How we deliver research

Cancer Research UK is the largest charitable funder of cancer research in the world, funding around 50% of all publicly-funded cancer research here in the UK. 

Today we invest nearly £400 million annually into cancer research through research funding, conferences, initiatives, resources, and a UK-wide network of research infrastructure across discovery, clinical, prevention and detection research, contributing to the UK's outstanding environment for cancer research.

We're at the forefront of the global fight against cancer, working with commercial and non-commercial research partners across the world to achieve our ambitious vision for a better future.


on new and ongoing research 2021/22


institutions around the UK


scientists and clinicians in our network

Our research infrastructure

Facts and figures about our research funding

Infrastructure plays a crucial role in our dynamic and responsive research environment. Our state-of-the-art facilities provide capabilities across the full breadth of cancer research and the translational pipeline, and support close partnerships with universities and the NHS.

Our research institutes provide an exceptional environment for discovery research. Our translational centres drive research toward patient benefit, alongside our network of clinical trials units, Cancer Research Horizons' drug discovery sites, and our Centre for Drug Development.

Our commitment to involving people affected by cancer in our work

Our statement of intent for patient and public involvement outlines how we will work with people affected by cancer to guide, influence and shape projects as they develop to increase our understanding of cancer. We will also seek input from members of the public, who may not have previous experience of cancer, particularly for our research on cancer epidemiology, prevention, early detection and diagnosis. 

Each year, we work with around 50 patient and public representatives across our funding committees and panels. These representatives bring invaluable insights and experience to the funding decisions we make. As of 2022:

8 support our Clinical Research Committee and associated panels as full voting members

17 sit on our joint Early Detection and Prevention and Population Patient and Public Involvement panel

16 (including 10 from the UK) sit on the International Alliance for Cancer Early Detection patient and public advocacy group

11 input into reviews of our infrastructure awards, including our Centres, Clinical Trial Units and Experimental Cancer Medicine Centres

4 lay public representatives sit on our Research Careers Committee and associated panels, and help review the broader skills and experience of fellowship applicants, including their leadership and management qualities 

11 members sit on our new patient and public representative panel set up to discuss ways to improve diversity in clinical trials

A patient representative from our Clinical Research Committee worked with our lead research nurse to co-author a paper on the value of involving people affected by cancer in the review of COVID-19's impact on our clinical research portfolio

We also work closely with our patient involvement team to ensure that patients and the public have the opportunity to contribute to cross-cutting initiatives and ad-hoc reviews.