Pre-announcement: Challenge Grants

Challenge Grants

The Challenge Grants program will support cancer research projects across the cancer continuum and across disciplines, with an ultimate goal of solving a problem (i.e. a ‘challenge’) that is meaningful to people affected by or at risk of cancer. Applications from the four pillars of health research (i.e. biomedical; clinical; health services; and social, cultural, environmental and population health) are welcome. Applicants are strongly encouraged to demonstrate meaningful engagement of people affected by or at risk of cancer (termed patient and stakeholder engagement) in the development, implementation, and/or dissemination of research findings. We have compiled resources on our website to help inform the engagement process.

Up to $18M is available in this competition to fund grants of up to $175k/yr over 3 years.

CCS’s Research Goals to 2040 are: 

Fewer people in Canada will develop cancer
Fewer people will be diagnosed with Stage 3 or Stage 4 cancer
People with cancer will live longer and with improved quality of life during and after treatment 
Equitable and timely access to innovative and affordable high-quality care for more people in Canada
Challenges should align with CCS Research Goals and applicants must clearly articulate how and/or why the challenge is relevant to people affected by cancer (or at risk, for prevention-focused research). Applicants must clearly describe the anticipated contribution of their proposed project towards solving the identified challenge. This includes, for example, outcomes that have immediate impact (such as a device, therapeutic, program, policy, or practice change), or those that are more long term in scope (such as an important finding relevant to the biology or etiology of cancer that could eventually be applied to prevent cancer or improve outcomes). Applicants will describe how the knowledge generated through these grants will be shared and/or mobilized to ensure implementation of next steps.

Important Dates

Abstract registrations due:
June 21, 2023
Relevance review results*:
mid-July, 2023 
Full applications due:
September 21, 2023 
Results announcement:
January 2024 
Funding start date:
January 1, 2024 
*Abstract submissions will undergo a relevance review process to ensure alignment with the Challenge Grants program (i.e. clear identification of a challenge that is demonstrably meaningful to people affected by or at risk of cancer).
For this competition, duplicate applications submitted to CCS and/or other agencies will not be accepted at the full application stage. It is understood that conceptual overlap may occur between applications (i.e. overall objectives of the work may be related and complementary), but specific aim and/or budgetary overlap is not permitted.

For more information, the previous Challenge Grants competition and funding results are available on the CCS website. Note that some program details have been changed for this competition.

Please check out for updates on our funding programs.