Prevention research grants

This category is not open to applications. Details are provided for information only. 

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

Deadline dates

LOI due date:
LOI results:
Full Application due date:
Results announcement:
Start date:

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

Program description

The goal of this grant program is to support and accelerate research and the application of new knowledge with imminent application potential relevant to cancer prevention in human populations. Proposed projects must demonstrate a specific and defined potential for impact on cancer incidence, for example through prevention/risk reduction research, programs, and practice, including interventions, knowledge translation, best practices and health-related decision making at the individual, organizational and health system levels. Applications are invited for social/psychosocial and behavioural science, health policy, population health, health promotion and health services research aimed at cancer prevention.

Prevention programs will focus on research that reduces the risk of cancer. The Canadian Cancer Society recognizes that in order to change the risk profile, prevention research can be accomplished anywhere along the research continuum from identifying factors that affect the risk of cancer at an individual or population level to interventions that lead to action to reduce established risk factors.

Applications can be submitted by teams or individual investigators. Multidisciplinary collaboration is encouraged. This grant opportunity can support short term/pilot studies or longer term/larger grants. The term and value of the grant must be clearly justified.

Priority areas identified by the Canadian Cancer Society and/or the Canadian Cancer Research Alliance include, but are not limited to:

  • tobacco control
  • occupational and environmental (chemical, physical, and biological) carcinogens (O&E) 
  • UV and ionizing radiation exposure 
  • healthy eating and physical activity 
  • screening 
  • health economics and health systems related to cancer prevention 
  • behavioural and population interventions

Examples of projects that may be appropriate for this grant opportunity include, but are not limited to:

  • studies of the impact of cancer prevention interventions on health care costs
  • comparative effectiveness or efficacy of interventions to reduce cancer-related risk factors either at a population/policy level or by impacting behaviour change 
  • effects of using new modalities for communication of cancer risks and/or preventive strategies 
  • identifying at risk individuals for effective targeted activities and interventions 
  • analysis of effective policies to increase cancer prevention-related behaviours in a population 
  • development and testing of strategies to reduce cancer incidence in defined populations 
  • identification or characterization of carcinogenic exposures with imminent translation potential for preventive interventions
  • translation of basic research findings from cancer etiology and gene-based studies to interventions for risk reduction and cancer prevention in human populations

Funds available

Budgets awarded will not exceed $150,000 per year, for 1, 2, 3 or 4 years, to a maximum of $600,000 per grant. It is anticipated that up to 5 grants will be awarded. Funding will be provided to support the direct costs of research, including supplies, expenses, wages and equipment associated with the proposed work. Indirect costs will not be considered eligible expenses. Equipment requests of up to $10,000 can be included within the proposed budget but must be appropriately justified. Grants will be renewable.

Peer review

There will be a multi-stage application and review process. Applicants will be required to submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) and after peer review by a panel, 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 peer review committee will consist of scientific experts with broad expertise, along with community representatives to provide patient/survivor/caregiver perspectives.

Review Criteria

The review criteria will include, but not be limited to, five assessment categories: Responsiveness to this funding mechanism, Research Strategy, Investigator(s), Environment, and Cancer Relevance. Panel members use the scientific merit and responsiveness rating scales. Applicants should note that the LOI review will result in the triage of applications; therefore, not all applicants will be invited to submit a full application.

  • appropriateness of the application to this funding mechanism (specific and defined potential for impact on cancer incidence)
Research strategy
  • scientific merit and convincing rationale that considers critical review and analysis of preliminary data and/or published literature, as appropriate
  • identification of potential problems and how they will be addressed, including alternative approaches 
  • potential of the project to make an advancement in our understanding of cancer prevention strategies or knowledge translation of cancer prevention strategies that will translate into action in the immediate or imminent future
  • quality of the knowledge translation and exchange strategy to disseminate research findings, as appropriate 
  • appropriateness of the term and amount of support requested given the research proposed
  • appropriate leadership
  • qualifications and appropriate expertise of the investigator(s) 
  • if project is collaborative or multidisciplinary, evidence of complementary and integrated expertise and appropriate resources
  • quality of the research environment in which the work will take place
Cancer relevance
  • potential impact on the prevention of cancer 
  • degree to which the proposed research addresses one of the Society’s strategic priorities to reduce cancer incidence

Letter of Intent (LOI)

There is a limit of one grant application per Principal Investigator/Co-Principal Investigator in a competition. The LOI submission will require the following:

  1. a scientific abstract 
  2. a summary of the proposed research* (maximum of 2 pages, single-spaced) 
  3. up to 3 pages of figures/tables/charts and associated legends (optional)
  4. a responsiveness statement indicating the appropriateness of proposal to this funding opportunity
  5. estimated annual budget 
  6. the names of the investigator(s) and CVs for the PI and any co-PIs 
  7. the names of suggested reviewers and reviewer exclusions

*The summary of the proposed research should include the following:

  1. the specific research question to be addressed or hypothesis to be tested
  2. background and scientific rationale 
  3. design and methodology 
  4. relevance of the proposed research to cancer prevention

LOIs will be primarily reviewed based on their responsiveness to this funding opportunity and the scientific merit of the work proposed. 

The LOI application form will be accessible through the CCS‘s online grant application system EGrAMS. Please note that changes to the applicant list or significant changes to the scientific abstract after the LOI deadline are permitted. Changes must be provided to the CCS as soon as they are determined by the team to ensure proper adjudication.

Full application

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

  1. as part of the public (non-scientific) summary, a cancer relevance statement clearly describing the potential of this project to enhance cancer prevention activities and/or knowledge 
  2. a scientific abstract 
  3. a detailed scientific proposal clearly stating: 
    • the aims of the project including any previous work done in the area, study design, methods and analysis
    • a description of the expected impact that research results will have on the burden of cancer related to cancer incidence and the advancement of knowledge of how best to reduce the cancer burden
    • 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, as well as a description of the research environment where the work will take place. 
    • a description of the knowledge translation and exchange strategy and proposed audience as appropriate
    The proposal will contain no more than 10 pages of single spaced text. In addition, 5 pages of data figures/tables/charts and their associated legends are allowed. Specific guidelines for the online application are available.
  4. a budget justification related to the supplies, equipment and personnel associated with the research project. It 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. The budget request must be appropriate for the type of research proposed.

Multiple applications/multiple sources of funding

There must not be substantial overlap (more than 50%) with any pending application (including those at the abstract or Letter of Intent submission stage) to any other CCS research grant program as of this competition due date. Duplicate applications will not be accepted. The onus is on the applicant to indicate the extent (or absence) of overlap.

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.