Research opportunities in basic science and discovery research


Funding opportunities

We have a range of grants available for you and your research group, whether you're looking for programme funding for your lab, grants for specific projects, or fellowship funding to develop your career.

Explore all funding opportunities 

We support a broad portfolio of discovery research, including fundamental biology, genetics and immunology, biomarker discovery and preclinical studies, and research into imaging and radiotherapy.

We also support multidisciplinary collaboration, and we have opportunities for researchers in fields such as engineering and physical sciences to apply their work to cancer.

Our research strategy is driven by patient and public benefit, and our portfolio of biology and multidisciplinary scientific research is focused on projects and programmes which have the potential to improve the prevention, detection or treatment of cancer in the future.



Statement of Intent for Discovery Research

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We will transform our fundamental understanding of cancer

  • We will support a broad portfolio of world-leading discovery research that will transform our understanding of cancer biology. We will support investigations into all types of cancer, with prioritised investment in our four cancers of unmet need – brain, lung, oesophageal and pancreatic cancers.
  • We will invest in pioneering research that enhances our understanding of the biology of early, pre-invasive, localised and metastatic disease
  • We will support both single investigator led research and team science where broad ranging expertise is required to address complex questions
  • We will increase our investment in multidisciplinary approaches to create or apply novel technologies and methodologies to address previously intractable questions in cancer. We will stimulate research in understanding the role of the immune system in cancer and the opportunities to exploit it therapeutically.
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We will translate scientific discoveries for patient benefit

  • We will support hypothesis-driven cutting-edge research, ranging from discovery science to translational research, that has a clear articulation of the potential ultimate patient benefit.

  • We will increase our investment in high-quality research that addresses clinically relevant questions through the investigation of underpinning biological mechanisms, which can include utilising data-rich sample collections and disease-relevant model systems.

  • We will grow investment in developing and optimising existing treatments, in particular combination therapy, surgery and radiotherapy.

  • We will exploit the potential to translate biological findings into novel therapies or biomarkers to inform future clinical trial design.


Funding opportunities

We fund investigator-led projects, team science programmes, partnership initiatives and make long-term investments in research facilities and resources. We're also committed to supporting the next generation of cancer researchers, and have a range of opportunities to help you develop your research career.

Our portfolio

We fund the best research from across the spectrum of discovery research. You can find out who we have recently funded for a taste of the kinds of projects and programmes that we support.

Our network of research infrastructure

When you become a CRUK-funded researcher, you also gain access to our network of facilities and resources to support your research.

canSAR: Cancer Drug Discovery Platform

CanSAR: Cancer Drug Discovery Platform

CanSAR supports discovery and translational research by providing an integrated knowledgebase that brings together multidisciplinary data across biology, chemistry, pharmacology, structural biology, cellular networks and clinical annotations, and applies machine learning approaches to provide useful predictions for drug discovery.

CRUK-MEDI Alliance Laboratory

Cancer Research Horizons–AstraZeneca Antibody Alliance Laboratory

This innovative collaboration with AstraZeneca's global biologics arm gives researchers access to cutting-edge antibody technology for use in research as well as therapeutic and diagnostic discovery.

Genetic plating in a lab

Cancer Research Horizons-AstraZeneca Functional Genomics Centre

The joint AstraZeneca-Cancer Research Horizons Functional Genomics Centre offers access to cutting-edge CRISPR technology to facilitate the creation of new cancer medicines and the improved use of existing cancer medicines.

Events and conferences

We convene events bringing together our funded researchers and the wider cancer research community. These include our flagship international conferences in early detection, brain tumour, lung cancer and oesophageal cancer.

Our research strategy

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We invest in creative people who can deliver research of the highest quality. Our strategy shapes how we'll discover more about the mechanisms of how cancer develops and progresses to unlock new and better ways to prevent, detect and treat it.

 Explore our research strategy 

Contact us

Our Research Funding Team can help you find the right support for your research.

Dr Matt Kaiser

Head of Discovery Research

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Stay up to date with research funding and partnership opportunities at CRUK with our monthly Research Update email newsletter.

You can also follow our research funding, partnerships and strategy teams on twitter at @CRUKresearch.