Early Detection and Diagnosis Project Award
About this scheme
- Have some postdoctoral experience or equivalent
- Be scientists, clinicians or healthcare workers in UK universities, medical schools, hospitals, or research institutes
Multi-institutional proposals are welcome and awards can be held across institutions in the UK. Supporting roles (co-investigators/collaborators) from international and commercial organisations are welcome.
Early detection and diagnosis (ED&D) research seeks to detect and diagnose consequential precancerous changes and cancer at the earliest possible point at which an intervention might be made, reducing the burden of late-stage disease.
Early Detection and Diagnosis Project Awards will support discovery and translational/clinical research which is mindful of the clinical and population context.
The remit of these awards includes:
- Identification and validation of early detection/diagnosis markers and understanding of disease trajectory
- Identification of high-risk groups for early detection and diagnosis research and implementation
- Data and computation-driven approaches to early detection/diagnosis
- Development and use of appropriate preclinical model systems
- Early detection/diagnosis technology development
- Non-confirmatory clinical trials of early detection/diagnostic technologies or approaches
- Health systems research for early detection/diagnosis
- Research into clinician behaviour and decision support for early detection/diagnosis
- Evaluation of impact of early detection and diagnosis policies and interventions
- Research to understand and intervene in the behaviour of the public to enhance early detection and diagnosis
- Research into the health economics of early detection and diagnosis of cancer
Early Detection and Diagnosis Project Awards may focus on any of these research areas, or any combination of them. All proposals should consider line-of-sight to clinical or population impact.
Early Detection and Diagnosis Project Awards are flexible in terms of duration and level of funding. Proposals may be at various stages of maturity dependent on technology readiness, novelty of the paradigm under investigation and availability of supporting data. Proposals should be composed and costed commensurately.
We particularly welcome applications that bring novel approaches from the fields of engineering and the physical sciences that could be applied to cancer detection and are mindful of potential clinical need, patient and population impact. As part of CRUK’s longstanding strategic partnership with the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), there is an opportunity for any successful applications with relevant research components in these areas to be jointly supported by both CRUK and the EPSRC.
Out of remit
Proposals for research in these fields are likely to be ineligible for this funding scheme:
- Research which does not have any line-of-sight to impact on early detection or diagnosis – this may be eligible for our discovery research funding opportunities
- Research that focuses on population-level trials of screening approaches – this may be eligible for our Prevention and Population Research Committee
If you are unsure which funding scheme is most appropriate for your research, please get in touch to discuss your proposal
Awards are typically made up to £500k for up to 3 years, or 4 years when funding a PhD, and may be used to fund:
- Postdoctoral researchers
- PhD students (stipend, fees and running expenses)
- Technical staff
- Associated running expenses
*The budgetary limit is indicative. Requests in excess of this should be discussed with the office before submission.
Cancer Research UK is also giving applicants of this funding scheme the opportunity to opt-in to a new multi-journal pilot project on Registered Reports
How to apply to this scheme
- We strongly recommend you contact us for an informal and confidential discussion of your proposal before you start an application. We will advise you on eligibility, remit and funding options.
- Submit your application through our online grants management system (Flexi-Grant). Your final application must be approved online by your Host Institution.
- Your application will be reviewed by an Expert Review Panel and a Patient and Public Involvement Panel.
- Your application will be considered by the Early Detection and Diagnosis Research Committee.
All applications must be made online through our online grant management system, Flexi-Grant, and your final application must be approved online by your host institution.
|Application deadline||Committee decision|
|15 December 2022||May 2023|
|TBC June 2023||November 2023|
Before you begin your application
Please ensure you read:
Whichever stage of research the proposal addresses, from discovery to applied, proposals should have a clear line-of-sight to clinical/population impact, and should articulate this pathway and the evidence that will be required to advance along it. Implementation of this clinical line of sight may be either during or downstream of the proposed work (it is not mandatory for all proposals to include a direct translational component). Appropriate involvement of clinical/population expertise to ensure this line-of-sight is encouraged.
While therapeutic development is not covered by the Early Detection and Diagnosis Research Committee's remit (being funded through other CRUK mechanisms), early detection and diagnosis research should acknowledge and account for the importance of therapeutics as context, and to help inform understanding of when surveillance is more appropriate than intervention.
Teams of applicants should be assembled to adequately consider these issues, involving collaboration between e.g. biologists, clinical researchers, engineers/physical scientists, maths/stats/computation expertise, population scientists, health economists, behavioural scientists and industry (as appropriate to the proposal). Multidisciplinary, overseas and industrial collaboration is encouraged when appropriate to the science proposed, and where clear added value can be articulated.
Applicants are encouraged to make use of existing cohorts and tissue banks as resources for early detection and diagnosis research.
Applications will be judged based on:
- Scientific excellence and innovation
- Clear articulation of the challenge to be addressed
- Cancer early detection and diagnosis relevance
- Clarity of line-of-sight to clinical/population impact
- Team composition; are the requisite skillsets to deliver the proposed work and achieve impact in place? Do any collaborations between disciplines, institutions or with industry add value to the project?
- Is the required infrastructure in place to deliver the proposed research?
The 5 year rolling success rate (financial year 2017-2022) from application to funding for this scheme is 39%.
Cancer Research UK contact details
Early detection of cancer is one of our top priorities and we have funding and other support to help you develop your early detection research, whether you're established in the field, early in your career, or applying your research to early detection for the first time.
We have a range of funding opportunities catering for a broad research community at all career stages and in any research field which can impact on earlier detection and diagnosis of cancer.
We've made an ambitious commitment to invigorate early detection research by stimulating research interest, building capacity, forging new partnerships, and actively supporting a community for early detection research.
Our annual Early Detection of Cancer Conference, held in partnership with the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, provides the perfect opportunity to network and build new collaborations with experts from many different disciplines.