Grant programmes

Funding vital research into diet, weight, physical activity and cancer

To help us achieve our mission of living in a world where no one develops a preventable cancer, World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) funds research into cancer prevention and survival through lifestyle.

This research looks at the effects of diet, nutrition (including body composition) and physical activity on cancer prevention through our grant programme, which has been running since 1991. Since then, we have funded £103 million of research, and have had a real impact on preventing cancer and improving the lives of cancer survivors.

Our grant programme accepts applications from anywhere in the world except the Americas (North America, Central America including the Caribbean, and South America), which has its own programme. You can browse all our ongoing and completed research projects.

We do not receive funding from any government for this research; in fact, the majority of our money comes from public donations via our network of cancer prevention charities – World Cancer Research Fund UK and Wereld Kanker Onderzoek Fonds. WCRF International manages these funds and allocates them to research projects.

“I am proud to work at WCRF, knowing that we are working with some of the best scientists in cancer prevention and are helping to fund vital cancer prevention and survival research that will positively impact people’s lives” 
– Dr Anna Diaz Font, Head of Research Funding


Research themes

This year, we will be focusing on two main themes:

  • identifying the mechanisms that underpin the effects of diet, nutrition and physical activity on cancer
  • addressing the host factors that influence an individual’s susceptibility to cancer development or progression

For cancer survivors, we also encourage broader research into evidence for impact of diet, nutrition (including body composition), physical activity and outcomes after cancer diagnosis, as robust evidence on this is still lacking.

What our grant holders say

“This one of the few funding programmes that supports large-scale research into lifestyle, diet and metabolic risk factors for cancer development. This unique emphasis has led to a profoundly better understanding of factors related to cancer development and their underlying mechanisms. In my opinion, WCRF's courage in supporting innovative, high-level research into such topics will result in more effective public health policies and measures for cancer prevention and control” 
– Dr Mazda Jenab, grant holder