Children with Cancer UK is one of the UK’s leading funders of research into childhood cancer.

We fund a broad variety of research aimed at improving our understanding of childhood cancer and improving the outlook for young patients.

COVID-19 - Advice to research grant holders

At Children with Cancer UK, we understand that the COVID-19 pandemic will have a significant impact on research activities and the researchers we are funding.  During this difficult time we intend to provide a supportive and flexible approach to our research awards in order to address issues as sympathetically and reasonably as possible. Follow the link below to find information for anyone who currently holds a Children with Cancer UK research grant.

Read more

Our conferences and workshops

Through our regular conferences and workshops, we bring together stakeholders in childhood cancer treatment and research to exchange knowledge and ideas.

We aim to provide a forum for clinicians, scientists and other stakeholders to discuss and debate key themes, share knowledge and develop new collaborations.

International Childhood Cancer Conference 2019

We are delighted to announce Childhood Cancer 2019: Exploiting genomic medicine throughout the patient journey.
Newcastle, 9th & 10th September 2019

Childhood Cancer 2019 conference More about previous conferences and workshops

Funding Opportunities

2019 Research Grant Call: £3 million

2019 Research Grant Call for Research into Childhood Cancer Treatment and Survival

This grant call has now closed.

Children with Cancer UK’s mission is a threefold one of “Cause, Care, Cure”.
We are seeking proposals for research projects that address improved treatment for and survival from childhood and young person cancer and into improved quality of ongoing life.

Read more

2018 Research Grant Call: £2.5 million

2018 Grant Call for research into childhood and young person cancer causes and prevention

This grant call has now closed.

Children with Cancer UK’s mission is a threefold one of “Cause, Care, Cure”.
This grant call is for proposals for research projects that address causal and promotional factors and possible preventative actions relating to the risk of cancer in children and young persons.

Read more

Grants for the support of conferences and meetings

We provide funding to support relevant conferences, meetings and workshops.

This funding stream is open throughout the year.

We will provide funding of up to £10,000 to support the cost of conferences where either the whole event or specific sessions are relevant to one or more of our research aims.

Specialist meetings
We will provide funding of up to £10,000 to support the cost of organising small meetings or workshops on specialist topics of relevance to one or more of our research aims.

Read more

Research strategy

The incidence of childhood cancer increased through the second half of the 20th century and continues to increase today.

Incredible progress has been made in treating childhood cancers, with 5-year survival increasing from around 66% in children diagnosed between 1986-1990 to around 80% in children diagnosed between 2006 and 2010 in Great Britain1, but the pace of progress has now slowed and a substantial minority of patients are failed by therapy and do not survive.

In addition, tremendous gains in survival have been achieved through the use of increasingly intensive treatment regimens, putting young patients at risk of both short- and long-term adverse treatment-related effects affecting their quality of life. Lifetime impacts of cancers and their treatments faced by young patients include increased risks of morbidity, poor health status and premature mortality following treatment2.

Children with Cancer UK is a charity dedicated to improving survival rates and the quality of life in young cancer survivors and to finding ways to prevent cancer in the future. Our vision is a world where every child survives cancer. Our mission is to improve survival rates across all types of childhood cancer and support children and their families to live better with and after treatment.

Since the charity was founded in 1988, we have raised over £230 million to support research programmes, build research facilities, raise awareness, and directly help children and families affected by cancer by funding welfare projects and practical support.

We are currently in the process of refreshing our research strategy and expect to publish it in 2021.


  1. These statistics are agreed by the Children and Young People with Cancer (CYPC) Coalition of UK Cancer Charities.
  2. Fidler, M.M. and Hawkins, M.M., 2017. Childhood cancer: the long-term costs of cure. Lancet (London, England), 390(10112), p.2530.
  • We want to understand more about why children develop cancer, to find explanations for the increase in risk and to establish whether prevention is a possibility
  • We want to drive forward the development of novel approaches to diagnosis, identification of markers of likely outcome and improved treatments for childhood cancer in order to tackle those forms which still elude successful treatment and to minimise the risk of adverse, treatment-related effects
  • We want to understand more about the long-term risks faced by childhood cancer survivors, of whom there are now more than 30,000 in the UK.

These research aims can be broken down into the following objectives:

  1. To improve knowledge of the genetic and environmental causes and relevant biological mechanisms of childhood cancers
  2. To identify diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for childhood cancers
  3. To optimise and develop more effective and less toxic treatments for children with cancer, with a special focus on those forms of cancer that still carry a poor prognosis
  4. To understand the long-term health implications of childhood cancer and its treatment
  5. To promote the dissemination of research findings to achieve maximum impact

Children with Cancer UK is a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) and supports the AMRC’s position statement on using animals in research. We support the principle of using animals in research when it is necessary to advance understanding of health and disease and to develop new treatments; we want to find improved treatments that will cure even the hardest-to-treat forms of childhood cancer, causing minimal side effects for the child. This research only takes place where there is no other alternative available and projects are only funded by us after rigorous assessment that specifically addresses the proposed use of animals.

Children with Cancer UK has signed the Concordat on Openness on Animal Research in the UK, alongside over 120 other organisations. Together, we have committed to enhancing our communication about the use of animals in research. For our full Position Statement on animal research, please click the link below.

Children with Cancer UK Animal Research Position Statement – June 2020


Please note that due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, we are unable to confirm when the next funding call will be announced. To receive updates, please contact to be added to our researcher mailing list.

We will address our Research Objectives via the following funding streams:

  • Project grants: we will provide project funding for research addressing Research Objectives 1-4 above
  • Postdoctoral research fellowships: we will provide support for outstanding postdoctoral researchers to develop their careers in childhood cancer research
  • Clinical Studentships: we will provide support for clinicians wishing to develop a dual career that combines novel research with clinical practice

The charity is increasingly hosting themed research funding calls that each focus on just one or two of the Research Objectives. The full details of the timeline, remit, rationale and eligibility criteria for the call, and the size and types of grant available to applicants, are detailed in tender documents, application forms and guidance notes that are published at the call launch. Examples of previous tender documents can be found here.

We will consider ad-hoc applications for research grants, including for research programmes, but due to the impact of COVID-19 our capacity to support these proposals is currently very limited. We are currently reviewing our ad-hoc grant application forms, terms and conditions, and policies. Please email for the latest information on applying for ad-hoc grants.

We also support the following funding stream on an ad-hoc basis:

  • Support for conferences and meetings: to facilitate dissemination of research findings and encourage collaboration we will provide funding to support key sessions at relevant conferences and to fund specialist meetings or workshops.

Proposals for all grant types must usually be submitted by a UK academic institution (university, hospital or research institute). We will consider funding international collaborations where researchers from a UK institution play a significant role. If that is not possible or practical then please contact us for specific permission to apply. We can allow some exceptions where the expertise required and interest to carry out appropriate research is primarily at overseas institutions.

Please note that Children with Cancer UK supports the AMRC’s position statement on supporting research in universities.

Children with Cancer UK is a registered charity which receives no government funding and relies entirely on the generosity of supporters, so we have a responsibility to report the activities and outcomes of the work we support. Grant holders are required to submit annual report on the progress of their award via our online grant management system, FlexiGrant, and Researchfish. Grant holders are also expected to co-operate and contribute to any publicity or fundraising activities against the award, and the charity will endeavour to ensure that all such requests are kept to a manageable level.

Our Science Team are available to support existing grant holders. Please contact with any enquiries regarding your award.

Children with Cancer UK values its partnerships with others in the children’s cancer community in our funding, campaigning and welfare activities, including other charities, funders, cancer organisations and universities. We are open to future collaborations and welcome enquiries via

We also encourage collaboration among the researchers we fund. For example, we have core-funded the Children’s Brain Tumour Drug Delivery Consortium and co-funded INSTINCT, a network across three of the UK’s leading paediatric neuro-oncology centres working to improve treatments for high-risk childhood brain tumours.

Assessment Process

Assessment Process

The exact remit of each funding call is determined by our Honorary Scientific and Medical Directors and the Trustees after discussions with our scientific advisors. Project Grants, Fellowships and Studentships awards are annual calls, with a two-stage application process.

The first stage is submission of a short preliminary application giving an outline of the proposed research – the aims, methods and the credentials of the research team. Preliminary applications undergo initial internal triage to check that forms are completed correctly, and the proposed research is within the scope of the call.

Preliminary applications are then reviewed by the Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP). The most promising applications are taken through to the second stage, with applicants invited to submit a detailed proposal. Short-listed Fellowship and Studentship applicants will also be interviewed. The SAP aims to shortlist proposals with a total value of 1.5X the funding call budget.

Ad-hoc grant applications (i.e. those not submitted to funding calls) undergo a single-stage application process without a preliminary submission but are still subject to internal triage and the same level of peer review as applications that are submitted to funding calls.

Peer Review

The detailed research proposals are reviewed by external experts, from the UK and overseas, selected according to their relevance to the proposed research.

External reviewers are asked to complete a form to assess the detailed research proposals against the following criteria:

  1. The importance, originality, and relevance of the project
  2. The study design, including the likelihood of achieving decisive results, and whether the timeline is realistic, and the methods are appropriate and if there is enough statistical power, etc
  3. The credibility and justification of the financial request
  4. The ability of the research team to carry out the proposed work
  5. Whether the use of animals, if applicable, is adequately justified and aligns with the NC3Rs guidelines
  6. Whether there are any likely major obstacles that the research team may encounter.

Each external reviewer provides written comments and an overall score, commenting on the originality, importance, design and costing of the proposal. Project Grant Applicants have the opportunity to respond to these comments.

Final Decisions

The applications, reviews and responses are then sent to members of our SAP who meet to discuss each application and agree which projects to recommend to the Trustees for funding, taking into account the funding available.

The Trustees make the final decisions, on the basis of advice from the SAP and the amount of funding available.

Our Scientific Advisory Panel


Children with Cancer UK is a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC), which sets minimum standards of good practice to which member charities must adhere in their grant-making, including policies on peer review.

We are also a member of the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI), a partnership of UK cancer funders.


International Childhood Cancer Conference 2019

Register today

We are delighted to announce Childhood Cancer 2019: Exploiting genomic medicine throughout the patient journey.
Newcastle, 9th & 10th September 2019

Find out more
Presentation videos

Osteosarcoma Research Symposium.

In January 2019, Children with Cancer UK and the Bone Cancer Research Trust came together to hold the first ever International Osteosarcoma Research Symposium.

You can watch videos of each of the presentations.

Watch the videos
New osteosarcoma research

In memory of 11 year old Frankie

Following the first ever International Osteosarcoma Research Symposium, Children with Cancer UK and the Bone Cancer Research Trust announced their new partnership to advance research into osteosarcoma – in  memory of 11 year old Frankie.

Find out more

Sign up to our researchers' mailing list

Send us an email with your full name and email address expressing your consent to sign up to receive email notifications about new research funding opportunities from Children with Cancer UK: