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Brain Tumour Awards

Cancer Research UK and The Brain Tumour Charity have launched the Brain Tumour Awards to help advance our understanding about the biology of the disease and the challenges translating discoveries into treatments.

Each year around 11,400 people in the UK are diagnosed with a brain tumour and just 14% of people survive their disease for 10 or more years.The aim of these awards is to accelerate research in a bold and innovative way that would not be possible through traditional funding schemes.

Funding schemes

Researchers can apply for grants up to £10 million for each project over five years.

The Brain Tumour Awards address 6 major themes:

  1. Unlocking new insights into brain tumours using neuroscience
    There is a wealth of neuroscience research on how the brain works and other neurological disorders. This theme aims to harness this information to help to expand our knowledge of how brain tumours begin and progress.
  2. Unpicking brain tumours' biology to design more effective drugs
    Many of the genetic events that fuel brain tumours have yet to be discovered. This theme seeks to address the knowledge gap, which could lead to the discovery of new targets for treatments, and the development of drugs against them.
  3. Exploiting the brain tumour environment to make better treatments
    Brain tumours are influenced by their surrounding environment, which is unlike anywhere else in the body. This theme is about gaining a deep understanding of the cells and tissues around the tumour and the protective blood-brain barrier**, to inform the development of new ways to detect and treat the disease.
  4. Developing more accurate ways to study brain tumours
    Many potential new treatments that have shown promise in lab research have failed in patients. One of the reasons behind this is that studies in cells and mice don't always capture what happens in people. The aim of this theme is to develop better ways to study brain tumours in the lab, to accelerate the translation of research from bench to bedside.
  5. Improving brain tumour diagnosis to make treatment more personal
    Many brain tumours are diagnosed based on how the cells look under the microscope, but this misses other vital pieces of information – such as genetics – which can influence how the disease will behave. This theme seeks to develop a more precise way of classifying brain tumours, which will help improve clinical trials and treatment decisions.
  6. Develop kinder treatments for brain tumours
    While some brain tumours grow quickly and need aggressive treatment, others progress slowly and patients could be spared intensive therapy where it's not needed. This challenge aims to make treatments kinder for patients with less aggressive brain tumours, lowering the risk of side effects and improving quality of life. This is particularly important for children with brain tumours, where long term side effects can significantly affect quality of life.

Key Dates

Preliminary submission is now closed.

Final submission:11 December 2018

Committee review: April 2019

Assessment Criteria 

Each award has its own eligibility criteria that can be found on the CRUK website. The strengths of each application will be assessed by CRUK's Clinical Research Committee and used to arrive at an overall score. Only studies scoring above an agreed threshold will be considered for funding by The Brain Tumour Charity and Cancer Research UK. Studies funded by this initiative will be jointly branded by The Brain Tumour Charity and Cancer Research UK.

Application process

Application details for each award are available on the CRUK website.

Further information

Further information on any of the awards listed on this page is available from CRUK. You are also encouraged to contact a funding manager at CRUK to discuss your proposal before starting your application.