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Quest for Cures: Collaborative Discovery Teams

Funding for collaborative discovery teams with transformational research ideas.

The scheme aims to bring benefits to patients faster by acknowledging the importance of interdisciplinary team approaches in accelerating the understanding and translation of discoveries.

We are seeking innovative approaches to address the critical questions that could present a paradigm shift for brain tumour research or use unexplored paths to allow for new discoveries to be made.

Purpose and scope

This funding for pre-clinical studies aims to:

  • foster a collaborative research process
  • strengthen the ties between basic and clinical research
  • promote transformational brain tumour research advances with the potential for rapid clinical translation.

Multidisciplinary teams should be formed from the most talented and promising researchers across institutions to address the issues and utilise technological advances across fields. The creation of the multidisciplinary team should facilitate research which would not be achievable without such a collaboration.


Funding of up to £1.5million per programme over five years is available.

This funding should be allocated to cover direct costs for staff, including salaries, consumables and publication costs. Requests for capital / infrastructure will not be considered since it is expected that this will be available at the Lead Institution as well as all partner organisations. Grants will be awarded to the Principal Investigator's institution. Funding can be allocated to co-investigator institutions with agreements put in place between all partner institutions.

Key dates

25 June 2018, 5 pm (BST) - Deadline for receipt of letters of intent
Early September 2018 - Invitation for submission of full applications
15 October 2018, 5 pm (BST) - Deadline for receipt of full applications
March 2019 - Scientific Advisory Board Meeting
March 2019 - Awards announced

Eligibility criteria

  • All grant applications must focus on at least one of the research priorities highlighted in our research strategy 'A Cure Can't Wait'
  • The award is open to international researchers but applications including a UK collaborator will be looked on favourably
  • Teams should be formed of researchers across at least two/three institutions
  • Teams should be comprised of both established and promising researchers from multidisciplinary backgrounds
  • The principal applicant must hold an employment contract beyond the period of the grant
  • If the principal applicant does not hold an academic or research position, the application must include a co-applicant at the Lead Institution who does
  • A researcher may serve as principal applicant on only one proposal per grant round
  • The collaborating teams should have the relevant expertise of laboratory and clinical researchers to demonstrate how discoveries will be translated and taken forward to patient benefit

Public and patient involvement

To obtain input from those affected by brain tumours, we strongly recommend that applicants access our Research Involvement Network (RIN) for public and patient involvement. In order to receive feedback from the RIN, please allow for a minimum of 3 weeks turnaround time.

Assessment criteria

Innovative and transformative research

  • The proposal should take novel approaches with a strong scientific rationale
  • The proposal should demonstrate the capacity to revolutionise treatments and/or clinical decision making
  • The proposal should demonstrate the capacity to develop new approaches or the translation of technologies for the use in the diagnosis or treatment of brain tumours
  • We encourage proposals that adopt a high-risk, high reward approach to addressing the key questions preventing progress in brain tumour research

Collaborative and multidisciplinary emphasis

  • The application should outline the strengths of the collaborative team and indicate how the proposed work will achieve scientific goals that could not be realised by the individual components of the team
  • The application should highlight any new avenues of research involving experts who currently work outside the brain tumour research field

Potential for patient benefit

  • Applications should demonstrate a potential pathway for the proposed research to lead to patient benefit and the anticipated impact of this
  • Applications with a clear path to clinical application will be strongly favoured

Milestone and goal-driven approach

  • The research programme must have detailed milestones which will be used for monitoring progress

Value for money and communication plans

  • The proposal should demonstrate how the requested funds are essential for the work and explain how the project represents value for money
  • The proposal should include clear plans and mechanisms for sharing resources and information across the team, including existing resources and platforms

The Brain Tumour Charity is a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) and adheres to its principles of peer review. All applications will be considered by our Biomedical Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) alongside lay representatives of people affected by brain tumours.

Application process

Full applications from invited applicants are currently being accepted.

Further information

If you would like to discuss your application or need any information, please contact the Research Team.
E-mail: Phone: +44 (0) 1252 418190