Apply for a research grant

Our research focuses on cancer prevention and survival, looking at mechanisms or host factors

Our call for investigator initiated grants and seed grants is now closed. The next call for grants will open in summer 2019.

In the meantime, you can sign up to receive our e-newsletters, which feature the latest updates about our cancer prevention work, from research findings to policy actions.

Grant programme schemes and research areas

Investigator initiated grants are awarded to principal investigators with a maximum of £350,000 for up to four years, with a limit of £100,000 for any one year. Seed grants are for a maximum of £60,000 in total for up to two years.

Our grant programme groups research into two themes – cancer prevention and cancer survivors. Each of these areas may be addressed either from the perspective of identifying the mechanisms that underpin the effect of diet, nutrition and physical activity on cancer, or by addressing the host factors that influence individual susceptibility to cancer development or progression, and so contribute to explaining variability between people in outcomes.

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

The research principles and themes we are looking for are outlined below:

Our research themes and principles diagram

Changes to our grant programme

  • More flexibility to our eligibility for projects proposing work using cell lines or animal models, and to the eligibility of the study design
  • Our former pilot grants have been redefined, becoming now seed grants

Full details on the changes can be found in our guidelines document.

“Our WCRF-funded research shed new light on the mechanisms linking adult body size and energy restriction in youth to cancer risk. Our results identified that there are critical time-windows of exposure with regards to cancer, and that hormonal, growth and metabolic pathways are already important at a young age for the risk of colorectal and breast cancer over age 55 years”
– Prof Matty Weijenberg, grant holder

Maxine Lenza, our Press and Communications Officer, talks to Dr Amanda Cross about how World Cancer Research Fund chooses which projects to fund and why cancer research is so expensive.

Association of Medical Research Charities

Our Regular Grant Programme adheres to the recommendations and best practice guidance of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC).

AMRC Peer Review Audit 2015Our grant programme has passed the AMRC Peer Review Audit and has been awarded a certificate by AMRC to show that it follows best practice when peer reviewing grant applications. During the audit, AMRC assessed the accountability, balance, independence, rotation and impartiality of World Cancer Research Fund International’s peer review process (both internal and external). The results of the audit demonstrate our commitment to the highest standards of accountability and probity to donors, funders, the government and researchers.

Our grant programme adheres to AMRC's 'Statement on the use of animals in research'. Applicants will need to demonstrate that their proposal actively develops and applies the principles and specific guidelines of the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) at all stages of the research process from the design and conduct of experiments through to dissemination and reporting.