental medicine programmes, outline applications are usually required in the first instance and the deadline for these will be in August 2016. All applications received in this round will be reviewed at the November 2016 meeting of the Clinical Research Committee. Further details of application processes and deadlines can be found on the webpages for each of the individual schemes.

Applications will continue to be made through eGMS, but application forms for each scheme have been updated to make them clearer and easier to complete.

Clinical trial fellowships are only advertised once a year and applications will not open for the next round until later in 2016.

Contact us

For further guidance about which scheme to apply to and what can be included, please make early contact with the CRUK Clinical Research Funding team by emailing

For support with completing an application through eGMS, please contact the grants helpline on or 0203 469 5452