Breast Cancer Now is the UK's largest dedicated funder of breast cancer research. Find out how we award our grants.

About us

We are the UK’s largest dedicated funder of breast cancer research, built from the merger of Breast Cancer Campaign and Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

Our achievements include opening the UK’s first dedicated breast cancer research centre at the Institute of Cancer Research in London, launching the world’s largest and most comprehensive study into the causes of breast cancer and establishing the UK’s first ever national breast cancer tissue bank, to provide researchers across the UK and Ireland with tissue vital to their work.

We fund cutting-edge science across the UK and Ireland, supporting approximately 400 of the brightest and best scientists and projects at the right time and in the right way. By maximising collaboration and championing innovation, including our new Breast Cancer Now Catalyst Programme with Pfizer, we are building a global scientific community focused on addressing the critical gaps in breast cancer knowledge and research.

By championing PhD students and scientists at the start of their careers, we’ll invest in the future of breast cancer research while maintaining our strong links with established thought leaders and clinical experts.

The end result is that more women will benefit from our research, faster.

Response mode funding

We will fund research at any research institution in the UK and Ireland and offer funding for the following types of grants:

  • Projects grants (applications open in April and September)
  • Pilot grants (no current active funding rounds)
  • PhD studentships (applications open in April)
  • Fellowships (no current active funding rounds)

Find out more about our response mode grant funding schemes and deadlines

Applications are reviewed by our Scientific Advisory Board who advise the charity what to fund.

Long-term programme grant funding

Our long-term programme funding includes Breast Cancer Now's research centre at the Institute of Cancer Research, research units in King’s College London and Manchester as well as research programmes at the University of Edinburgh and the University of Dundee.

We also fund the Generations Study, the world’s largest and most comprehensive scientific study into the causes of breast cancer, following more than 113,000 women across the UK. Each year we invest around £13m in long term programme research. 

Breast Cancer Now’s governance structure is designed to ensure that the funding decisions made by the Board of Trustees are informed by sound and independent advice from national and international expert scientists and clinicians. 

All our new research funding undergoes thorough peer-review, performed by independent, active experts from around the world. Our peer-review process follows best-practice guidelines, as required by our membership of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) and the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) and for our funding to meet the regulations of the Charity Research Support Fund (CSRF).

Find out about Breast Cancer Now's strict Conflict of interest policy.

Open Access

We believe that if we all act now, by 2050, everyone who develops breast cancer will live. We will do this by finding ways to prevent the disease, improving early diagnosis and developing new treatments for all types of breast cancer.

We believe this can be achieved faster by making our research open and freely available to everyone.

For more information please refer to our Breast Cancer Now open access policy.  

Read all of our research policies.