Multidisciplinary Project Award

About this scheme

Key information

Career level
Non-clinical researcher
Early career researcher
Mid-career researcher
Established independent researcher
Research area
Mathematical and computational modelling
Chemical and molecular sciences
Materials science
Molecular/tissue engineering
Regenerative medicine
Preliminary submission
Final submission
Committee review
Funding period
Up to 4 years
Funding amount
Up to £500k
This scheme supports collaborations between cancer researchers and scientists from engineering/physical science disciplines.

Applications should ideally include:

  • a minimum of two PIs working in distinct scientific disciplines
  • at least one PI working in cancer research at any career stage
  • at least one PI from an engineering/physical science discipline at any career stage

Applications will be accepted from UK universities, research institutions, CRUK Institutes, medical schools and hospitals. The award is not required to be co-located and can be held across institutions in the UK. Supporting roles from international and commercial organisations may also be included.

If you are unsure of your eligibility, please contact the office.


The aim of these awards is to generate creative research ideas and explore their applicability in cancer research. These awards are awarded jointly between Principal Investigators (PI) from engineering/physical science disciplines, and PIs who are working in cancer research.

With a primary focus on multidisciplinary research, the research themes within remit for this award include:

  • The direct application of physics, engineering, chemical or mathematical concepts to address the underlying physical processes of cancer, including tumour initiation, growth and metastasis.
  • The development of new transformational approaches or the translation of technologies for direct applications in, or a clear path to, a direct application in the prevention, diagnosis or treatment of cancer. Proposals for the first applications of technologies in cancer research and those which demonstrate potential clinical applicability are encouraged.

In addition, we welcome proposals across all engineering and physical science disciplines including physics, engineering, mathematical and computational modelling, chemical and molecular sciences, materials science, molecular/tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. For more specific details of research supported by Multidisciplinary Project Awards, please refer to the scheme guidelines.

Multidisciplinary Project Awards are designed to fund individual project proposals; research proposals of a similar nature but which encompass a more detailed body of work may be more suitable for Programme Awards.

Funding support is provided for:

  • Postdoctoral researchers
  • PhD students (stipend, fees and running expenses)
  • Technical staff
  • Associated running expenses
  • Equipment

We are also giving applicants to this funding scheme the opportunity to opt-in to a new multi-journal pilot project on Registered Reports.

How to apply to this scheme

Overview of the application process

Applications for Multidisciplinary Project Awards are considered twice a year and follow a two-stage process:

  1. A short project outline must be uploaded to our electronic Grants Management System (Flexi-Grant). An example outline form (docx) is provided to help you prepare your outline application. Outline applications will be considered by the Multidisciplinary Expert Review Panel. 
  2. Full applications will be invited from successful outline applicants to be submitted to our Flexi-Grant. These will be reviewed by the Multidisciplinary Expert Review Panel and a final funding decision made by the Discovery Research Committee.​



Applications for Multidisciplinary Project Awards are considered twice a year.

Outline Application Deadline     Panel Review   
11 January 2024 March 2024
15 May 2024 Sept/Oct 2024




Full Application Deadline           Committee Review   
11 January 2024 June 2024
15 May 2024 November 2024





Before you begin your application

The Discovery Research Committee will judge your proposal based on:

  • Scientific excellence: all applications must have a strong scientific rationale, as well as appropriate experimental design and statistical analyses, to support the proposed research proposal. 
  • Cancer relevance: value of the proposed work in advancing the fundamental understanding of cancer or improving how cancer is diagnosed and/or treated.
  • Track record: the lead applicant and/or team members should have an excellent track record and potential to produce outstanding results.
  •  Excellent team and collaborative environment: suitability and feasibility of the Lead Applicant(s) (and supporting roles) to carry out the proposed research with access to the resources and facilities required for the successful fulfilment of the Award. The added value of the proposed collaboration and the individual contributions, as well as the steps taken to ensure an effective collaboration.
  • Resources requested: the costs requested in an application should be for the direct costs of the research and be reasonably justified in line with the experimental plans, leveraging existing resources where appropriate. 

The Committee will also consider how your proposed research aligns with our strategic priorities, as set out in our Discovery Research Statement of Intent and our broader Research Strategy.

The 5 year rolling success rate (financial year 2017-2022) from application to funding for this scheme is 9%.


Applications are assessed by the Multidisciplinary Expert Review Panel. Final funding decisions are made by the Discovery Research Committee.

Cancer Research UK contact details

Divneet Kaur PhD, Research Grants Manager

Tel: 020 3469 8655


Funded project case studies

Combining models and molecules to understand metastasis

Combining models and molecules to understand metastasis

Mathematician Dr John MacKenzie from the University of Strathclyde and molecular biologist Professor Robert Insall from the CRUK Beatson Institute have teamed up their respective skills to take a novel approach to understanding cell migration.

Bubbles, ultrasound and radiotherapy

Bubbles, ultrasound and radiotherapy: creating a new approach to drug delivery

At the University of Oxford, a clinical oncologist, biomedical engineer and biophysicist are sharing their respective expertise to unlock exciting new approaches in chemotherapy and radiotherapy using ultrasound.

Disability and accessibility support

We offer additional support for grant applicants and grant holders who are disabled or have a long-term health condition. 

Environmental sustainability in research

Researchers applying to our funding schemes from 2026 will be required to demonstrate the environmental sustainability of their laboratories by obtaining green lab certification.

Case study: funding mathematics and molecular biology

Cell Motility Laboratory at the LRI

Mathematician John MacKenzie and molecular biologist Robert Insall have teamed up to take a novel approach to understanding cell migration. Find out how their complementary skills and clear clinical direction make a great multidisciplinary project.

Harnessing the power of diverse perspectives

Team science

We're driving collaboration and strengthening networking as multidisciplinary team science becomes ever more essential to beating cancer.