Early Phase and Feasibility Study Awards

About this scheme

Key information

Career level
Established independent researcher
Research area
Clinical trials
Surgery research
Radiotherapy research
Biomarker research
Final submission
Committee review
Funding period
up to 4 years
Funding amount
up to £50,000/year*
This scheme supports studies that test the viability of larger trials, including the ability to recruit and/or to explore tolerability or efficacy of treatments

Applications are invited for prospective investigator-led studies that must be:

  • From a UK university, clinical centre or clinical trials unit (CTU)
  • With a view to conducting subsequent research such as a phase 2 or a phase 3 trial with the aim of improving survival
  • Developed with the involvement of an experienced CTU

The types of studies that fit this scheme are typically:

  • Phase 1/2a dose finding trials testing safety, tolerability and preliminary efficacy (including novel combinations of therapies and radiotherapy, and novel indications)
  • Phase 1b/2 or phase 2 trials testing the viability of larger trials, including the ability to recruit and/or to explore tolerability or efficacy of treatments
  • Window of opportunity studies

Preclinical work is not eligible for inclusion in applications.

If your study is an early phase trial requiring full management/support from our Centre for Drug Development you should consider the Drug Development Project scheme. If your project involves preclinical studies of new drug combinations you should consider the Preclinical Combination Grants scheme.

If your study is first in human/first in class but does not require management/support from our Centre for Drug Development, please contact us to discuss your study in more detail and for advice on the most appropriate scheme.

  • Salaries for researchers and technical staff
  • Running expenses
  • Equipment
  • Where sample collection and/or biomarker investigation is integral to the endpoints of the trial, this can be included in the application
*Guide costs are up to £50,000 per year. Larger amounts may be considered with appropriate justification, particularly where substantial sample collection and/or biomarker investigation is included. Please contact the Clinical Research Funding team before submitting your application if you would like to apply for a larger amount.

How to apply to this scheme

Application process overview

Applications for this scheme are considered twice a year and the following dates apply:

14th June 2018

Full application deadline

October 2018

Expert Review Panel meeting

November 2018

Clinical Research Committee meeting (final decision)


Before making your application

Yes. Academically-sponsored feasibility studies in receipt of educational grants and/or free drugs from the pharmaceutical industry can be submitted for CRUK endorsement.

Industry-sponsored trials cannot be reviewed under this scheme.

No. However, under exceptional circumstances, requests for no-cost extensions are considered. Please submit a no-cost extension request form to the Clinical Research Funding team.

Yes. Amendments must be reviewed by the Committee where there is a significant change to the study design, sample size or study drug. There are two routes for review of amendments:

  • Review at a Committee meeting: this applies where additional funding is being requested. An amendment application must be submitted to the advertised deadline for that funding round and will be reviewed at a Committee meeting.
  • Out of Committee Review: this applies where no funding is being requested for the amendment. An amendment application must be submitted, which will be reviewed outside of the Committee meeting. A faster review is usually possible for this route.

In both cases, please contact the office for guidance and for access to an amendment application form.

Our priorities are set out in our Clinical Research Statement of Intent.

Applications are assessed by an Expert Review Panel. Final funding recommendations are made by the Clinical Research Committee (CRC).

If you have an application currently under consideration you can expect to hear the outcome in early December.

​You must contact a funding manager to discuss you proposal before starting your application.

Applications from Wales

caroline daltonDr Caroline Dalton

Senior Research Funding Manager


Tel: 020 3469 8860



Applications from London

Ewan Hughes McInnesMr Ewan Hughes McInnes

Research Funding Manager


Tel: 020 3469 6532



Applications from Northern England and Scotland

Dr Caroline Glover, Research Funding Manager

Ms Caroline Glover

Research Funding Manager


Tel: 0203 469 8934



Applications from all other locations

Kirsty Tunna, Research Funding ManagerMs Kirsty Tunna

Research Funding Manager


Tel: 0203 469 5080

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Useful resources

Designing a clinical trial or study is a complex task, with many practical and regulatory hurdles to cross. Our Funding Managers share 13 resources to help you find advice and navigate the complexities of your study design and application.