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Funding pancreatic cancer research

We are dedicated to defeating pancreatic cancer. We believe research is the key, and support cutting-edge research into pancreatic cancer in universities, hospitals and research institutions in the UK and Republic of Ireland.

Research Strategy

1. Introduction

Pancreatic cancer has received limited research attention and funding in the past, and so survival rates have remained extremely low for decades. Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund was established in 2004 to improve survival and ultimately find a cure, by raising new funds for more research.

We are impatient to make up for lost time and keen to improve the outcome for patients with pancreatic cancer, particularly through improved ability to detect pancreatic cancer in its early stages and through the development of novel therapeutic strategies.

Our mission is to defeat pancreatic cancer by funding and promoting innovative, world-class research into the disease - research that will lead to the development of more effective detection, diagnosis and treatment.

To date, thirty-four projects have been funded, with a total value of £5.2 million. These are focused on early diagnosis and the development and monitoring of new treatments.

2. Research Strategy overview

Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund (PCRF) directly fund research into the disease by offering grants to researchers in universities, research institutes and hospitals in the UK and Republic of  Ireland.

2.1 Types of research supported

PCRF’s primary research focus is basic and translational research:

  • Basic research (that done in a laboratory) is essential to understanding a particular cancer type, and that understanding becomes the springboard for developing specific tests and treatments
  • Translational research translates discoveries made in the laboratory into treatments provided at a patient's bedside.

Scientific innovation is an important part of PCRF's strategy and we welcome original research ideas that others might not consider.

The strategic fit of applications will be assessed during the peer review process by our Scientific Advisory Panel.    

2.2 Types of grant awarded

PCRF award project grants up to the value of £180,000 for a period of up to three years. The award can cover salary or research costs or a mixture of both.   

PhD studentships can be included within a project grant application, but the application must be made by the potential supervisor. The charity does not accept applications from the potential students themselves.

Proposed projects should be milestone-driven, with clearly defined outcomes and future value.

Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund is an NIHR Partner Organisation, ensuring that studies we accept for funding will be eligible for inclusion in the NIHR Clinical Research Network Portfolio. This will allow the studies to have access to clinical infrastructure/NHS Service Support through the NIHR Clinical Research Networks.

2.3 Who is eligible to apply?

The principal applicant must be a suitably qualified researcher (minimum of PhD or equivalent qualification or research experience) and be based in a UK or Republic of Ireland research group or institution, although proposals involving collaboration with a researcher or researchers outside these are welcomed.

Award timescales

PCRF administer one peer review funding cycle a year. Application forms are available from January and are required for submission by April of each year. Successful applications are notified in October the same year. Full details of submission and award dates can be found on the charity's website.

PCRF will review this research strategy on a five yearly basis.