All applicants and co-applicants must hold an academic appointment at a Canadian university or accredited institution. They must have their own laboratory and the possibility of hiring students and postdoctoral fellows.
  • Postdoctoral fellows are not eligible.
  • Research associates are not eligible.
  • Staff and research scientists with no academic appointment are not eligible.
There must be only one main applicant for the purposes of this award. This person will also administer any grant awarded. All other applicants are considered co-applicants. Collaborators may be from outside of Canada; however, no funds from the Cancer Research Society can be transferred outside of the country.
The Cancer Research Society funds research projects in the following areas:
  1. Fundamental and basic research;
  2. Early translational research, including preclinical research, i.e. before a treatment is brought to a patient, including, for example, cellular or animal models, biomarkers for diagnostics and prognosis, and imaging;
  3. Research studying the environmental causes of cancer including viruses, pollutants, work environment, lifestyle and diet.
The Cancer Research Society does not fund research in the following areas:
  1. Clinical trials where treatments on patients are evaluated with various endpoints;
  2. Applied research for the development or improvement of tools such as instruments, medical devices, software, questionnaires, information tools, patient registries, biobanks, TMA collections, etc.;
  3. Psychosocial or social studies including research on remote communities, survivorship, etc.;
  4. Health care economics, or any study aiming at measuring the use and costs of the health care system;
  5. Any other type of research not included in the main three funded areas.
Please contact us at grants@src-crs.ca should you have doubts about the eligibility of your project.
Yes, you can apply if you fulfill all eligibility criteria mentioned above.


The number of letters of intent (LOIs) a researcher may submit as the main applicant is not limited. A researcher may also participate in other projects as a co-applicant. However, a main applicant can submit only one (1) new project application. This limit does not apply for renewal applications.

For information, consult the 2022 list of targeted funding opportunities in the Tageted Funding Opportunities..

Each project funded by the Society must be original. The Society will not award a grant overlapping fully or partially with a grant obtained from another funding agency for the support of a project.

Should an applicant choose to accept a grant from another funding agency for a fully or partially overlapping project, it is incumbent upon the applicant to inform the Cancer Research Society immediately of these circumstances.

Failure to comply with these rules will lead to the cancellation of an awarded grant. Where applicable, a grantee may be required to reimburse paid installments for a grant obtained which was not in compliance with the Society’s rules.

The same application may be submitted to other funding agencies. However, in the case of a successful outcome in various competitions, you will be asked to choose which funding you accept.

Applicants may update their award notices and publication lists after submission of their full applications.

Publication updates must be provided via e-mail to grants@src-crs.ca no later than the date indicated in the calendar (key dates).

All applications are reviewed by one of our peer-review committees made up of 14 to 17 Canadian and/or international scientists with expertise in the appropriate domains of cancer research. The applications are assessed based on the research area and topic and are categorized into one of the following four panels:

Panel A: Cell Signaling
Panel B: Pharmacogenetics/Cancer Immunology
Panel C: Tumour suppressor genes, oncogenes and DNA repair
Panel D: Tumour progression and metastasis
Panel E: Early translational research and epidemiology

To consult the different topics covered in each panel, please click here.

The Cancer Research Society will try to assign the application to the first panel choice selected by the researchers. However, we reserve the right to make the final decision regarding the assignment of the application to either one of the two selected panels.

Your application will be assessed based on the following criteria:

  • originality of the research plan
  • ability of the investigators to conduct the research in their respective milieu;
  • significance of the project to cancer research;
  • strengths and weaknesses of the proposal;
  • budget relevance:
  • No monies are allowed for equipment;
  • The budget must be appropriate to the proposed project.

The expert panels conduct a critical and distinct analysis of each application, which is first reviewed and scored by two expert and impartial reviewers, to then be discussed and scored by the entire panel.

The overall scientific score of the research project is determined after a thorough discussion of the application by the entire evaluation committee and may differ from the initial scores attributed by the two reviewers providing written evaluation reports.

Cancer Research Society funding is allocated to projects with the highest scores and, where applicable, to projects that fulfill the requirements for grants on targeted cancer research topics as a result of partnerships with the Cancer Research Society.

To be considered for funding, a project must meet the Cancer Research Society’s assessment criterion of a minimum score of 7.5 out of 10. Due to the high quality of proposals received each year and lack of available funds, not all projects with this minimum scientific score are funded.

All applicants, regardless of their score, will receive an official letter notifying them of the outcome of their application. If an applicant refuses the offered funding, the Cancer Research Society will offer the grant to the next meritorious project on the list.

Cancer Research Society decisions are final.

Researchers who currently have a grant with the Cancer Research Society may submit an application to renew their current project.

A project that has already been the subject of an application for renewal, or a project for which the financial support granted by the Cancer Research Society is already completed cannot be considered for a renewal application.

Submitting a Letter of Intent is also mandatory for operating grant renewals.

Conditional upon approval, a renewal may be granted for an additional two years.

*** Researchers awarded a grant renewal must still submit the final Financial and Scientific Reports for the original project.

Grant renewals are not guaranteed. Applicants should ensure that their internal arrangements allow for possible non-renewal of the grant.

Applicants whose grants have not been renewed can subsequently apply for a new operating grant in the next competition.

Yes, you may change the title. However, it should be made clear for the reviewers that this is the continuity of a project funded by the Society.


The deadline for submitting a Scientific Report is September 30, at the end of the project.

For all terminating projects, regardless of whether or not a renewal of the project has been accepted for funding by the Cancer Research Society, a final scientific report is required.

If you were awarded a No-Cost Extension, your final scientific report is due when your project is completed.

In the case of certain partnerships, a progress report may be requested at the end of each funding year. Please follow the instructions included in your official grant offer.

The goal of this scientific report is to gather information about the projects that we are funding and evaluate their impact in terms of scientific output, publications, trainee formation and potential impact for cancer patients. The requested information will be used for the Cancer Research Society Impact Report that will be made available to our donors, partners and the scientific community.

Look for the link in the Forms and guidelines.


Biosafety Certificate: All projects involving work with potentially biohazardous materials require a biosafety certificate. These include 1) cell lines of all origins, 2) living animals, 3) human samples and 4) potentially pathogenic nucleic acids. We expect all researchers working in a wet lab to provide this certificate. Please contact your institution’s biosafety department for details.

Animal Care Certificate: All projects involving the use of living animals require an animal care certificate.

Human Ethics/Human Stem Cells: Every project involving human or human stem cells requires the approval of the Research Ethics Board of the principal investigator’s institution.

Requirement for the use of Human Biospecimens:

The Cancer Research Society is committed to ensuring that high quality biospecimens are used in research that it funds, as these yield high and reproducible quality data.

For this reason, all researchers who are awarded Cancer Research Society funds will be required to submit evidence of registration/enrollment of the funded project’s biospecimen collection with a quality assurance program before funds are released. This applies equally to all prospective (new) biospecimens included in the Cancer Research Society funded research that will be collected and/or all retrospective (old) biospecimens that have previously been collected and will come from a biobank(s).

There are a number of internationally recognized programs that provide assurance of a known standard and level of quality for biospecimens. These programs include those available from the Canadian Tissue Repository Network (CTRNet) and programs such as CAP, ISO or CLIA (learn more). Participation in external quality assurance programs will be considered eligible grant expenses.

To register for free in the CTRNet quality assurance program click here. Required certificates may follow the application’s approval for funding, but must all be received before the payment of the first instalment.

Required certificates may follow the application’s approval for funding, but must all be received before the payment of the first installment.

The award will be revoked if the grantee and co-applicants fail to comply with these rules.