Worldwide Cancer Research Menu

application handling procedure

Application processing

Worldwide Cancer Research accepts applications for funding during specific submission periods. If your grant application is successful, you can expect your funding to start approximately 9-12 months from the submission date.

By submitting your application it is assumed you agree to all of our terms and conditions (available in our application handbook), including the procedures for processing and assessing your application which are outlined below.

Initial review of eligibility

All applications received will be subject to an initial review of eligibility against our guidelines and conditions, as outlined in the grant application handbook. Applications which do not adhere to these conditions will be rejected at this stage.

Some common reasons applications are rejected during initial review include: incorrect or incomplete application, non-adherence to application guidelines and/or our terms and conditions, project falling outside our research remit, failure to comply with all of our policies including animal research and tobacco-industry funding, and unrealistic levels of funding requested.

Preliminary triage

All applications which pass initial review will be sent to the Worldwide Cancer Research Scientific Advisory Committee for preliminary triage. Applications considered by the committee to meet the criteria of our Research Strategy, and likely to be competitive for funding, will be forwarded for external peer review.

Applicants whose applications are rejected following preliminary triage will be notified as soon as possible. Please note, we are not in a position to provide feedback at this stage and we will not enter into any discussion or debate surrounding the issue.

The principal investigator on an application rejected at the preliminary triage review stage of a grant round cannot submit an application in the next grant round. Furthermore, the same project cannot be submitted by another principal investigator.

External peer review

Applications passing the preliminary triage will be sent out to external peer reviewers for full review. We endeavour to get two external reviews for each application.

NC3Rs review

All applications that include proposals to use mammals with special protection under UK law (cats, horses, dogs and non-human primates) will undergo an additional layer of peer review by the UK’s National Centre for the 3Rs ( for an expert assessment of animal welfare.  Our full animal research policy is available here.

Scientific Advisory Committee meeting

At the grants allocation meeting each application will be assessed by the committee considering the external reviews and their own assessment of whether the application meets our Research Strategy criteria.  The four criteria under consideration are: innovation and creativity; focus and novelty; transformative and long-term; and scientific quality. A further triage will take place to remove applications judged to have no prospect of being funded.

The remaining applications will be discussed and graded. Applications will be awarded funding on the basis of this graded list until the allocated funds are expended. Inevitably some high quality projects with good external reviews will not be funded simply because we never have enough money to fund all the worthwhile projects which score highly.

Notification of Application Outcomes

The outcomes of all applications assessed by the Scientific Advisory Committee will be reported to the applicant by email as soon as is practically possible following the meeting. For information, we will also enclose any comments provided by the external reviewers for the applicant. However, please note that the charity will not enter into any correspondence or discussion regarding the content of reviewer’s comments, or the decision of the Scientific Advisory Committee, which is final.

If your application has been successful, we will also send you our official grant contract by email, containing the award agreement, budget, terms and conditions and the schedule as detailed in Appendix 1 of the grant application handbook. It will be deemed that the terms of the award have been accepted on signature of the award agreement.