Policy relating to funding the salaries of investigators


  1. This policy sets out Cancer Research UK’s approach to funding the salaries of Investigators.

  2. An Investigator is defined as:

    1. Lead Applicant – the principal investigator with an independent scientific career who is leading the work;
    2. Joint Lead Applicant – an additional principal investigator who is recognised with equal status as the Lead Applicant; or
    3. Co-Investigator – an individual who provides significant intellectual input to the research and who may be responsible for the day-to-day running of some of the work

The Policy

  1. Cancer Research UK will not fund Investigator salaries except as per this Policy.

  2. Cancer Research UK may consider providing the salary of:

    1. one Investigator on a response mode project grant (within 8 years of professional experience of their doctoral degree, or equivalent qualification) only for the duration of the grant and for no more than 3 years; or
    2. one Co-Investigator or other senior researcher as Named Research Staff on a programme grant, again, only for the duration of the grant.
  3. Such requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis and must be clearly linked to supporting the career of the Investigator. Applicants should contact the office before including such a request on a grant application.

  4. Host Institutions outside the UK may allocate their grant funds to Investigator salaries where, in Cancer Research UK’s view:

    1. it is standard practice in the Host Institution’s jurisdiction for Investigator salaries to be funded from response-mode research grants;
    2. the Investigator’s employment contract requires a contribution to their salary to be sourced from grants held by that individual.


  1. This Policy does not apply to:

    1. Core funded institutes (CRUK Beatson Institute, Glasgow; CRUK Cambridge Institute; CRUK Manchester Institute; Francis Crick Institute, London; CRUK/MRC Oxford Institute for Radiation Oncology);
    2. Cancer Research UK fellowship schemes other than Career Establishment Awards;
    3. Investigators who are based at non-academic institutions;
    4. Appointments agreed as part of core funding for Centres or Clinical Trials Units; or
    5. Specific cases relating to strategic priority areas for Cancer Research UK.


  1. The policy is effective from May 2016. The policy will be reviewed every two years and any changes will be approved by the Research Funding Operations Board.

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