Beating bowel cancer together

Apply for a grant

Our pilot grant round is now closed.

We recently opened up our pilot grants again and these will be awarded in November 2023. Unfortunately, we're not yet in a position to offer our larger project grants. Please fill out this form if you'd like to hear from us when we open our next project grant round.

Pilot Grants

Pilot grants are available for up to 18 months duration and funding up to £25,000. We'll be awarding a maximum of eight pilot awards in this round. Applications are accepted from UK-based Principal Researchers and will be subject to our peer review process. The lead applicant and point of contact must be based in a UK academic/research institution.

We're looking to support innovative research that will help to facilitate a 'stage shift' towards earlier diagnosis of bowel cancer in the UK. 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.

Our areas of interest include (but aren't limited to):

  • understanding and identifying people at high risk of bowel cancer
  • understanding and overcoming barriers to symptomatic individuals seeking help, including missed opportunities to diagnose bowel cancer when presenting with symptoms and understanding factors contributing to late diagnosis and emergency presentation
  • 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
  • understanding bowel cancer in the under 50s, including how do we diagnose younger people with bowel cancer more quickly?

Applicants don't need any preliminary data in order to apply – these grants are aimed at allowing researchers to obtain preliminary data for a larger grant application. 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 was 10am on Monday 10 July 2023.

Download our pilot grant application form

Download our pilot grant guidelines

Download our Terms and Conditions


Funding guidelines

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

We won't 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 above for more information.

All costs must be fully justified within the application.

Please note that we'll only consider invited resubmissions. 

What we won't 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


The deadline date for the submission of project grant applications was 10am on Monday 10 July 2023. The Scientific Advisory Board meeting will take place in mid-October. Pilot grants will be awarded in early November 2023.

If you have any questions, please get in touch at

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.

We're 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.

Support from the NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN)

We're a non-commercial Partner of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). This means the studies that we fund may be eligible to access the NIHR Study Support Service which is provided by the NIHR Clinical Research Network. The NIHR Clinical Research Network can now support health and social care research taking place in non-NHS settings, such as studies running in care homes or hospices, or public health research taking place in schools and other community settings. 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 NIHR Clinical Research Network team in discussions as early as possible when planning your study. This will enable you to fully benefit from the support available through the NIHR Study Support Service. To find out more, please visit:

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

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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