Pioneer Award: Frequently Asked Questions


Post-doctoral researchers are welcome to apply to the Pioneer Award for funding. In most cases, we would expect the lead applicant to have their salary paid by their host institution for the duration of the Pioneer Award. However, we are willing to consider requests for the lead applicant’s salary to be covered by the Award – these requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Please contact the office prior to submission for more information. We also offer mentorship support for post-doctoral fellows undertaking a Pioneer Award. 

Applicants from abroad may be part of the application with some aspects of the work being undertaken overseas. However, the lead applicant and host institution must be located in the UK. 

Although there is not a minimum time commitment, the committee will evaluate on a case-by-case basis whether enough time is being allocated to the project to enable it to be delivered.  

What can the Pioneer Award be used for?

The idea needs to be developed sufficiently to enable the Committee to make a decision on whether the project is fundable or not. Please note, the Award is not intended to for data gathering or seed funding.

A commercial endpoint is not a specific criterion for projects supported by the Pioneer Award. Where projects are submitted with the potential to be commercialised, the lead applicant will be put into contact with our Commercial Partnerships team.

Publication and conference fees can not be funded by the Pioneer Award.

However, our funded researchers can access the Charity Open Access Fund for publication fees.

The Pioneer Award funds research into truly innovative, ground-breaking ideas with the potential to lead to new discoveries or approaches that will help us better understand, prevent, diagnose or treat cancer.

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