Impact grants

Note that this program is not currently being offered. For information only.

Please see the eligibility and requirements section prior to creating an application.

Application guides can be found on the EGrAMS documentation for applicants page.

Program description

The Impact Grant program supports significant progression in cancer research programs that are anywhere in the continuum from basic, high impact discovery to translational work of direct relevance to the clinic, to applied research. Impact Grants aim to accelerate and focus the knowledge gained from scientific findings, in the short- to medium-term, into outcomes that will:

  • significantly improve scientific knowledge relevant to cancer;
  • result in improved cancer treatment;
  • result in optimized care of people living with and beyond cancer;
  • result in reduced cancer burden.

Impact Grants provide funding to support ideas that promote major advancements in research programs, whether at the fundamental discovery stage (such as studies involving model organisms that demonstrate potential for impact) through to applied research (such as patient or population-based proposals). Applications are encouraged from, but not limited to, the areas of biomedical, clinical, health services, and social and population health research.

Impact grants are not intended to support incremental scientific advances and are not intended to solely support research infrastructure.

Impact grants have been created to cultivate and support programs in cancer research that have the potential to significantly impact the burden of disease in patients and populations. The goal of the CCS Research Impact Grant program is to provide a mechanism for scientists to accelerate the application of new knowledge and apply innovations to address important problems in cancer research and care.

Funds available

There is one competition per year. It is anticipated that approximately 10 grants will be awarded in this competition.

Special funding calls within the Impact Grant competition envelope:

  • Applications relevant to prostate cancer research are encouraged
  • Applications relevant to pediatric cancer research are encouraged
  • Applications relevant to breast cancer research are encouraged
  • Applications relevant to cancer prevention are encouraged
  • Applications relevant to cancer survivorship are encouraged

Additional funds may be available from the Lotte and John Hecht Memorial Foundation to support projects focused on the application of complementary and alternative approaches in cancer treatment and control.

Note: Budgets awarded will not exceed $300,000 per year, to a maximum of $1,500,000 per grant. The grant term is up to 5 years. Grants will be renewable at the end of their term.

Funding will be provided to support the direct costs of a defined research program, including supplies, expenses, wages and equipment associated with the proposed work. Indirect costs will not be considered eligible expenses. Equipment requests of up to $150,000 can be included within the proposed budget.

up to $1,500,000 
Budget per year
up to $300,000 
up to $150,000 


There will be a two-stage application and review process. Applicants will be required to submit a letter of intent (LOI) and selected applicants will be invited to submit a full application. A multidisciplinary peer review committee will be assembled to review the LOIs and full applications.

The review criteria will include, but not be limited to five assessment categories: Impact, Research Strategy, Investigator(s), Environment, and Cancer Relevance. Given the scope of this competition, significant emphasis will be placed on the impact statement. Applicants should note that the LOI review will result in significant triage; only the strongest LOIs will be invited for full proposals.

Impact (Impact rating scale)

  • potential to address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field
  • potential of the project to make a significant advancement in our understanding of cancer
  • potential that scientific knowledge and/or clinical practice can be significantly improved
  • potential to deliver tangible benefits in the short- to medium-term to patients or populations, such as new risk reduction strategies, early detection, screening or treatment paradigms, or better outcomes for cancer survivors

Research strategy

  • scientific merit and convincing rationale that considers critical review and analysis of preliminary data and/or published literature, as appropriate
  • clear and feasible methodological approach
  • identification of potential problems and how they will be addressed, including alternative approaches(i.e. mitigation strategies)
  • consideration of sex and/or gender and/or diversity in the research design, methodology, analysis and interpretation and/or dissemination of findings (if applicable)
  • appropriateness of the term and amount of support requested


  • appropriate leadership to successfully undertake the work proposed
  • qualifications and appropriate expertise of the investigator(s)
  • if project is collaborative or multidisciplinary, evidence of consideration of equity, diversity and inclusion principles in selection of research team members to ensure complementary and integrated expertise and appropriate resources are available
  • plan for mentorship/career development of early career investigators and trainees that implements equitable and inclusive practices


  • quality of the research environment in which the work will take place

Cancer relevance

  • direct relevance of the project to cancer
  • potential impact on cancer control

There is a limit of one Impact Grant application per Principal Investigator/Co-Principal Investigator in a competition, and only one Impact Grant can be held by a Principal Investigator/Co-Principal Investigator at any given time.

The LOI submission will require the following:

  1. an impact statement which clearly articulates the expected progression of the project on affecting the burden of cancer in patients and/or populations. The statement should explicitly describe how the project will promote major advancement in cancer research which will accelerate and focus the knowledge gained from scientific findings, in the short- to medium-term, into outcomes such as optimized patient care, improved treatment or reduced cancer burden
  2. a scientific abstract
  3. a summary of the proposed research (maximum of 3 pages, single-spaced)
  4. sex and/or gender and/or diversity considerations in the proposed research (if applicable)
  5. up to 3 pages of figures/tables/charts and associated legends
  6. a preliminary budget
  7. the names of the investigator(s) and abbreviated CVs (abbreviated NIH-style biosketch) for the PI and any co-PIs
  8. the names of suggested reviewers/exclusions.

The summary of the proposed research should include the following:

  1. the specific research question to be addressed
  2. background and scientific rationale
  3. design and brief methodology and analysis
  4. relevance of the proposed research to this program

Impact Grants are not intended to support incremental scientific advances but to promote major advancement in research programs that will impact cancer, whether at the fundamental discovery stage or in more applied research.

Please note that changes to the applicant list or significant changes to the abstract after the LOI deadline are permitted, but must be provided to the CCS as they are determined.

When preparing the full application, the following will be required.

  1. a public (non-scientific) summary
  2. a scientific abstract (the abstract can be updated from the LOI submission)
  3. an impact statement (this statement can be updated from the LOI submission)
  4. a relevance statement(s) for special funding call(s) (if applicable)
  5. a detailed scientific proposal clearly stating the aims of the project including any previous work done in the area, experimental design, methods and analysis. Details of the investigator(s) including which member(s) of the research team will be responsible for which aspect of the project and a rationale for their inclusion in the project are required, as well as a description of the research environment where the work will take place. The proposal will contain no more than 10 pages of single spaced text. In addition, 5 pages of data figures/tables/charts plus 3 pages of supporting non-data schematics/flow diagrams (e.g. to depict signalling pathways, etc.) and their associated legends are allowed.
  6. sex, gender and diversity considerations in the proposed research (if applicable)
  7. a detailed budget and justification related to the supplies, equipment and personnel associated with the research project. This must include the number of personnel required to complete the work and a description of their experience and/or education level and their commitment to the project.
  8. abbreviated CVs (NIH-style biosketch) of research team participants (excluding collaborators) and letters from collaborators
  9. grant funding details (held and pending)
  10. disclosure of commercialization and conflict of interest
the names of suggested reviewers/exclusions

As of this competition due date, there must not be substantive overlap (more than 50%) with any pending application (including those at the abstract or Letter of Intent submission stage) to any other Canadian Cancer Society and Prostate Cancer Canada Research program, with the exception of Prostate Cancer Canada Implementation Research Grants. Duplicate applications will not be accepted. The onus is on the applicant to indicate the extent (or absence) of overlap. Grantees can accept funds from other sources, up to the CCS Research panel recommended amount.

Applicants are reminded to review the eligibility and requirements section for details on scientific and financial reporting, funder acknowledgement, Canadian Cancer Society policies on open access and tobacco related funding.

Partner Description

Founded in 1962 to support charitable causes in Vancouver, the Lotte & John Hecht Memorial Foundation has since broadened its mandate to include the investigation and support of complementary and alternative medicine, particularly in the treatment of cancer. As part of its support for health research, the Foundation has partnered with the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) since 2012 to support relevant research projects in the CCS Innovation, i2I and Impact Grant programs.
Last modified on: March 31, 2020