Our research data strategy

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The power of data science

As the leading funder of cancer research in the UK, we are in a unique position to influence how we use data in our life-saving work.

Our new Research Data Strategy will unleash the potential of data science to help build a better future for people affected by cancer. 

Download the Research Data Strategy

Discovering new ways to prevent, detect and treat cancer

Data science is already providing cancer insights. But there are some challenges that prevent us from using research data in the most effective way. We aim to improve how we use research data to answer important questions that lead to better patient outcomes.

In our Research Data Strategy, we set out how we intend to scale up our current activities to unleash the enormous power of big data. Our aim is to create a research culture to support timely, transparent and ethical curation and use of data in cancer research. To achieve this we're focusing on 8 foundations:

  • Build trust through public and patient involvement
    Make sure we’re using data ethically and consulting people affected by cancer
  • Maximise the intellectual value of research data
    Make it easier to find, access, reuse and connect with other data sources
  • Strengthen the national cancer data science environment
    Influence across the UK to streamline access to health data
  • Create a community for cancer data scientists
    Bring together researchers to share learnings and collaborate on shared challenges
  • Support the translation of insights from big data into patient benefits 
    Work to translate insights within our own network and through public, private and third party partnerships
  • Provide training and career support for data scientists
    Strengthen the path into data science and build our capacity to harness the full potential of research data
  • Ensure all parts of society benefit equally from cancer data science
    Champion diversity and inclusion across the data science workforce, research participants and the digital tools used to glean insights from data
  • Improve the sustainability and efficiency of data science practices
    Reduce the environmental impact of storing and analysing big data

We will soon announce some exemplar research programmes to demonstrate the value of taking a data science approach to cancer research and embody these 8 foundations to leave a legacy of data improvements.

Download our Research Data Strategy

Funding opportunities in data science

As part of our Research Data Strategy, we're looking for innovative researchers and welcome proposals involving data science across our funding portfolio. Apply through our funding opportunities now. 


Don't miss announcements about our exemplar programmes in data science and dedicated funding for data science projects. Register for our newsletter for the latest information about our available funding.

Our research strategy

Scientist working in a lab

We invest in creative people who can deliver research of the highest quality.

Our strategy shapes how we'll discover more about the mechanisms of how cancer develops and progresses to unlock new and better ways to prevent, detect and treat it.