Beating bowel cancer together

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Early diagnosis Project Grants call now open!

Deadline for applications is Tuesday 9 July 2024 at 11 am.

Apply today


We’re excited to announce that we're now accepting applications for our early diagnosis project grant awards allowing researchers to apply for up to £165K over a 2-3 year period for innovative research that will help to facilitate a 'stage shift' towards earlier diagnosis of bowel cancer in the UK.

On this page, you'll find information on remit and eligibility, the application and assessment process and how to apply.


Currently, fewer than 40% of people are diagnosed at stage 1 and 2 when bowel cancer is most treatable and curable. We want to secure a future where most people are diagnosed at the earliest possible stage. Bowel cancer is the second biggest cancer killer in the UK. However, it shouldn't be because it is treatable and curable especially if diagnosed early.

Remit and eligibility

We aim to fund the best highest quality research and our areas of interest include (but aren't limited to):

  • understanding and overcoming barriers to symptomatic individuals seeking help
  • research into innovative solutions to support earlier diagnosis across primary and secondary care
  • initiatives to increase uptake of bowel cancer screening in areas of low engagement, including addressing the impact of health inequalities
  • research focused on improving our national bowel cancer screening programmes, including new modes of screening, improvements to using FIT and risk stratification.

Applicants are expected to have some preliminary data to support the application. Funding can cover salaries and consumables (that are direct costs of the project including animal costs).

The Lead Applicant must be based in a recognised academic or clinical institution in the UK and be in a tenured position, or hold a contract with the host that extends beyond the lifetime of the grant.

All costs must be fully justified within the application. We won't cover the costs of tenured staff members on grants, nor those whose salaries are already covered by other means.

We will not accept applications that are:

  • Discovery science and research without a clear path to clinical impact
  • For further education, e.g. MSc/PhD and course fees
  • For Clinical Research Training Fellowships
  • For work primarily undertaken outside the UK
  • For ‘top up’ funding for specific projects already supported by other funding bodies

Application and Assessment Process

Deadline: Applications (including e-signatures) along with any supporting documents must be submitted via email to by Tuesday 9 July 2024 at 11 am.

Triage: The office will carry out administrative checks to ensure applications meet the remit and eligibility of the call.

Expert Review: Eligible applications will then be subject to international expert review (in line with AMRC guidance). The expert reviewers' comments will be sent to the applicants (anonymously) in early October 2024. Applicants will be given the opportunity to submit a response to the reviewers' comments. Learn more about our expert review process.

Committee Meeting: Applications will then be considered by our Scientific Advisory Board in mid-November 2024, who will make funding recommendations to our Board of Trustees.

Notification: Once the funding recommendations have been ratified by our Board of Trustees, applicants will be notified as to the outcome of their submission via email in December 2024. We appreciate your patience during this time. All awards made will be in line with our terms and conditions.

Patient involvement

Applicants are strongly encouraged to actively involve patient representatives from the outset to help shape and deliver their research project from early design through to the dissemination of results. The involvement of people affected by bowel cancer can lead to better quality and therefore, more fundable, applications. If you'd like us to connect you with a patient representative, please complete the request form on our website.

How to apply

Our guidance notes contain additional help and are designed to help ensure you meet the requirements for the call and guide you to accurately complete your application form.

Application guidance

Complete our expression of interest form below, and you’ll automatically receive an email containing a link to our full application form.

Early diagnosis project grant

Fill in your details to receive your application form

If you input information about your health in the form above, you agree to Bowel Cancer UK storing and using this information to help us send you more relevant information as well as understand you better. You can request that we delete this information whenever you'd like by contacting us on 

We take your privacy seriously and promise to never sell your data. You can find out more about your rights, how we use your personal information and how we keep your details safe and secure by reading our Privacy Policy. For more information, to update your choices or to stop us sending you updates, email or call 020 7940 1760. 

Contact Us

If you have any questions or would like to discuss an application with the Research team, please email

To keep up to date about our future funding calls,sign up for grant round notifications. 

Further information

Your support helps save lives. Donate now and help us ensure a future where nobody dies of bowel cancer.
Your support helps save lives. Donate now and help us ensure a future where nobody dies of bowel cancer.

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