Prospective Sample Collection Awards

About this scheme

Key information

Career level
Established independent researcher
Research area
Clinical trials
Pre-clinical research
Final submission
Committee review
Funding period
up to 10 years
Funding amount
£15-30 per block, £5-20 per blood sample*
This scheme provides support for the prospective collection of samples within a clinical trial.

You must be from a UK university, research institution, hospital or clinical trials unit.

Scientific remit

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.

*Guide costs are £15-30 per block and £5-20 per blood sample. Larger amounts may be considered with appropriate justification. The collection of other sample types is also considered where justified. 

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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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)

12 June 2019

October 2019

November 2019
05 December 2019 April 2020 May 2020

Before you begin your application

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

Applications are assessed by the Clinical Expert Review Panel. Final funding recommendations are made by the Clinical Research Committee (CRC).

Cancer Research UK contact details

You must contact a funding manager to discuss you proposal before starting your application.

Applications from London

Picture coming soon


​Please contact:



Applications from Wales

Alice Holt

Alice Holt

​Senior Research Funding Manager

Tel: 020 3469 5472


Applications from Northern England and Scotland

Helene Louis dit Picard

Research Funding Manager

Tel: 0203 469 8917


Applications from all other locations

Amy BradburnAmy Bradburn

Research Funding Manager

Tel: 0203 469 8498


More opportunities for clinical researchers

Clinical Research

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.

Useful resources

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.