Disability and accessibility support for applicants and grant holders
We want you to thrive
This page gives guidance and support for researchers applying for or holding Cancer Research UK funding who are disabled or have a long-term health condition.
Please contact us if you require adjustments.
We are committed to creating an inclusive culture where all cancer researchers have the same opportunity to access our fellowships and grant funding. We follow the principles of the social model of disability, so researchers don't need a formal diagnosis to access our support, and we try to be as inclusive and accessible as possible across all areas of our research activity. As part of our commitment to fair and transparent assessment of grant applications, we will treat disclosures of disability and any requests for adjustments with respect, objectivity and confidentiality.
Developed in partnership with the National Association of Disabled Staff Networks.
Support for grant applicants
Before applying for funding
If you’re an early to mid-career researcher, don't miss the opportunity to observe our panel and committee meetings across our funding remit where you can:
- understand how grant funding decisions are made to ensure we fund the best quality research
- give feedback to us to help improve our review processes
Find out more about upcoming funding calls.
Making a funding application
When you are ready to apply for funding, we offer different types of support.
For example, we can:
- provide grant application forms, funding information and guidelines in an alternative format
- discuss funding schemes, submission deadlines and the grant application process
All requests for adjustments from us are made in confidentiality. If we need to share your request with anyone (for example, if interview panel members are required to implement the adjustment), we will ask for your permission first.
Examples of adjustments include:
- providing a support worker to assist in completing the grant application form
- providing an extension for submitting your grant application in case of mitigating circumstances
You can also describe any extenuating circumstances in the ‘Considerations’ section of the Narrative CV component in the grant application form.
You can defer your grant application at any point to a future funding call. Please contact us to request a deferral.
Adjustments for the interview
Most interviews for grants and fellowship awards are now conducted virtually to improve accessibility for grant applicants. You can also request adjustments before the interview takes place or during it.
Examples of the adjustments we can offer include:
- providing grant applicants with initial questions that the review panel plan to ask (or providing these questions in writing through the 'chat' function during the interview)
- providing a support worker to assist in developing a visual presentation
- providing a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter
- giving grant applicants additional time to respond to questions
- posing questions in a clear and descriptive way
Support for grant and fellowship holders
Adjustments and flexible working
From your Host Institution
In most cases, our grant holders and their research teams should request adjustments from their Host Institution as part of employers’ obligations under the Equality Act 2010. Please contact us if you want to discuss the implementation of these adjustments by your Host Institution.
From Cancer Research UK
In the rare instances that a Host Institution cannot provide the adjustments you need, we can work with you to explore any requirements further and provide additional support on a case by case basis. Any information you share with us will be treated as confidential.
- Visit our flexible research careers funding policies to read about how grant holders can access flexible/part-time working and long-term leave.
- If taking extended leave (for example, due to sickness), all grant holders are eligible for a no cost extension and our Fellows may also be eligible for a costed extension.
From other sources
You can also apply to the UK Government Access to Work scheme, which can provide a grant to cover workplace support for disabled people or people who have a long-term condition.
- You should submit an application as soon as possible (for instance, when you receive a grant award letter) as there is currently a delay in processing requests to the scheme.
- If you’re a student, you can instead apply for the Disabled Students’ Allowance.
Support for reporting on your award
Grant holders can also request adjustments for reporting on their awards.
For example, you can request:
- additional time to report on your award
- a support worker to assist with reporting
Please contact us as early as possible if you require any adjustments or if you’re not sure you’re eligible for this support. We’re here to help you every step of the way.