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The CRUK Early Detection and Diagnosis Primer Award supports researchers at all stages to develop early, novel and outside-the-box ideas and collaborations to build and make progress in the ED&D field.

Career level: Early career researcher; Mid-career researcher; Established independent researcher; Non-clinical researcher; Clinician
Submission deadline: 21 March 2024
Funding period: Up to 1 year
Funding amount: Up to £100k


To stimulate and develop the early detection and diagnosis (ED&D) field, we're encouraging early-career researchers, scientists new to ED&D and/or cancer research, as well as established ED&D researchers to apply for Primer Awards.

You should:

  • Have some postdoctoral experience or equivalent
  • Be scientists, clinicians or healthcare workers in UK universities, medical schools, hospitals, or research institutes

Scientific remit

With this award, CRUK are challenging you to consider how you can utilise skills and techniques in innovative ways to accelerate ED&D research. Primer Awards provide seed funding to develop new relationships, ideas and lines of research, and the generation of pilot data.

The award aims to encourage scientists at all career stages to engage with the early detection and diagnosis of cancer field. It will support new and exploratory research ideas and/or pilot studies of high scientific risk and potential reward. It supports the development of new partnerships and exploration of highly novel concepts, involving researchers from any research area, including from non-traditional cancer fields.

Areas that could be considered include:

  • Development of novel technology to address an area of need in the ED&D of cancer field
  • Development or modification of existing technology from other research fields or sectors, to be applied to an early detection and diagnosis of cancer question
  • Innovative and ‘out-of-the-box’ lines of investigation within ED&D
  • Establishment and development of new collaborations or consortia to tackle an ED&D area of need
  • Bringing individuals and skillsets into ED&D which have not previously been applied there
  • Preliminary research to establish proof of principle in any area of ED&D remit

Funding can contribute towards generating pilot data for a new and exciting idea, establishing and developing new collaborations, testing a new technology or using an existing technology in an innovative way. CRUK envisage that data generated or collaborations established through a Primer Award will form the basis for a more extensive future project within ED&D.

What is funded

The award will provide up to 1 year of flexible seed funding up to £100k. Funding could cover:

  • Salaries for postdocs or technical staff
  • Experimental expenses
  • Associated running expenses
  • Equipment
  • Collaborative travel and networking costs
  • Training courses
  • People exchange

Application Procedure and Deadline

CRUK strongly recommend you contact the Early Detection and Diagnosis office for an informal and confidential discussion of your proposal. They will advise you on eligibility, remit and funding options.

The deadline for submission is 21 March 2024. Please click here for more information about the Primer Award and the application process and for contact details of the Research Funding Managers.