Prospective Sample Collection Awards

About this scheme

Key information

Career level
Established independent researcher
Research area
Clinical trials
Pre-clinical research
Final submission
Committee review
Funding period
up to 10 years
Funding amount
£15-30 per block, £5-20 per blood sample*
This scheme provides support for the collection of samples within a clinical trial but for which it is not yet possible to generate specific research questions.

This scheme accepts applications for sample collections that offer a unique opportunity to collect samples within a clinical trial which have the potential to be of future value, but for which a specific research question(s) cannot yet be generated.

A unique opportunity is defined as sample collections within rare cancers or subtypes, those with associated distinct longitudinal data or those within the CRUK cancers of unmet need.

Where samples are being collected to address a specific research question, alternative schemes should be used:

Applicants must be from a UK university, research institution, clinical centre or clinical trials unit (CTU). 

Through the award we support the collection and pre-storage processing of blood and block samples. Collection of other sample types is also considered where justified. 

Funding is not provided for for the long term storage of samples.

It is expected that staff salaries will be covered through other infrastructure funding, but under exceptional circumstances some staff support may be considered where appropriate justification is provided.

*Guide costs are £15-30 per block and £5-20 per blood sample. Larger amounts may be considered with appropriate justification. The collection of other sample types is also considered where justified. 

How to apply to this scheme

Overview of the application process

Applications for this scheme are considered twice a year.

15 June 2017

Full application deadline

October 2017

Expert Review Panel meeting

November 2017

Clinical Research Committee meeting (final decision)

Before you begin your application

  • You must provide the Clinical Research Funding team with a two page proposal describing your proposed study. After we have checked that your proposal is within remit you’ll be able to begin your application.

  • You must read the application guidelines (PDF) before starting your application, even if you have applied for funding with us before

  • You must read the costs guidance (PDF) to understand what we will and will not fund

Under exceptional circumstances, applications for extensions to funding are accepted under this scheme, where an application is being made to extend the associated trial and further sample collection is being proposed. Please contact the Clinical Research Funding team to discuss the need for an extension, and for access to an extension application form.

Requests for no-cost extensions can be made by submitting the no-cost extension request form to the Clinical Research Funding team.

Yes. Amendments to sample collections must be reviewed by the Committee where there is a change to the sample size or the nature of samples to be collected. 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 full application 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.

Requests for no-cost extensions can be made by submitting the no-cost extension request form to the Clinical Research Funding team.

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

Applications are assessed by the Clinical 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, Liverpool, and MRC CTU

caroline daltonDr Caroline Dalton

Senior Research Funding Manager

Tel: 020 3469 8860



Applications from Birmingham, Southampton and ICR

alice holt

Ms Alice Holt

Research Funding Manager

Tel: 020 3469 5472



Applications from Northern England

Dr Danielle BattleDr Danielle Battle

Research Funding Manager

Tel: 020 3469 8080



Applications from Northern Ireland and UCL

Dr Rubina Ahmed​Dr Rubina Ahmed

Senior Research Funding Manager

Tel: 020 3469 5392



Applications from all other locations

Picture coming soon

Dr Caroline Glover

Research Funding Manager

Tel: 0203 469 8934