Facts and figures about our research funding

In the financial year 2020/2021 we funded research worth £421m.  

We fund research through a variety of mechanisms, from supporting infrastructure, including our world-class research institutes, to providing grants for investigator-led programmes, projects and training fellowships. 

Our funding spans the research pipeline, and our diverse portfolio includes research into almost every aspect of cancer. In 2020/21 it included £195m on research projects focusing on specific cancers and £76m on research that underpins all cancers, including our network of centres and clinical trial units.  

Here you can explore in more detail how and where we fund research, and how your own work fits in. 

Breakdown of Cancer Research UK annual research activity 2020/21
Michelle Mitchell, Cancer Research UK CEO

There is a lot about the future beyond COVID-19 which is uncertain, but despite the challenges we face, we are as determined as ever. I believe completely in the power and potential of the charity – our brilliant staff, world-leading researchers, dedicated volunteers and supporters – to beat cancer. 

Our CEO Michelle Mitchell looks forward to the charity coming together after a challenging year in her statement as part of our Annual Report. 

Our funding covers research into 200 cancer types.

Cancer Research funding by disease type 2020/21

Our network

A map snippet to show the Cancer Research UK network

Our long-term investment in state-of-the-art facilities has helped to create a thriving network of research at 90 institutions in more than 40 towns and cities across the UK. 

Our network includes Centres of Excellence to drive progress in priority areas such as brain tumours and lung cancer, CRUK RadNet to develop the UK’s radiobiology and radiooncology community, and much more.  

Funding across the research pipeline

Pie chart to show Cancer Research funding across translational, basic and clinical research

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