Since the Bone Cancer Research Trust was formed in 2006, we have awarded over £4.5 million to research focused on improving outcomes for primary bone cancer patients. To date, we have funded 96 research projects and continue to expand our research network, encouraging more researchers to focus their expertise on primary bone cancer.
Open Grant Calls
Early Career Fellowship
The Bone Cancer Research Trust are delighted to announce that funding is available to support an Early Career Fellowship. Post-doctoral researchers or newly appointed faculty staff, with a clear background in primary bone cancer, are invited to apply for 5 years of support. Applications should be hypothesis-driven and have a line of sight to patient benefit. Applicants will need to be hosted at a UK academic institution, however, may undertake a placement at an international institution as part of the Fellowship.
Expression of interest will open 31st May and will close on the 9th July 2021.
Shortlisted applicants will be invited to submit a full application. A full application form will be provided by the research team. The call for full applications will open mid-August and will close on the 10th January 2022.
Interviews for shortlisted applicants will take place during June 2022 and the award will be announced in August 2022.
Please note that this Fellowship is purely academic, not clinical.
To discuss the scope of the fellowship and obtain the handbook for applicants and expression of interest form, please contact the research team email@example.com
Make sure you hear about funding calls!
To ensure you hear about our exciting funding opportunities as soon as they are released, please sign up to our researcher database. To sign up, please contact us.
We fund research in the UK and, where appropriate, internationally and always encourage national and international collaborative research. We believe there is great value in collaborative research and finding a cure depends on the cooperation of many experts, some of whom will have not worked in bone cancer research to-date.
We place special emphasis on:
- Nurturing the careers of early-stage research staff with an interest in bone cancer research
- Working with research teams to develop their research ideas through an innovative pilot grant scheme
- Supporting proposals which are likely to win support from larger funding bodies
- Encouraging collaboration between research groups
- Encouraging interdisciplinary team work and partnership
- Facilitating access to primary tissue and clinical data
The Bone Cancer Research Trust are dedicated to monitoring and communicating the progression and impact of our research funding to our wide audience of supporters. We hope that this will improve our supporters understanding of primary bone cancer research and the difference their donations are making.
Our 2017 - 2022 Grant Programme
Calls for grant applications will be announced 18 months in advance of the funding schedule. Additional grants may be added to the programme should funding become available. The below chart is correct as of January 2021.
For more details on our 2017 - 2022 Grant Programme and our overall strategy please click here.
We provide a full descriptive list of all of our 'Current Research Projects' and welcome you to contact us if you wish to know more about any of the research the Bone Cancer Research Trust is funding.
We receive no governmental funding to support our research and rely entirely on the support of the general public to continue to funding pioneering research. If you would like to learn more about our research process, please visit our 'For Researchers' section.
The Bone Cancer Research Trust supports innovative and creative research that has the potential to make an impact on the lives of Primary Bone Cancer Patients. Funding is available for researchers at all career stages, and both national and international collaboration is encouraged. For International calls, eligibility is extended to researchers working at any institution, not just the UK.
We fund research into all forms of primary bone cancer; although some funding calls may be restricted to specific types. We are especially interested in hypothesis driven research looking to develop new and kinder treatment, research to improve diagnosis and disease monitoring.
All our funding calls are announced on our website and social media channels and all contacts on our researcher database will be emailed.
- Small value grants, up to a value of £25,000.
- Ideas grants can be used to collect preliminary data for a larger application, or to demonstrate the validity of a hypothesis/study.
- Available for bursaries for undergraduates to undertake a research project.
INFRASTRUCTURE GRANTS-Support for sample collection
- Funding is available for surgical centres to support the collection of patient specimens and to prepare and store samples to be sent to active, ethically approved research projects.
- The level of funding available varies depending on the size of the centre and number of patient samples collected by the centre.
- Once awarded, continuation of funding will be reviewed yearly and will depend on the success of the previous year in collecting and sharing samples for research.
- Explorer grants can be used to further substantiate studies for which some preliminary work/consolidated hypothesis/demonstrated interest already exists.
- We particularly welcome applications focusing on the rarer forms of Primary Bone Cancer, or applications that demonstrate a strong element of collaboration.
- These grants should not be used to support PhD studentships.
- Research can be done in any area of laboratory and medical/surgical research from discovery to implementation.
- The projects must demonstrate clear relevance to primary bone cancer.
- The perceived outcomes should lead to a significant advance in our understanding of Primary Bone Cancer and therefore, have a positive impact into patients’ lives.
- For committed Primary Bone Cancer researchers that wish to acquire a PhD qualification.
- The principal investigator or candidate may apply.
- The grant will fund up to 4 years of study, however, we expect students to submit their thesis within the funded period.
- For committed post-doctoral candidates that want to establish themselves as leading Bone Cancer researchers.
- Funding can be used to provide data for larger/program funding applications or to further substantiate studies for which some preliminary work/ consolidated hypothesis /demonstrated interest already exists.
- The applicant must apply.
- The grant will fund up to 5 years of support.
- These grants support research that has reached a point of development to be progressed from the laboratory to patients.
- Project grants should be aligned to ongoing initiatives where possible.
- Collaboration between at least 2 Institutions is expected.
SKILLS DEVELOPMENT GRANTS
- Up to the value of £3000.
- We provide funding to enable researchers to learn new skills through short-term laboratory visits.
- Funding is also available to attend conferences where new research findings are presented.
- Available to all Primary Bone Cancer researchers based at a recognised UK institution. There are no limitations based on career development stage; however, applications from early stage career researchers are particularly encouraged.
If you require any further information or have any queries regarding our grant programme or the grant types we fund, please contact member of our research team.
To date, the Bone Cancer Research Trust has committed £4.2 million to research; our current portfolio includes the following types of awards:
Since 2006, we have assessed 210 research applications, involving approximately 390 peer reviewers in the UK and across the world.
We fund research at institutions across the UK. In 2019, we introduced our first International Explorer Grant, the outcome of this funding was announced in the Summer of 2020. Figure 1 indicates the number of research projects we have funded across the different UK regions since 2006.
Primary bone cancer research area and types of primary bone cancer
The Bone Cancer Research Trust supports research into all forms of Primary Bone Cancer. Figure 2 breaks down the projects we have funded by primary bone cancer type. Most of our awarded grants aim to find a cure for Primary Bone Cancer, we also support projects that investigate the causes of Primary Bone Cancer and support improvements to the care options for our patients. Figure 3 indicates the percentage of funding dedicated to each of those categories.
Application success rates:
We have maintained an overall success rate of 45%.
In the early years since our charity was established, percentages of success were high; however, we also received less applications. More recently, the success rates
have decreased; yet, is worth noticing that, particularly in 2018, 2019 and 2020, we received a larger number of applications, so as a result, although we have maintained our commitment proportionally, the success rates have gone down.
Table 2. Number of applications received vs funded 2006-2020.
The increased number of applications for funding received by the Bone Cancer Research Trust in recent years is a positive sign and evidences a growing community of Primary Bone Cancer researchers.
Figure 4. BCRT research applications received and funded - success rates 2006-2020
The Bone Cancer Research Trust is proud to be a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC), the national membership organisation of leading medical and health research charities
AMRC membership is the hallmark of quality research funding. To be accepted into the AMRC membership, charities must demonstrate that they follow the AMRC's rigorous standards in peer review, and therefore, providing supporters with reassurance that their money is being spent on only the highest quality research.
Membership also helps our research money go further:
- Funding from AMRC members that is awarded via open competition is eligible for the Charity Research Support Fund (CRSF). This means that for every pound BCRT fund another 20p is invested in universities. This means that BCRT funding can be spent purely on research and the CRSF can allow the maintenance of labs, lighting and heating – the full economic costs of conducting research.
- The AcoRD agreement ensures that AMRC members only pay the direct research costs of clinical research in the NHS. The Department of Health will meet all costs for local trial co-ordination and management, data collection, and regulatory fees.
By working with member charities and partners, the AMRC aims to support the sector’s effectiveness and advance medical research by developing best practice, providing information and guidance, improving public dialogue about research and science, and influencing government policy.
The role of our Independent Scientific Advisory Panel is to evaluate all grant applications, and recommend to the Board of Trustees the grants that are suitable for funding.
The panel is comprised of experts who review all our grant applications for relevance, scientific merit, cost and suitability of the applicant. They also conduct interviews for Studentship and Fellowship applications.
The Bone Cancer Research Trust are committed to funding research in a fair and transparent manner, supporting research of the highest quality and most likely to succeed. To do this, we must ensure that those involved in funding decisions do so in an independent manner and do not have conflicts of interest that might see them benefit personally or academically from a funding decision. Therefore, we have developed a conflict-of-interest policy to maintain our position as a transparent funder and to protect those who freely provide their time to our charity from any accusations of bias. The Bone Cancer Research Trust Conflict of Interest Policy for ISAP members can be found here. The Bone Cancer Research Trust Terms of Reference for ISAP members can be found here.
Members of the Independent Scientific Advisory Panel
Chair: Professor Pamela Kearns MBChB, BSc (Hons), PhD, FRCPCH.
Professor Pam Kearns is Chair of Clinical Paediatric Oncology at the University of Birmingham and Honorary Consultant Paediatric Oncologist at Birmingham Women and Children’s Hospital. She is Director of the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences and Director of the Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit (CRCTU). As Director of CRCTU, she leads the research strategy for one of UK's largest cancer trials unit, delivering a trials portfolio of over 100 multi-centre & international cancer trials for a wide-range of cancers, occurring in all children, young people and adults, notably leading the National Children’s Cancer Trials Team which is responsible for the vast majority of the UK’s clinical trial portfolio for children and young people with cancer.
She was elected President of the European Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP Europe) in 2019, having been a Board member since 2013. She has several European roles including Executive Board Member of the academic consortium ‘Innovative Therapeutics in Childhood Cancer’ (ITCC), Chair of ITCC’s European Sponsor Institutions Committee and Steering Committee member of the International multi-stakeholder platform ‘ACCELERATE’. She was a Senior Clinical Advisor to Cancer Research UK from 2015 to 2020 and is now as Trustee for Cancer Research UK and of a Child of Mine. She is also Chair of the Research Assessment Panel for GOSH Charity.
Deputy Chair: Professor Bob Brown BSc PhD.
Professor Brown’s work focuses on epigenetics, patient stratification and drug resistance research, with a particular focus on ovarian cancer. He facilitates development of compounds which can reverse epigenetic silencing and is using molecular biomarker assays to aid the preclinical development and clinical use of these compounds. Recent research interests include the effect of DNA damaging agents on the epigenome, epigenetic targeting using CRISPR and whether systems oncology approaches can be used to monitor and stratify patients for targeted treatments.
Lay member: Dr Phillip Green.
GP and Bone Cancer Research Trust Ambassador
Having suffered from osteosarcoma at 17 years of age, resulting in a left mid-thigh amputation, I am honoured to work as GP Advisor for the Bone Cancer Research Trust, being the UK’s largest primary bone cancer charity. I advise on the medical content of patient literature, the promotion of medical education to enable earlier diagnosis and the clinical trials funding strategy as the patient representative on the ISAP Group. In conjunction with this role, I have authored a BMJ Learning Module on primary bone cancers and a chapter in the medical textbook ‘An Orthopaedics Guide for Today’s GPs’.
I am a Member of Sarcoma Patients EuroNet (SPAEN) and patient advocate representative on two trial management groups for large international areas of research.
My day job is working as a General Practitioner in Leicestershire and in addition to fulﬁlling my duties in Primary Care Medicine over the last 19 years, my scope of work has evolved into a broad spectrum of service provision for my patients. My interest in medical education is linked to my work as GP Associate for the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Training Hub. My main responsibility is to oversee the development of NHS England's GP/Nurse Fellowship Scheme which involves recruiting newly qualified GPs and nurses onto the program, with a view to retaining them within a resilient workforce at a time when the profession is loosing many of its most experienced practitioners.
I have a number of diverse interests and pastimes, enabling me to achieve a successful work-life balance. Sport is my main passion, both as a participant and spectator. I play golf and attend a gym regularly, and combining my love of rugby and travel I managed to embrace the opportunity to follow the British and Irish Lions’ successes in New Zealand in 2017.
Mr Piers Gaunt BSc MSc
Senior Statistician, UK Clinical Trials Unit, Birmingham.
Piers Gaunt is a Senior Biostatistician within the Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit in the Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences, University of Birmingham. He obtained an MSc in Medical Statistics from the University of Leicester prior to joining the CRCTU. He is responsible for the design and analysis of several trials within the CRCTU in various cancer types including soft tissue sarcoma, lung, skin and head and neck.
Mr Gaunt has a keen interest in efficient clinical trials methodology, encompassing adaptive trial design and, when he has time, statistical programming in Stata. In addition to his trials work Piers participates in teaching a number of statistical Small Group Teaching sessions to Clinical Oncology and Medical students and has also lectured on other courses within the university. He is fully committed to working to improve patient outcomes with an emphasis on survival and quality of life using efficient statistical methodology.
Dr Paulo Ribeiro BSc MSc PhD
Senior Lecturer and Group Leader, Bart's Cancer Institute.
Dr Ribeiro completed his undergraduate studies in the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon, where I studied Microbial Biology and Genetics. He then entered the Gulbenkian PhD Programme in Biomedicine at the Gulbenkian Institute, which included one year of classes and laboratory rotation. This allowed him to undertake his doctoral research at the Institute of Cancer Research, London, supervised by Prof Pascal Meier, in the characterisation of the role of inhibitor of apoptosis proteins in the regulation of cell death and innate immunity.
In 2009, he joined Dr Nicolas Tapon's laboratory at the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute, where he studied the mechanisms regulating tissue growth, namely the Hippo tumour suppressor signalling pathway.
In August 2013, he joined Bart’s Cancer Institute in the Centre for Tumour Biology. His research group uses the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism and his research has three major areas of focus: role of ubiquitylation in the regulation of tissue growth; role of reversible ubiquitylation in tissue invasion; and modelling tumour heterogeneity
Professor Thomas G P Grünewald MD.
University of Heidelberg, Germany
Professor Thomas Grünewald graduated in medicine from the University of Würzburg (Germany) in 2007, after completing clinical rotations in Germany, Japan, USA, UK, and Argentina. He obtained his M.D. with summa cum laude in clinical biochemistry in 2008 and started his clinical training in paediatric oncology at the Department of Paediatrics of the TU Munich (TUM). In 2012, he obtained his Ph.D. with distinction in Medical Life Science and Technology from TUM. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the Institut Curie in Paris, in 2014, he was appointed resident physician and principal investigator at the Institute of Pathology of the LMU Munich. From 2016 to 2020, he has been leading the Max-Eder Research Group for Pediatric Sarcoma Biology funded by the German Cancer Aid. In 2018 he completed his habilitation and obtained the venia legendi for ‘Experimental Pathology’. In 2020 he was appointed head of the division of Translational Pediatric Sarcoma Research at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and Hopp-Children’s Cancer Center (KiTZ) in Heidelberg. Since 2021 he holds a full professorship at the Medical Faculty of the University of Heidelberg. In parallel, he continues his residency in pathology at the Institute of Pathology of the Heidelberg University Hospital.
His research aims at elucidating the interplay of germline variation and somatic mutation especially in Ewing sarcoma and examines, how somatic driver mutations interfere with developmental pathways to promote tumorigenesis, tumour heterogeneity and drug-resistance.
Dr Nathalie Gaspar.
Dr Nathalie GASPAR, MD, Ph, is a paediatric oncologist at Gustave Roussy Cancer Campus (Villejuif, France), head of the adolescent and young adult (AYA) unit and chair of the AYA programme of the institute (SPIAJA programme), since 2009. She is in charge of bone sarcomas, cancers with peak incidence in the AYA population, from biology to clinical care. Dr Gaspar is also paediatric head of the French bone adult and paediatric sarcoma group, GROUPOS. She is actively involved in early new drug development in France and in Europe, through her participation to the clinical trial committee of the Innovative Therapeutics for Child and adolescent with Cancer (ITCC) consortium and through her action as co-chair of the Fostering Age Inclusive Research (FAIR) trial initiative of the multi-stakeholder ACCELERATE platform.
Dr Didier Surdez.
Assistant professor, University of Zurich, Switzerland
Didier Surdez, PharmD, PhD,
Didier Surdez studied pharmacy and graduated in 2001 at the University of Basel (Switzerland). He then moved to Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, EPFL (Switzerland) where he obtained is PhD in 2007. After a post-doctoral stay in Olivier Delattre's laboratory, in 2014, he was appointed as senior scientistt at the Institut Curie in Paris. In 2021, he was appointed assistant professor at the University of Zurich (Switzerland) and group leader at the Balgrist University Hospital where he will pursue his research on bone sarcoma and focus on the identification of therapeutic vulnerabilities against these cancers.
His research on Ewing sarcoma has highlighted key EWSR1-FLI1 targets (PRKCB), vulnerabilities (PARPi) and secondary alterations (STAG2) in this cancer. Since 2012, he has been actively involved in the EE2012, rEECur and Combinair3 clinical trials. To address key questions around tumour heterogeneity, plasticity and to identify novel therapeutic strategies, he has established over 80 PDX models of paediatric solid tumours.
The Bone Cancer Research Trust are dedicated to improving the outcomes for patients with primary bone cancer. One of the main ways in which we aim to do this, is by funding cutting edge research. Our funding is dedicated to projects that are genuinely centered around improving knowledge of this disease, with a clear line of sight to patient benefit and with good prospects of being published in high impact journals.
We fund research into the causes of the disease, research looking at cures and treatments and also research looking at care and quality of life; funding basic ideas through to translational research projects. Please download our full Research Funding Remit here to learn more (Updated January 2020).
At the Bone Cancer Research Trust, we do not allow the resubmission of any previously unsuccessful proposals, unless you have been explicitly invited to resubmit.
Details of any requirements for resubmission, as requested by our Independent Scientific Advisory Panel, will be described in detail in the application and review feedback. You can download our resubmissions policy here (updated May 2021).