Apply for a research grant

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

Our latest call is now CLOSED.

Applicants based in a low- or middle-income country, please contact us at in advance to express your interest in applying for a grant.

> Information for grant holders

> FAQs for grant applicants

Grant application timeline

  • Call opened 20 September 2021
  • Deadline for stage 1 was 22:00 GMT on 16 November 2021
  • Shortlisting outcome and full application stage opens 14 February 2022
  • Deadline for full applications is 22:00 GMT on 25 March 2022
  • Funding decisions announced in September 2022

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. Pilot and feasibility grants are for a maximum of £60,000 in total for up to two years.

Australia research grants

Researchers in Australia are eligible for co-funding from World Cancer Research Fund International and Cancer Australia. This exciting funding collaboration has been renewed for 2021, having been announced in 2020.

To be considered for this co-funding you can apply to the Grant Programme as normal, but please be aware that funding and timescales are different:

  • pilot and feasibility grants (up to £60,000 for up to two years)
  • investigator initiated grants (for a maximum of £300,000 for up to three years)

Click here to read the terms and conditions of Australia grants.

Grant themes

Our regular 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 evidence for impact of diet, nutrition (including body composition), physical activity and outcomes after cancer diagnosis, as robust evidence on this is still lacking.

Research principles and themes

How to apply

Applications must be made using our Grants Management System. Once registered with the system, you will have access to the application forms for open grant rounds. You will find instructions on how to complete the applications on the WCRF GMS site.

> Full details on the grant programme call can be found in our guidelines document (PDF)

> Instructions on how to fill in the pilot and feasibility grants application form (PDF)

> Instructions on how to fill in the investigator initiated grants application form (PDF)

If you have any queries, please email

“Our WCRF-funded research sheds 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

What impact does our research have?

We talk 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

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

Our 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.