Macmillan research grants scheme

At Macmillan we run an open competition grant funding scheme for UK-based researchers who have proposals for research projects that address questions relevant to our current call, that are scientifically and methodologically excellent, and that have clear potential to benefit people living with cancer.

Calls for applications

The Macmillan Research Grants Scheme is now open to applications for our 2017 call. To reach and improve the lives of everyone living with cancer, we invest in research that helps us to understand the numbers, needs and experiences of people living with cancer and generate the evidence needed to enable a better cancer experience.

We invite outline applications for projects in the following areas:

  1. The role of primary care in meeting the needs of people living with cancer
  2. People living with cancer that cannot be cured
  3. The use of digital technology to improve the experience and outcomes of people living with cancer

Please see below for the full scope of the call within these areas.

The deadline for outline applications is 8 May 2017.

Further details on available funding, applicant eligibility and the application and review process can be found below. Please ensure you read all this information before applying.



Scope of 2017 call

Macmillan Cancer Support invites proposals for research which:

  • address well-defined research questions relevant to the areas specified in our call
  • demonstrate a thorough understanding of existing national and international evidence-base in the area and how the proposed research will build on this
  • are scientifically and methodologically excellent
  • have clear potential to benefit people living with cancer.

Proposals are invited within the following areas:

1. The role of primary care in meeting the needs of people living with cancer at key times of need across the cancer journey (diagnosis, treatment and recovery, living with cancer that cannot be cured, end of life)

Relevant topics include:

  • The extent to which the needs of people living with cancer are currently being met in primary care.
  • How commonly identified unmet needs of people living with cancer could be met within primary care in the future.
  • Utilisation of primary care data on comorbidities (including frailty) to investigate the impact of comorbidities on cancer experiences and the impact of cancer on comorbidities.
  • The healthcare resource burden of cancer in primary care across the cancer journey, from diagnosis through to end of life.

2. People living with cancer that cannot be cured (including people receiving anti-cancer treatment to slow the progression of cancer and prolong life and people receiving palliative or supportive care treatments to manage symptoms)

Relevant topics include:

  • Developing methodologies to support the derivation of prevalence figures for people living with cancer that cannot be cured.
  • The needs, experiences and perspectives of people living with cancer that cannot be cured.
  • Tools to support communication on prognostication, informed choice on continuing/discontinuing treatment, and conversations around the transition to end of life.
  • Health technology assessment (HTA) evidence review on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of supportive interventions for patients living with cancer that cannot be cured.

3. The use of digital technology to improve the experience and outcomes of people living with cancer

Relevant topics include:

  • Technology applications to improve patient experience at key times of need across the cancer journey (diagnosis, treatment and recovery, living with cancer that cannot be cured, end of life).
  • Advances in healthcare analytics across cancer populations or the use of novel methods to digitally capture patient health data (e.g. via wearables, integration with consumer health platforms).
  • Projects with high potential to advance cancer care via focus on newer technologies, such as Internet of Things, AI, data analytics, and blockchain.


Key dates

The deadline for outline applications is 8 May 2017.

Decisions on outline applications are expected at the beginning of June 2017.

The deadline for full applications is anticipated to fall in mid-July, with final decisions expected in November 2017.

Grant agreements for successful applicants must be signed by the end of December 2017.


Applicant eligibility

Lead applicants should be scientists, clinicians or health care workers based at either a UK HEI or hospital. No restrictions are placed on the affiliations of co-applicants. We would encourage applicants to consider the inclusion of people affected by cancer as co-applicants, where meaningful and appropriate.

Individuals may only be named as the lead applicant on one application within this funding round.


Funding limits and allowable costs

Macmillan will be spending in the region of £750,000 on research funded through this call. 

Project grant applications in Area 3 of the call (‘Digital Technology’) will be considered for up to 12 months duration and with a maximum funding amount of £100,000. 

Project grants in all other areas of the call will be considered for up to 36 months duration and with a maximum funding amount of £250,000. 

As a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC), we endorse the AMRC statement on supporting research in universities. Macmillan will only pay the directly incurred costs of the proposed research and will not provide support for either directly allocated or indirect costs. Awards are made on the understanding that directly allocated and indirect costs (overhead costs) will be met by the host institution.

For more details on allowable costs, please see the Instructions for Applicants [PDF].

Our application and review process

Click on the titles to read more about what happens at each stage.

Open call

Macmillan announces focus areas for funding research and key dates in the application process.

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Applications

Applicants submit outline application and all supporting documents to Macmillan.

Macmillan confirms receipt of application and confirms time frame for decision process.

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Internal triage

Outline applications undergo internal review to check that they meet all the criteria of the call, and to assess their consistency with Macmillan’s published research strategy, their relevance to the call scope, and their potential to benefit people living with cancer.

Successful applicants are invited to submit a full application which is sent for external peer review.

Unsuccessful applicants are informed of the decision and provided with feedback.

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External peer review

Full applications are reviewed by external scientific peer reviewers, who are experts in the relevant area of research, to assess the scientific quality of the research.

Applications are also reviewed by people affected by cancer to assess the relevance of the research for them, as well as the quality of plans for the involvement of people affected by cancer in the research.

Applicants receive peer reviewers’ feedback, and have an opportunity to submit a response to the reviewers.

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Research Advisory Panel (RAP)

The Research Advisory Panel review and evaluate the applications and assessments from each phase of the review process before recommending which applications should be prioritised for funding.

The RAP receives assessments from:

  • the internal triage stage
  • people affected by cancer
  • external scientific peer reviewers. 

In addition, they receive the full application and the applicants’ responses to the peer review stage.

Applicants are notified about the decision of their application. 

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