skip to content

Early Cancer Institute


Cancer Grand Challenges has announced nine of cancer’s toughest challenges to the global research community. These are the obstacles that continue to impede progress against cancer and that no one scientist, institution, or country can solve alone.

A funding initiative co-founded by Cancer Research UK (CRUK) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Cancer Grand Challenges brings together a community of world-class researchers to make the progress against cancer we urgently need.

They are now inviting international teams to learn more about the challenges and to apply for up to $25m of funding. The deadline to apply is 22 June 2023 with shortlisted teams announced in August 2023. Find out more at:

The area of focus and challenge statement for each challenge are set out below. Full details are available on this page.
• T-cell receptors: Decipher the T-cell receptor cancer-recognition code
• Obesity, physical activity and cancer: Determine the mechanisms through which obesity and physical activity influence cancer risk
• Early-onset cancers: Determine why the incidence of early-onset cancers in adults is rising globally
• Cancer cell plasticity: Understand cancer cell plasticity and its contribution to the development of pan-therapeutic resistance in cancer
• Cancer inequities: Understand the mechanisms through which genetics, biology, and social determinants affect cancer risk and outcomes in diverse populations, to motivate interventions to reduce cancer inequities
• Retrotransposable elements: Understand the roles of retrotransposable elements in cancer
• Solid tumours in children: Develop therapeutics to target oncogenic drivers of solid tumours in children
• Ageing and cancer: Decipher the functional basis underlying the association between ageing somatic tissues and cancer
• Chemotherapy-induced neurotoxicities: Understand and prevent chemotherapy-induced neurotoxicity and neuropathy