Multidisciplinary Project Award

About this scheme

Key information

Career level
Non-clinical researcher
Early career researcher
Mid-career researcher
Established independent researcher
Research area
Mathematical and computational modelling
Chemical and molecular sciences
Materials science
Molecular/tissue engineering
Regenerative medicine
Preliminary submission
Committee review
Funding period
Up to 4 years
Funding amount
Up to £500k
This scheme, co-funded by the EPSRC, supports collaborations between cancer researchers and scientists from engineering/physical science disciplines.

Applications should ideally include:

  • a minimum of two PIs working in distinct scientific disciplines
  • at least one PI working in cancer research at any career stage
  • at least one PI from an engineering/physical science discipline at any career stage

Applications will be accepted from UK universities, research institutions, Cancer Research UK core-funded Institutes, medical schools and hospitals. The award is not required to be co-located and can be held across institutions in the UK, supporting roles from international and commercial organisations may also be included.

If you are unsure of your eligibility, please contact the office.


The aim of these awards is to generate creative research ideas and explore their applicability in cancer research. These awards are awarded jointly between Principal Investigators (PI) from engineering/physical science disciplines, and PIs who are working in cancer research.

With a primary focus on multidisciplinary research, the research themes within remit for this award include:

  • The direct application of physics, engineering, chemical or mathematical concepts to address the underlying physical processes of cancer, including tumour initiation, growth and metastasis.
  • The development of new transformational approaches or the translation of technologies for direct applications in, or a clear path to, a direct application in the prevention, diagnosis or treatment of cancer. Proposals for the first applications of technologies in cancer research and those which demonstrate potential clinical applicability are encouraged.

In addition, we welcome proposals across all engineering and physical science disciplines including physics, engineering, mathematical and computational modelling, chemical and molecular sciences, materials science, molecular/tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. For more specific details of research supported by Multidisciplinary Project Awards, please refer to the scheme guidelines.

Multidisciplinary Project Awards are designed to fund individual project proposals, for research proposals of a similar nature that encompass a more detailed body of work, please refer to the Programme Awards.

Applications will be judged based on how well the project proposal meets the following criteria:

  • Scientific excellence and innovation
  • Cancer relevance and importance to furthering the understanding of cancer or potential benefits to cancer patients
  • Feasibility, added value and individual contributions of the collaboration

Funding support is provided for:

  • Postdoctoral researchers
  • PhD students (stipend, fees and running expenses)
  • Technical staff
  • Associated running expenses
  • Equipment

How to apply to this scheme

Overview of the application process

Applications for Multidisciplinary Project Awards are considered twice a year and follow a two-stage process:

  1. A short project outline must be uploaded to our electronic Grants Management System (eGMS). An example outline form (docx) is provided to help you prepare your outline application. Outline applications will be considered by the Multidisciplinary Expert Review Panel.
  2. Full applications will be invited from successfull outline applicants to be submitted to our eGMS. These will be peer-reviewed by international experts in the field, before review by the Multidisciplinary Expert Review Panel and a final funding decision made by the Science Committee.​

All full applications must be made through our electronic Grants Management System (eGMS), where one PI must assume the responsibility of named Lead Applicant.


Outline application deadline

Full application deadline

Committee review

08 August 2017

14 November 2017

April 2018

24 January 2018

Spring 2018 (TBC)

November 2018

Summer 2018 (TBC)

Late 2018 (TBC)

Spring 2019 (TBC)


Before you begin your application

Applications are assessed by the Multidisciplinary Expert Review Panel. Final funding decisions are made by the Science Committee.

Cancer Research UK contact details

You must contact the funding manager for this scheme to discuss your proposal before starting your application.

Dr Richard Muscat


Dr Richard Muscat

Research Funding Manager

Funded project case studies

Combining models and molecules to understand metastasis

Mathematician Dr John MacKenzie from the University of Strathclyde and molecular biologist Professor Robert Insall from the CRUK Beatson Institute have teamed up their respective skills to take a novel approach to understanding cell migration.

Bubbles, ultrasound and radiotherapy: creating a new approach to drug delivery

At the University of Oxford, a clinical oncologist, biomedical engineer and biophycisit are sharing their respective expertise to unlock exciting new approaches in chemotherapy and radiotherapy using ultrasound.

In partnership with

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

Case study

Cell Motility Laboratory at the LRI

Mathematician Dr John MacKenzie and molecular biologist Professor Robert Insall have teamed up to take a novel approach to understanding cell migration. Find out how their complementary skills and clear clinical direction convinced the committee that they had a great multidisciplinary project.

Harnessing the power of diverse perspectives

Team science

We're driving collaboration and strengthening networking as multidisciplinary team science becomes ever more essential to beating cancer.