Innovation Prize

About this scheme

Key information

Career level
Post doc
Early career researcher
Research area
Biomarker research
Pre-clinical research
Drug discovery
Drug development
Radiotherapy research
Imaging research
Cancer biology
Early diagnosis
Final submission
Committee review
Funding period
Up to 1 year
Funding amount
Up to £50,000
The Innovation Prize helps researchers to develop the translational and commercial potential of their discoveries.

These prizes support researchers who are new to translation to put together what is needed to identify and progress the commercial potential of their research.

As the lead investigator, you must be based at a UK host institution. You should assemble the appropriate team to deliver the project (if required), which can include international researchers.

PhD students and commercial applicants (SMEs or spin-out) are not eligible to apply at this time.

We will consider applications across three main oncology-related thematic areas:

  • Development of novel treatments
  • Implementation of digital tactics
  • Delivery of innovative imaging strategies, medical device development or disruptive diagnostic assays

Funding is provided for a maximum of 12 months. Examples of allowable costs include:

  • Consultancy costs
  • Business plan preparation
  • Proof of concept experiments

How to apply to this scheme

Application process

  1. You submit your idea by email to

    1. 3-page application (excluding references)
    2. 3-5-minute video pitch (Uploaded as an unlisted video on YouTube, please include a link in your proposal) 
    3. 3-5 key achievements in your career
  2. We shortlist
    If your team is shortlisted, you’ll receive a 1hr mentoring session and be asked to submit a breakdown of how the funds would be allocated if successful
  3. You pitch
    Pitch your idea to the Innovation Prizes panel in a short presentation.
  4. We fund
    If your pitch is successful and you’re recommended for funding by the innovation panel, you will need to submit a full application with detailed justifications and costings.

3-5-minute video pitch

There are no technical specifications for the video pitch (a camera phone, tablet or webcam can be used), there are also no guidelines about the content or format of the video, and quality of the video will not be criteria for funding. The video should be uploaded as an unlisted video on YouTube and the link included in the proposal.


Application deadline

Mentoring session



31 January 2019

Early March 2019

Late March 2019

April 2019


Before you begin your application

Read the application guidelines (PDF)


Applications will be shared internally within CRUK and will be reviewed by the Innovation Prizes panel.

Cancer Research UK contact details

Alessia Errico

Please use ‘Innovation Prizes’ as your subject line

Translating great science towards patient benefit

DNA helix

It’s a long journey from a bright idea in the lab to a commercially viable product. We spoke to 3 researchers about how they navigated the route.

Our Innovation Summits

Our Innovation Summit events provide opportunities to network with the local entrepreneurial ecosystem and learn more about opportunities in this area. The next event is in Manchester in October 2019.