Prospective Sample Collection Awards
About this scheme
You must be from a UK university, research institution, hospital or clinical trials unit.
This scheme accepts applications that offer a unique opportunity to collect samples within a clinical trial either where specific research question(s) cannot yet be generated, or where specific questions have been generated but the funding to carry out that work has been or will be obtained elsewhere. A unique opportunity might include sample collections within rare cancers or rare subtypes, those with associated distinct longitudinal data, or collections in cancers of unmet need.
Applications where samples are being collected to undertake biomarker assay development, qualification and validation should be directed to the Biomarker Project Award scheme.
Funding is provided for running expenses associated with the collection and pre-storage processing of blood and block samples. Collection of other sample types is also considered where justified.
It is expected that staff salaries will usually be covered through existing infrastructure funding, but some staff support may be considered where appropriate justification is provided.
Funding is not provided for the long-term storage of samples.
How to apply to this scheme
Overview of the application process
Applications for this scheme are considered twice a year and follow a two step process.
Expression of interest (EOI): download and complete the EOI form. We will check that your proposal is within remit and open a full application form for you. We recommend you complete this step at least 1 month before the full application deadline.
Full application: you must complete an online application through our Grants Management System (eGMS). Your application will be reviewed by one of the Clinical Research Committee's Expert Review Panels and final funding decisions made by the committee.
Full application deadline
Expert Review Panel meeting
Clinical Research Committee meeting (final decision)
Before you begin your application
You must read the application guidelines (PDF) before starting your application, even if you have applied for funding with us before
You must read the costs guidance to understand what we will and will not fund
We expect applications to have been discussed with the relevant NCRI Group or Advisory Group.
We expect patient and public involvement to be demonstrated in applications. The CRUK Patient and Public Involvement Toolkit for Researchers is a useful source of advice.
Under exceptional circumstances, applications for extensions to funding are accepted under this scheme. Please contact the Clinical Research Funding team to discuss the need for an extension and for access to an extension application form. You must read the extension application guidelines (PDF) before starting your application, even if you have applied for funding with us before.
Requests for no-cost extensions are also considered. Please contact the Clinical Research Funding team to discuss the need for an extension and for access to a no-cost extension form.
Yes. Amendments to sample collections must be reviewed by the Committee where there is a change to the sample size or the nature of samples to be collected. There are two routes for review of amendments:
- Review at a Committee meeting: this applies where additional funding is being requested. An amendment application must be submitted to the advertised deadline for that funding round and will be reviewed at a Committee meeting. Please contact the Clinical Research Funding team to discuss the need for an amendment and for access to an amendment application form. You must read the amendment application guidelines (PDF) before starting your application, even if you have applied for funding with us before.
- Out of Committee Review: this applies where no funding is being requested for the amendment. An amendment application must be submitted, which will be reviewed outside of the Committee meeting. A faster review is usually possible for this route. Please contact the Clinical Research Funding team to discuss the need for an amendment and for access to a no-cost amendment form.
The Clinical Research Committee and its Expert Review Panels will judge your proposal based on the following criteria:
- Uniqueness of the opportunity to collect samples
- Potential future value of the proposed sample collection
- Alignment with CRUK Research Strategy and Clinical Research Statement of Intent
- Appropriateness of techniques and procedures, including statistical aspects where applicable
- Adequacy of background information and supporting evidence
- Transparency of arrangements for sample discoverability and access for other research groups
- Expertise of the study team
- Likelihood of successful collection of samples
- Appropriate patient involvement
- Appropriate justification of costs
Cancer Research UK contact details
Before you can begin your application you must complete an Expression of Interest and contact a grants manager to discuss you proposal.
Applications from London
Research Grants Manager
Tel: 0203 469 8846
Applications from Northern England, Scotland and Wales
Research Grants Manager
Tel: 0203 469 8917
Applications from all other locations
Research Grants Manager
Tel: 0203 469 8498
We support a broad portfolio of clinical research through grant funding, initiatives and investments in infrastructure, and we have a variety of funding schemes and other opportunities to support your research.
We are also committed to ensuring that clinical academics have the support they need to develop a career in cancer research, and we have a range of opportunities for researchers at all career levels.
Designing a clinical trial or study is a complex task, with many practical and regulatory hurdles to cross. Our Funding Managers share 14 resources to help you find advice and navigate the complexities of your study design and application.