Quest for cures: collaborative discovery teams

Funding for collaborative discovery teams with transformational research ideas.

As part of our Research Strategy 'A Cure Can't Wait', we have established Quest for Cures Collaborative Discovery Teams. This scheme has been established to acknowledge the growing importance of international and interdisciplinary team approaches to accelerate the understanding and translation of discoveries and so bring benefits to patients faster. We are seeking innovative approaches to address the critical questions that could present a paradigm shift for brain tumour research or use unexplored paths to allow for new discoveries to be made.

Purpose and scope

These awards are designed to foster a collaborative research process, strengthen the ties between basic and clinical research and promote transformational brain tumour research advances with the potential for rapid clinical translation. These programme grants are intended for pre-clinical studies. It is not the remit of this award to fund clinical trials. Multidisciplinary teams working in synergy should be formed from the most talented and promising researchers across international institutions to address the issues and utilise technological advances across fields. Teams should be formed of researchers across at least two/three institutions. A researcher may serve as Principal Investigator on only one proposal in this grant round.


Funding of up to £1.5million per programme over five years.

This funding should be allocated to cover direct costs for staff, including salaries, consumables, equipment 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

Applications will open on 31 May 2017 and will undergo a two stage approach:

Letter of intent will be requested until 5 p.m. (London time) on 28 July 2017. Successful applicants will then be requested to submit a full proposal until 5 p.m. on 20 October 2017.

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

In order to find our calls for applications visit this quick access link: letter of intent application form

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 Boards (SABs).

Eligibility criteria

  • All grant applications must focus on the research priorities highlighted 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 team should be comprised of both established and promising researchers from multidisciplinary backgrounds.
  • The collaborative team should have the relevant expertise of laboratory and clinical researchers to demonstrate how discoveries will be translated and taken forward to patient benefit.
  • The Principal Applicant must have a contract with the institution covering the duration of the grant. If the Principal Applicant does not hold an academic or research position, the application must include a co-applicant at the Lead Institution that does.
  • All applications must have input from those affected by brain tumours as early as possible, preferably during scoping of the project.

Assessment Criteria

Innovative and transformative research
We are looking for novel approaches with a strong scientific rationale and the clear capacity to revolutionise treatments and/or clinical decision making. As such, we are seeking applications that are looking to develop new approaches or the translation of technologies for the use in the diagnosis or treatment of brain tumours. We encourage applications that adopt a high-risk, high reward approach to addressing the key questions preventing progress in brain tumour research.

Collaborative and multidisciplinary emphasis
The application should show clear benefits in bringing together a collaborative team and demonstrate a synergy that potentiates the achievement of scientific goals that could not be realised by the individual components of the team. New avenues of research which involve experts currently working outside the brain tumour research field are encouraged.

Potential for patient benefit
A potential pathway for the research programme to lead to patient benefit must be articulated as well as the anticipated impact of this. Applications with a clear path to clinical application will be strongly favoured.

Milestone and goal-driven approach
The research programme must have detailed milestones which will be used for monitoring its progress and dictate continuation of support by The Charity.

Value for money and communication plans
Clear plans and mechanisms for sharing resources and information across the team, including existing resources and platforms must also be demonstrated.

Key dates

5pm on 28 July 2017 - Deadline for receipt of letter of intent

End August 2017 - Invitation for submission of full applications

5pm on 20 October 2017 - Deadline for receipt of full applications

March 2018 - Biomedical SAB meeting

March 2018- Awards announced

Further information

Please note: applicants should not, under any circumstances, directly approach Trustees or committee members in connection with their (or another's) research application.

All applications shall have input from those affected by brain tumours as early as possible. To facilitate this you may choose to engage The Charity's Research Involvement Network (RIN), a virtual network of people who either have a brain tumour themselves or care for someone who does. Information on contacting the RIN can be found at

If you have any query, would like to discuss your application or the new online portal, please do get in touch with us:


Phone: +44 (0) 1252 418190