Our research partnerships

Our research partnerships enable mutually beneficial research collaborations with like-minded organisations from around the world, accelerating progress in the fight against cancer.

We work with organisations from across the academic, not-for-profit, government and private sectors, and welcome any collaborations that help to support our research strategy. Our flexible approach allows us to engage in a wide range of partnership initiatives with a variety of models, from large-scale co-funding of research projects and infrastructure to joint workshops and conferences.





OVER 150


Our research partnerships

We're currently engaged in initiatives with more than 150 partners worldwide. This snapshot gives some examples of how we're working together with other organisations to accelerate research.

A partnership between CRUK and Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca sul Cancro (AIRC) and Fundación Científica de la Asociacion Española Contra el Cáncer (FC AECC)

Accelerator Award

We partnered with the leading cancer research charities in Spain and Italy to help build international research networks through our Accelerator Award scheme.

ACED - International Alliance for Cancer Early Detection logo

Alliance for Cancer Early Detection (ACED) 

We lead the International Alliance for Cancer Early Detection (ACED), a partnership between Cancer Research UK, the Canary Center at Stanford University, the University of Cambridge, the Knight Cancer Institute at OHSU, University College London, and the University of Manchester, to tackle the biggest challenges in early detection.

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American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) alliance

Our trans-Atlantic alliance with the American Association for Cancer Research has accelerated the pace of progress against cancer by facilitating collaborations between scientists in the US and UK.

National Institute for Health and Care Research logo


Together with the National Institute for Health and Care Research, we’re jointly investing £6.4m over the next 14 years in BEST4, the latest trial for the Cytosponge as a screening device for detecting Barrett’s oesophagus.

The Brain Tumour Charity logo

Brain Tumour Awards

We’re partnering with the Brain Tumour Charity to advance our understanding of brain tumours and how to overcome the challenges faced in translating discoveries into treatments.

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Cancer Grand Challenges: PRECISION team

In partnership with the Dutch Cancer Society, we have funded the PRECISION Cancer Grand Challenges team, who aim to prevent unnecessary breast cancer treatment through research into pre-cancerous cells.

Cancer Grand Challenges: SPECIFICANCER team

In partnership with the Mark Foundation for Cancer Research, we are funding the SPECIFICANCER Cancer Grand Challenges team, who are investigating the molecular mechanisms that underpin the tissue specificity of cancerous tumours.

Cancer Research Horizons - AstraZeneca Antibody Alliance Laboratory logo

Cancer Research Horizons–AstraZeneca Antibody Alliance Laboratory

Our strategic partnership with AstraZeneca delivers world-class antibody engineering capabilities to develop new diagnostic and therapeutic antibodies.   

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Cancer Research Horizons-AstraZeneca Functional Genomics Centre

Our state-of-the-art institute provides access to cutting-edge CRISPR technology. We leverage the combined global strengths of Cancer Research UK’s world-class scientific network and AstraZeneca’s oncology drug discovery and development experience to drive scientific innovation.

OHSU Knight Cancer Institute

CRUK–OHSU co-funded awards

We funded two grant schemes in collaboration with the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute focused on our shared priority for the early detection of cancer. 


[Early detection research icon]

Early Detection Innovation Sandpits

In collaboration with the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Medical Research Council (MRC), the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and Pancreatic Cancer UK, we have held a a series of sandpit workshops to catalyse new research connections in the rapidly developing field of early detection.


Experimental Cancer Medicine Centres (ECMC) Network

This network brings new treatments to cancer patients as quickly as possible, in partnership with the UK's government health agencies.

1st Crick International Cancer Conference

The Francis Crick Institute

We're a founding partner of the Francis Crick Institute, a state-of-the-art research institute dedicated to fundamental biomedical science, alongside the Medical Research Council, Wellcome Trust, UCL, Imperial College London and Kings College London.

Wellcome Trust

Gurdon Institute

We fund the Cambridge-based Gurdon Institute in collaboration with the Wellcome Trust.

Lung Cancer Cells

Human Cancer Models Initiative

We worked in partnership with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, the National Cancer Institute and Hubrecht Organoid Technology to support the development of a large, globally accessible biobank of new cancer models.

Ono Pharmaceutical Co Ltd and Lifearc

Immuno-oncology Alliance with Ono Pharma and LifeArc

Our alliance with Japan's Ono Pharmaceutical Co Ltd and medical research charity LifeArc engages with academic researchers to accelerate the translation of discovery science to new immunotherapies.

International Cancer Genome Consortium

International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC)

We're part of the ICGC, an international consortium that is mapping the genetic faults in 50 of the most important cancer types.

International Rare Cancers Initiative

International Rare Cancers Initiative (IRCI)

We provide support for international clinical trials into rare cancers, in partnership with cancer research organisations in Europe, North America, Japan and Australia.

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Molecular Analysis for Personalised Therapy (MAP) Conference

We organise this annual oncology conference in collaboration with the European Society for Molecular Oncology (ESMO) and Unicancer.

Ludwig Cancer Research: Cancer Prevention Conferences

In collaboration with Ludwig Cancer Research, we held a series of conference events focusing on cancer prevention.

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MRC Stratified Medicine Consortia

In partnership with the Medical Research Council, we co-funded the S-CORT (bowel cancer) and Re-IMAGINE (prostate cancer) consortia.

Early Detection 2017 Event

OHSU Knight Cancer Institute – Canary Center at Stanford – CRUK Early Detection of Cancer Conference

This annual conference – a collaboration between Cancer Research UK, the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) Knight Cancer Institute and the Canary Center at Stanford – convenes world leaders in the field of early detection research.

Pancreatic Cancer Dream Team

We partnered with Stand Up To Cancer and the Lustgarten Foundation to accelerate progress in pancreatic cancer research.

UK Biobank

UK Biobank

We're part of a consortium of UK government and charitable organisations that provides funding for UK Biobank, a large-scale research initiative investigating how genetic predisposition and environmental factors affect the development of disease.

UK Clinical Research Collaboration

UKCRC Public Health Research Centres of Excellence

As part of the UKCRC consortium, we work with major public health funders to develop ways to improve public health research.

UK Prevention Research Partnership (UKPRP)

UK Prevention Research Partnership (UKPRP)

We are a member of the UKPRP consortium, which aims to support research into the primary prevention of non-communicable diseases.

Versus Arthritis

We partnered with Versus Arthritis to co-fund cancer immunology projects that have the potential to lead to significant progress in both disease areas.

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VIVO Biobank

In partnership with Blood Cancer UK, we launched the UK's leading research resource dedicated to storing samples and data of cancers affecting children and young people. 

Genomics England

100,000 Genomes Project

We supported the 100,000 Genomes Project in its mission to sequence 100,000 genomes from cancer patients and individuals with rare diseases.