Cure Cancer funds early-career researchers as Chief Investigator of their project. These grants allow recipients to advance their research and to increase their chances of gaining funding from other grant agencies in the future. Cure Cancer funds innovative, high-achieving early-career researchers by assessing the applicant’s track record relative to opportunity. The funding may be used for the applicant’s own salary, the salary of a research assistant, and/or research materials for the specified project.

Many Cure Cancer researchers who received this funding early in their careers are now among Australia and the world’s most prominent cancer researchers. 

In 2019 Cure Cancer is again calling for funding applications for project funding for early-career researchers via the Cancer Australia Priority-driven Collaborative Cancer Research (PdCCRS) Scheme. Applications for funding commencing 2020 opened in March 2019. The grants are offered from within the NHMRC Ideas Grant Scheme.

Please see PdCCRS information on GrantsConnect (


1. Collaboration with Cancer Australia

Three categories of funding are currently offered in collaboration with Cancer Australia, via the Priority-driven Collaborative Cancer Research Scheme (PdCCRS).  We fund innovative, high-achieving, early-career researchers and will be assessing the applicants’ track record and publications (relative to opportunity).

Project grants will be awarded in any field of research (including basic laboratory, epidemiology, psychosocial, translational and clinical) into prevention, detection, treatment or cure for malignant disease.

We provide ‘start up’ funding to support post-doctoral researchers with

  • Up to seven years post-doctoral, or

  • Up to seven years post-MBBS experience at the time of application.

  • Up to 7 years postdoctoral for an applicant with an MBBS at any time prior to their PhD

The applicant must be the Chief Investigator of their project and please note that this funding cannot be used as part of a larger PdCCRS project application.

i) Funding Category B: One year project grants in any field of cancer research (as outlined above) to provide “start up” funds to support post-doctoral researchers with less than three years post-doctoral experience (following qualification for a PhD), or who are less than three years post MBBS qualification, on the application deadline date. A maximum of $100,000 (GST-exclusive) will be available for successful applicants. The application deadline will be the same as for NHMRC project grants, and the NHMRC will assess the scientific merit of each application.

ii) Funding Category C: Project grants for up to two years in any field of cancer research (as outlined above) for researchers with three to seven years of post-doctoral experience, or who are three to seven years post MBBS qualification, on the application deadline date. A maximum of $200,000 ($100,000 pa GST-exclusive) will be available for successful applicants. The application deadline will be the same as for NHMRC project grants, and the NHMRC will assess the scientific merit of each application.

iii) Funding Category D: Project grants of one year duration for up to $100,000 (GST-exclusive) will be offered by Cancer Australia and Cure Cancer to support project grants by post-doctoral researchers with 1-7 years post-doctoral experience or 1-7 years post MBBS qualification, undertaking a one year research project in the field of bioinformatics for cancer research.

Applications will be made via RGMS (due May 8) and by submission of additional questions to Cancer Australia (due May 15).

See the Guidelines to the Guidelines tab for guidance for answering the additional questions.

Grants submitted will first be reviewed as part of the NHMRC process. Those deemed worthy of consideration are further reviewed with respect to Cure Cancer’s particular research priorities by Grant Review Committees which comprise people nominated by Cure Cancer Australia as well as representatives from Cancer Australia. Upon completion of this process, Cure Cancer is provided with a list of fundable grants, ranked in order of excellence. Funding is offered, starting with the highest ranking applicants, purely on the basis of excellence until available funds are exhausted.


2. Collaboration with other Medical Funding Bodies

Cure Cancer has co-funded early-career cancer researchers in partnership with Cancer Council NSW, Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, National Breast Cancer Foundation and the Leukaemia Foundation. Consistent with Cure Cancer’s philosophy of funding early-career investigators with innovative ideas in cancer research, the foundation will sometimes fund part of a larger project grant or fellowship with one of the above organisations through their respective research grants processes.

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Cure Cancer manages the successful grants in association with Cancer Australia.

In some cases, Cancer Australia co-funds the grant with Cure Cancer.

Cancer Australia negotiates funding agreements with the institutions of successful researchers. Thereafter, Cancer Australia manages each research grant, reviewing progress reports from the researchers and ensuring that the researchers are undertaking the research steps specified in the agreements.

Providing satisfactory progress is made, Cure Cancer transfers funds to the chief investigator’s administering institution, after having been provided with evidence of satisfactory progress and upon advice from CA, in accordance with the payment schedule outlined in the funding agreement.

For enquiries, please contact our Research Program Manager on (02) 8072 6114 or email