Discovery Research Committee

Our Discovery Research Committee is responsible for the strategic development, funding and review, oversight and evaluation of Cancer Research UK’s portfolio of basic, early-translational research Programme, Project and Pilot awards.

The Discovery Research Committee meets twice a year in May and November.

Research areas

The Discovery Research Committee aims to transform our fundamental understanding of cancer and serve as a strong foundation for the translation of discoveries into new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat and cancer. Discovery Research Committee has a broad remit spanning basic and translational cancer research, including fundamental biology, genetics and immunology, biomarker discovery and validation and preclinical studies, and research into imaging and radiotherapy. The Committee also supports researchers in fields such as Immunology, engineering and physical sciences to apply their work to cancer.

Funding schemes

Discovery Programme Awards

Programme Awards provide long-term support for broad, multidisciplinary research where the aim is to answer an interrelated set of questions. Applications for Programme Awards will be accepted in any of the following research areas:

  • Basic biological research relating to cancer
  • Preclinical studies that will generate biological data to underpin therapeutic development
  • Biomarker research
  • Imaging research
  • Radiotherapy research
  • The application of engineering and physical sciences to cancer

Discovery Programme Foundation Awards

Programme Foundation Awards allow excellent mid-career researchers to develop their independent research group. On completion of a Programme Foundation Award we expect researchers to be in a competitive position to apply for a Discovery Committee Programme Award. Applications will be accepted within the same scientific remit as Programme Awards.

Cancer Immunology Project Awards

Cancer Immunology Project Awards seek to catalyse research and build the UK's research base in cancer immunology, by funding immunologists in non-cancer fields.

Multidisciplinary Project Awards

The Multidisciplinary Project Award supports collaborations between clinical and non-clinical cancer researchers, and scientists from engineering/physical science disciplines, where the aim is to generate creative research ideas and explore their applicability in cancer research.

Therapeutic Discovery Programme Awards

Therapeutic Discovery Programme Awards support multifaceted programmes composed of several projects running in parallel, with an overarching therapeutic aim.

The Discovery Research Committee will also review strategic initiatives with a basic science and therapeutic discovery focus which includes the Drug discovery units (including the Cancer Research UK Therapeutic Discovery Laboratories), Brain tumour awards, Children’s and Young People’s Cancer Innovation Awards and other strategic initiatives as directed by Cancer Research UK’s senior executive board.

How proposals are judged

The Committee meets twice a year in May and November and assesses all applications on the basis of their scientific and strategic importance, supported with guidance from standing expert peer review panels relevant to each grant. Applications are judged on the basis of scientific excellence, innovation and relevance to cancer research.

Professor of biochemistry - Gerard Evan

Gerard is an established independent researcher in basic and translational research who is funded by our Discovery Research Committee.

Committee and panel members

Chair of the Discovery Research Committee

Professor Gerard Evan – University of Cambridge

Vice Chair of the Discovery Research Committee

Professor Rosalind Eeles – The Institute of Cancer Research

Members of the Discovery Research Committee

Professor Mariann Bienz – MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology

Professor Kevin Brindle – University of Cambridge

Professor Tim Elliott – University of Southampton

Professor Jane Endicott – Newcastle University

Professor Tariq Enver – University College London

Professor Awen Gallimore – Cardiff University

Professor Duncan Graham – University of Strathclyde

Professor Daniel Hochhauser – University College London

Professor Kairbaan Hodivala-Dilke – Queen Mary, University of London

Professor Tim Illidge – The University of Manchester

Professor Clare Isacke – The Institute of Cancer Research, London

Professor Josef Jiricny – University of Zurich

Professor Claus Jorgensen – Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute

Dr Jan Korbel – EMBL, Heidelberg

Professor Xin Lu – University of Oxford

Professor Dr Rob Pieters – Prinses Máxima Centrum 

Professor Steven Pollard – The University of Edinburgh

Professor Francisco Real – Spanish National Cancer Research Centre

Dr Erik Sahai – The Francis Crick Institute

Professor Charles Swanton (CRUK Chief Clinician) – The Francis Crick Institute & University College London

Professor Ian Tomlinson – University of Oxford

Sir Richard Treisman – The Francis Crick Institute

Professor Karen Vousden (CRUK Chief Scientist) – The Francis Crick Institute

Chair of the Cancer Immunology Review Panel

Professor Tim Elliott – University of Southampton

Vice Chair of the Cancer Immunology Review Panel

Professor Awen Gallimore – Cardiff University

Members of the Cancer Immunology Review Panel

Professor George Kassiotis – The Francis Crick Institute

Professor Paul Martin – University of Bristol

Professor Hans Stauss – University College London

Professor Paresh Vyas – Weatherall Institute for Molecular Medicine

Chair of the Multidisciplinary Review Panel

Professor Kevin Brindle — University of Cambridge

Vice Chair of the Multidisciplinary Review Panel

Professor Duncan Graham — University of Strathclyde

Members of the Multidisciplinary Review Panel

Dr Sarah Bohndiek — University of Cambridge

Professor Trevor Graham — Queen Mary University of London

Dr Claus Jorgensen — CRUK Manchester Institute

Professor Uwe Oelfke — The Institute of Cancer Research, London

Professor Erik Sahai — The Francis Crick Institute

Professor Julia Schnabel — King's College London

Dr Marco Gerlinger — The Institute of Cancer Research, London

Professor Angela Russell — University of Oxford

Contact for this committee

Dr Matt Kaiser

Head of Careers and Discovery Research

Discovery@cancer.org.uk

More opportunities for discovery researchers

Discovery Research

We support a broad portfolio of discovery research, including basic biology, genetics and immunology, biomarker discovery and preclinical studies, and engineering and physical sciences applied to cancer. We have a variety of grant funding and other opportunities to accelerate your research.