New grant scheme launching in July 2015

At Prostate Cancer UK, we’re committed to supporting the best people, working in the best places to deliver game-changing research for men with, or at high risk of, prostate cancer. We know we still need to deal with huge gaps in knowledge and poor outcomes for men. And we need to do it urgently.

That’s why we’re getting ready to launch an ambitious new organisational strategy, backed up by a brand new ten-year research strategy (watch this space: details to follow in July). The new research strategy will set out our priority areas for investment and the mechanisms we’ll use to support transformative research in those areas.

We want to move quickly to improve the lives of men with prostate cancer, and that motivation forms the core of our new strategy. We’re launching our new Research Innovation Awards scheme now, ahead of the public launch of the organisational strategy, so we can get started straight away.

This scheme will replace the current ‘Projects and Pilots’ grant scheme, and we’ll release full details when the call opens in July. We anticipate making our first Research Innovation Awards in April 2016. Brief details of the main changes (and some things that haven’t changed) are outlined below:

  • The Research Innovation Award Scheme will be fully response mode with wide eligibility across areas included in our new research strategy (full details will be provided when the call opens in July).
  • There will be no lower or upper limits to the amount that can be requested. The defining principle will be that applicants should ask for whatever is necessary to deliver the anticipated outcomes (of course, any costs will need to be fully justified).
  • The application and assessment processes will be designed to prioritise the most innovative projects.
  • The scheme will fund both fundamental and clinical research (and all stages in between). However research at all stages will be expected to have a focus on eventual benefit to men. Applicants will be expected to set out a logical and realistic path of work that will need to happen at the end of the award in order to deliver that benefit to men.
  • We recognise the importance of developing the prostate cancer research workforce, and also that current gaps in career support may be limiting researchers’ development into leaders in the field. To address this, the awards will have some scope for experienced post-doctoral researchers leading Research Innovation Awards to include their own salary within the grant.
  • This scheme will enable us to fund applications that bring innovative ideas from other cancer types to be tested or translated for prostate cancer. We will also encourage applicants to build teams that include experts from other disciplines and other countries where that will improve the project.