Beating bowel cancer together

Apply for a grant

We are now accepting applications for pilot grants for award in August 2019. 

For 2018-19, we plan to award a combination of project and pilot grants totalling up to £500,000 for research in the following areas:

Improving bowel cancer screening, with a particular focus on:

  • Developing new forms of screening and early detection methods, such as breath and urine tests or that utilise different technologies such as capsule endoscopy
  • Increasing screening uptake by testing different public interventions
  • Ways to reduce demand for endoscopy tests so capacity can be released enabling the Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) sensitivity level to be improved. Examples include research into using another test to triage to the service or research projects that enable us to better understand and plan for endoscopy workforce demands
  • Enabling risk stratification to be introduced into the screening programme, ensuring those at greatest risk are effectively screened. For example, we are interested in research which might utilise genomic information to prevent or detect cancer or that increases our understanding of how FIT performs in different groups such as women or black and minority ethnic communities.

Understanding and identifying people at high risk of bowel cancer, with a particular focus on:

  • Improving  the identification of people at higher risk by increasing our understanding amongst known risk groups, such as those with a strong family history or with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
  • Practical improvements in surveillance screening such as the development of a national (or linked regional) database to aid call and recall systems, or research that investigates the best methods for ensuring everyone at higher risk gets the surveillance screening they need irrelevant of postcode.

Understanding bowel cancer in the under 50s, with a particular focus on: 

  • Increasing our understanding of the characteristics of bowel cancer in the under 50s
  • Investigating the causes of growing numbers of cases for example through changes to the microbiome or environmental factors
  • Enabling the diagnosis of younger people with bowel cancer more quickly


If you would like to be notified when we open future grant rounds, please complete this form.

Grant Types

Bowel Cancer UK is currently offering project and pilot grants.  

Pilot grants are available for up to 18 months of funding for up to £25K.  Applicants do not need any preliminary data in order to apply - these grants are aimed at allowing researchers to obtain preliminary data for a larger grant application.  Funding will cover salaries and consumables (including animal costs) only.  The pilot study should be designed in such a way as to obtain information about whether a full-scale study would be feasible. The deadline for pilot grant applications is 4pm on 2 May 2019.

The deadline for project grant applications has now passed.

Bowel Cancer UK will not cover the costs of tenured staff members on grants, nor those whose salaries are already covered by other means.  Please also see our funding guidelines below.


The deadline date for the submission of project grant applications is 4pm Thursday 31 January 2019. Applicants will be notified if their application is going through to full peer review in late February and we will let applicants know if their application is being progressed to the Scientific Advisory Board meeting in May 2019. Both project and pilot grants will be awarded in August 2019.

Funding guidelines

Our project grant support provides up to two years of salary costs to cover required research posts, consumables and small items of essential equipment.

Our pilot grant support provides up to 18 months of salary costs to cover required research posts along with consumables.

All costs must be fully justified within the application.

Please note that we will only consider invited resubmissions. We will not fund through this scheme:

  • Grants for further education, e.g. MSc/PhD and course fees
  • Grants for Clinical Research Training Fellowships
  • Grants for work undertaken outside the UK (co-applicants and collaborators may be from non-UK based institutes but the Principal Applicant must be based within the UK)
  • Grants towards ‘top up’ funding for specific projects already supported by other funding bodies
  • Grants to other charities

Research Policies

We support the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) position statement on using animals in research. You can read our full statement here.

All members of our Scientific Advisory Board and Lay review Panel are required to sign up to our Conflict of Interest policy prior to reviewing any grant applications.  You can read a copy of our Conflict of Interest Policy here.

Bowel Cancer UK is committed to ensuring that the results of the research we fund are disseminated as widely as possible.  You can read our open access policy here

NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) support

Bowel cancer UK is a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) non-commercial Partner. This means the studies that we fund may be eligible to access NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) support.

The NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) has extended support into health and social care research taking place in non-NHS settings.

The change to the policy (from 1 January 2018) means the CRN can support research conducted outside of NHS settings, such as studies running in care homes or in hospices, which will answer important questions for those patient populations. The CRN will also be able to better support research into public health, for example in schools and other community settings. This change is a way in which the NIHR is addressing the evolving health and care landscape and the changing needs of people and patients.

Read the full policy: Eligibility Criteria for NIHR Clinical Research Network Support.

In partnership with your local R&D office, we encourage you to involve your local CRN team in discussions as early as possible when planning your study to fully benefit from the support the NIHR CRN offers as outlined in their Study Support Service. To find out more about how you can apply for this additional support to help deliver your study, please visit

If your study involves NHS sites in England you will need to apply for Health Research Authority Approval. For guidance on submitting an application please visit:


Peer review process  Grant FAQs  Involving patients

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.

Thanks supporter

Thanks for signing up for this great campaign. To complete the setup of your JustGiving page you need to first create an account for myemail@domain.tld, please enter a new password to use below. Alternatively if you already have an account and would like to use it just click here.

Thanks supporter

Thanks for signing up for this great campaign. To complete the setup of your JustGiving page you need to login to your myemail@domain.tld account, please enter the password for that account below. Alternatively if you have a different account you would like to use just click here.

Forgotten password

Hi supporter, do you want to send a password reminder?.

JustGiving Login

Hi supporter, please enter your JustGiving login details below and we'll handle the rest.