Get involved as a researcher

Donald Ingber, STORMing Cancer

Cancer Grand Challenges is a global funding platform supporting scientists to take on the toughest challenges in cancer.

Through a series of £20 ($25) million awards, we are giving international teams of researchers the freedom to think differently, act creatively and explore novel techniques. 

Cancer Grand Challenges is enabled through a global partnership between Cancer Research UK (CRUK) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in the US, which began in 2020. 

Launch of new challenges delayed due to COVID-19


We set new challenges every two years. We were due to launch the next round of challenges in March 2020. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have temporarily postponed the launch. ​

This next round of challenges were defined by the Cancer Grand Challenges Scientific Committee, chaired by Sir Paul Nurse . They were chosen after a series of challenge-setting workshops held in 2019. These took place in Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Madrid, Milan, London and Washington. We also gathered ideas through an open online call.

During this unprecendented time, the global research community has rallied to tackled COVID-19 – and members of the Cancer Grand Challenges community are among those leading the charge. 

Stay up-to-date with Cancer Grand Challenges

Stay in touch with Cancer Grand Challenges and hear how global collaboration is transforming our understanding of cancer.

We'll keep you up-to-date with the latest news and research from our funded teams, as well as new opportunities to get involved. 


What the committee are looking for

Although we've had to delay the launch of the next round of challenges, you can still get ready by listening to what the Cancer Grand Challenges Scientific Committee look for in applications.​

We are looking for applications that:

  • Have the potential to unlock new thinking
  • Are pioneering, novel and bold
  • Include truly unique collaborations
  • Couldn't be achieved without this level of funding

Meet the Cancer Grand Challenges Scientific Committee

Hear from previous applicants

You can also prepare for the launch of the next round of challenges by learning about the experience from our previous applicants.

Applicants said they:

  • Had the freedom to assemble their perfect application
  • Spoke to new collaborators they had never considered partnering with
  • Opened their minds to do something that could be truly transformative