Research opportunities in early detection and diagnosis

Cancer cell illustration

Funding opportunities

We have a range of funding opportunities available for researchers at all career stages and across multiple research fields. 

Explore all funding opportunities 

We have a broad variety of opportunities to help researchers progress their early detection and diagnosis research or get involved in this field for the first time, from research funding grants to events and conferences.

We believe early detection and diagnosis research brings together a diverse community of scientists from biological, physical, clinical, and behavioural fields and we support this community along the entire research pipeline from discovery to implementation.


Statement of intent for early detection and diagnosis research

Our ambition is to accelerate progress so that 3 in 4 patients survive cancer by 2034. We believe earlier diagnosis offers the greatest potential for transformational improvements in patient outcomes.

To achieve our ambitions, we will:

  • Accelerate early detection discovery and validation to understand the biology of cancer emergence and progression, find the markers and innovate the technology to detect early and accurately.
  • Accelerate the translation of early detection approaches by working with key stakeholders across sectors and requiring line-of-sight to clinical or population impact for all research investments.
  • Encourage an integrated, multidisciplinary, systems approach by bringing together physical, data and social scientists and engineers alongside biomedical scientists through events like sandpit workshops and our international Early Detection of Cancer Conference.
  • Work with partners to fund research that crosses the boundaries between disciplines and considers early and pre-cancer with a whole-system lens. 
  • Engage industry by delivering networking events to build collaborations and supporting research partnerships between academic researchers and industry.
  • Build capacity and develop infrastructure to grow a sustainable early detection research community.
  • Support early-career and established researchers from related research fields.
  • Invest in new cohorts, sample collections and model systems where there is a clear need for resource.


Funding opportunities

We support research across the pipeline, from discovery research which takes us further in our understanding of early-stage disease, to translational studies and research which bridges the gap between scientific breakthroughs and clinical practice or healthcare policies. 


Early Detection and Diagnosis Programme Awards
Support and encourage established researchers to perform large, integrated and renewable research programmes which have the potential to transform early cancer detection

Early Detection and Diagnosis Project Awards
Support and encourage specific research projects that aim to have a significant impact on how and when cancer is detected.
Early Detection and Diagnosis Primer Awards
Support researchers at all stages to develop early, novel and outside-the-box ideas and collaborations to build and make progress in the Early Detection field.

The state of the early detection field

How can we overcome key research challenges to enable early detection of cancer? We published a paper in Science looking at the current state of the field for early detection research. From understanding the biology and prognosis of early cancer to determining the risk of developing cancer, the authors review some of the biggest challenges and suggest a constructive framework to accelerate progress.

The paper highlights the need for further innovations and development of early cancer detection approaches, as well as an interdisciplinary research culture.

Events and conferences

Our events break the barriers between disciplines and open up new avenues for collaborative research. We have upcoming conferences in early detection and early diagnosis, as well as online archives of highlights and outputs from previous events.

Event Key information

The Early Detection of Cancer Conference

Our annual early detection conference brings together world experts across a range of disciplines to discuss themes including the biology behind early-stage cancers, new detection and screening methods, and enhancing the accuracy and uptake of screening.

22 – 24 Oct 2024



Our portfolio

We fund the best research from across the spectrum of early detection and early diagnosis research. You can find out who we have recently funded for a taste of the kinds of projects we support.