Expanding Theories Awards

This scheme promotes innovative approaches that could change our understanding, diagnosis and/or management of brain tumours. We aim to support development of novel concepts that may eventually lead to significant improvements in clinical outcome, including quality of life, for patients with brain tumours.

Purpose and scope

The awards are designed to allow exploration of theories with the potential to open new avenues of investigation. Projects funded through this scheme should be pilot awards. It is intended that the scheme will allow the generation of sufficient data to support applications for larger scale projects to national/ international funding organisations.


Funding of up to £120,000 over a 24-month period can be requested per project. The funding should be allocated to cover direct costs for staff, including salaries, consumables and publication costs. Requests for capital / infrastructure will not be considered since it is expected that this will be available at the Lead Institution as well as all partner organisations.

Grants will be awarded to the principal applicant's institution. Funding can be allocated to co-investigator institutions with agreements put in place between all partner institutions.

Application process

The 2017 scheme has closed.

Key dates

1 September 2017 (5pm, London time) - Deadline for receipt of full applications
March 2018 - Biomedical SAB meeting
April 2018- Awards announced

Future funding to be confirmed in early 2018

Eligibility criteria

  • All grant applications must focus on the research priorities highlighted in in our research strategy A Cure Can't Wait
  • This award is open to international researchers, but applications including a UK collaborator will be looked on favourably
  • The principal applicant must have a contract with the institution covering the duration of the grant
  • Proposals must contain scope for future work should the pilot study prove to be successful
  • All applications shall have input from those affected by brain tumours as early as possible, preferably during scoping of the project
  • Clear explanation of how this could lead to benefits to those affected by brain tumours

Please read our Terms and Conditions before applying for funding.

Public and patient involvement

All applications must have input from those affected by brain tumours as early as possible, preferably during scoping of the project. We strongly recommend that applicants access our Research Involvement Network (RIN) for public and patient involvement.

Assessment criteria

Relevance to brain tumours

  • The Charity is looking for a study that addresses a key, unsolved area in brain tumour research and leads to a shift in the concepts or methods that drive the field

Novelty of approach

  • The project must employ novel concepts, approaches or methods with original and innovative aims
  • The project must have an exploratory nature that gives scope for the use of bold or innovative methodologies

Expertise of applicants

  • The applicants must be appropriately trained and well suited to carry out the planned studies
  • It is not essential for the principal investigator to have experience in brain tumour research; however there must be suitable collaborative arrangements with experts in this area

Feasibility of project

  • The scientific rationale must logically support the proposed study
  • The proposal must also expect meaningful results to support or reject the original hypothesis within the two year time frame

Potential impact on the field

  • The project must challenge existing paradigms or develop new methodologies or technologies and have the potential for further investigation

The Brain Tumour Charity is a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) and adheres to its principles of peer review. All applications will be considered by our Biomedical Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) alongside lay representatives of people affected by brain tumours.

Further information

If you would like to discuss your application or need any information, please contact the Research Team.
E-mail: research@thebraintumourcharity.org Phone: +44 (0) 1252 418190