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
Applications for this scheme are considered three times a year and follow a two step process.
Expression of interest (EOI): submit an expression of interest form to the CRUK office. 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.
- Submit your full application through our FlexiGrant system
- Your application will be sent to designated members of our Expert Review Panels for comments
- You will be given the opportunity to respond to the comments provided
- Our Expert Review Panel (ERP) will consider your application, the comments, and your response to the comments, and you may be invited to present to the ERP before they make a recommendation to the Committee
- The Clinical Research Committee will make a final decision on funding
|Full Application Deadline||Committee Review|
|24 November 2022||March 2023|
|16 March 2023||July 2023|
|29 July 2023||November 2023|
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 patient and public involvement to be demonstrated in applications. The CRUK Patient and Public Involvement Toolkit for Researchers is a useful source of advice.
The NIHR CRN can provide support on a number of aspects of study development, set up and delivery through their Study Support Service. Applications must be costed in line with AcoRD guidance.
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 must be reviewed by the Committee where there is a significant change to the study design, sample size or study drug. Both costed and no-cost amendments are reviewed by the following process:
Contact the Clinical Research Funding team to discuss the need for an amendment and for access to an amendment application form.
Read the amendment application guidelines (PDF) before starting your application, even if you have applied for funding with us before.
Submit the amendment application to the advertised deadline for that funding round.
Review of amendment application at a Committee meeting.
The deadlines for submission of the amendment application are:
|Amendment Application Deadline||Committee Review|
|23 February 2023||March 2023|
|8 June 2023||July 2023|
|5 October 2023||November 2023|
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
The 5 year rolling success rate (financial year 2017-2022) from application to funding for this scheme is 53%.
Applications are assessed first by an Expert Review Panel, then final funding recommendations are made by the Clinical Research Committee (CRC).
Cancer Research UK contact details
Before you can begin your application you must complete an Expression of Interest and contact your Research Grants Manager to discuss your proposal and any questions you may have.
For applications from London (except for The ICR), Oxford, Birmingham, Southampton and The South of England
Research Grants Manager
For applications from The ICR, Cambridge, The North of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
Research Grants Manager
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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.
Disability and accessibility support
We offer additional support for grant applicants and grant holders who are disabled or have a long-term health condition.
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.