Child and Adolescent Cancer Pain

Funding opportunities for researchers in the field of Child and Adolescent Cancer Pain.

Last updated



This funding scheme is now closed and we will not be accepting any further applications.

The Medical Research Foundation is delighted to be funding two schemes in child and adolescent cancer pain:

  • Research grants
  • Launchpad grants

The competitions are open to researchers at all levels of seniority who will increase understanding of child and adolescent cancer pain, and improve diagnosis, treatment, and recovery.

Who can apply?

This competition is open to all UK-based researchers, clinical academics and allied health professionals at eligible institutions (UK HEIs, Research Council research institutes, hospitals, and other independent research organisations). Applicants must hold a PhD, DPhil, MD.

The Medical Research Foundation wishes to support collaborative and multi-professional research as appropriate, whereby researchers across the full spectrum in the field will work collaboratively. We particularly encourage applications that are led by multi-professional partnerships, i.e., bringing together basic scientists, clinicians, and allied health professionals.

Research grant applications are particularly welcomed from established researchers working in adult pain, cancer, or other adjacent fields of research who wish to apply their skills and knowledge to a proposal focusing on cancer pain in young people.

The Launchpad grants present a significant opportunity for early/mid-career researchers to lead on research, progress ideas and concepts to allow them to strengthen a career in child and adolescent cancer pain.

Applications are welcome from researchers at all levels of seniority. Applicants will be assessed according to their career stage.


There is a total of £950,000 available for both competitions.

Research grants: Applicants may apply for up to £300,000 to support their research over a maximum of a 3-year period.

Launchpad grants: Applicants may apply for up to £100,000 to support their research, over a maximum of a 2-year period.


  • Deadline for submission: 12:00 Tuesday 26 September 2023 (this funding call is now closed)
  • Shortlisting notification (request for rebuttal): January 2024
  • Deadline for rebuttal: January/February 2024
  • Funding decision: End of February 2024
  • Feedback on funding decision: February/March 2024


Applications will be reviewed by a Panel with experience in research areas relevant to child and adolescent cancer pain. The Panel will be chaired by a member of the Board of Trustees, Professor Richard Coward.

  • Professor Linda Sharp, Newcastle University
  • Professor Lesley Colvin, University of Dundee
  • Dr Matt Mulvey, University of Leeds
  • Professor Helen Poole, Liverpool John Moores University
  • Professor Tony Pickering, University of Bristol
  • Professor Anthony Jones, University of Manchester
  • Dr Lynley Marshall, Institute of Cancer Research, The Royal Marsden
  • Dr Franziska Denk, King's College London

The Medical Research Foundation is committed to making this application accessible to all by offering assistance where needed. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with the Research Team if you have any questions or concerns about the application or interview processes: Tel: 0207 395 2405

How to Apply

Applicants should apply online using our online grants management system.

To apply for Research Grants, please click here.

Please see here for Guidance for Applicants for Research Grants.

To apply for Launchpad Grants, please click here.

Please see here for Guidance for Applicants for Launchpad Grants.

Please note, applicants must use our Resume for Researchers template in their application.

The Medical Research Foundation

The Medical Research Foundation is an independent charitable foundation. Formed by the Medical Research Council (MRC), we grow and nurture people and ideas wherever we see research opportunities with great potential. The research supported in this competition is possible thanks to generous donations from the public.

Terms and Conditions of Award

Awards funded through this competition will follow standard Medical Research Foundation terms and conditions. The terms and conditions spell out the responsibilities of the Principal Investigator and the Lead Research Organisation. The Principal Investigator and the Lead Research Organisation are required to indicate their formal acceptance of the proposal, their acceptance of the terms and conditions of an award, and the approval of the salaries and resources sought in the application.

The Medical Research Foundation may add additional conditions to a grant award to reflect the particular circumstances and requirements of the funding, or the nature of a particular award. Acceptance of an award constitutes acceptance of both the core conditions and any additional conditions. The Medical Research Foundation reserves the right to vary these terms and conditions.

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Independent Peer Review Guidance

Support us

Read about our previous awardees

Dr Lauren Heathcote and Dr Gareth Hathway are using our Research grants to explore ongoing pain experienced by childhood cancer survivors.

Find out more
KC Lheadshot Heathcote

Why research into cancer pain is so needed

  • Thanks to advances in treatment, there’s now an 80 per cent survival rate for childhood cancers. However, survivors often face a lifetime of physical and psychological health challenges, and there's an urgent need to understand more about causes and treatment of ongoing pain.

    Over 50% of childhood cancer survivors report ongoing pain symptoms

    Chemotherapy, a cancer treatment used to kill cancer cells, can also damage pain-sensing nerves. These changes in nervous system development in childhood can increase pain sensitivity in adulthood and affect cognition, mood and quality of life.