Expanding Theories awards

We have launched a new funding call to promote innovative approaches that could fundamentally change our understanding, diagnosis and/or management of brain tumours.

The goal of this award is to develop 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 Expanding Theories 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 this scheme will allow the generation of sufficient data to support a future grant application to a funder and build up confidence in the concept developed.


Funding of up to £120,000 over a 24-month period can be requested per project. The expectation is that this funding will lead to and support applications for larger scale projects to other national/ international funding organisations.

This 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

See below key dates for the next round of applications.

Applications must be submitted online through our new portal: proposalCENTRAL. Please do take the time to get familiar with the site, set up an account and start filling in your profile.

The Brain Tumour Charity is a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) and adheres to its principles of peer review. Applications will be awarded through a competitive peer reviewed process (in line with AMRC principles) and then considered by our Scientific Advisory Board (SAB).

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.

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.

Key dates

Due to unprecedented circumstances, we have extended the deadline for submission of applications.

The dates for the next funding round are provided below:

5 pm (London time), on 1 September 2017 - Deadline for receipt of full applications

TBC - SAB committee meeting

TBC - Awards announced

Further information

All applications need to have Patient or Public Involvement (PPI) at any stage of their proposal. To facilitate this, you may choose to engage with The Charity's Research Involvement Network (RIN). This is a virtual network of people who either have a brain tumour themselves, or care for someone who does. For them, participation in your project at any stage of its development and in any capacity, would mean using their own personal experience of this devastating disease for the greater good.

If you have any queries or would like to discuss your application, please do get in touch with us:

E-mail: research@thebraintumourcharity.org

Phone: +44 (0) 1252 418190