2018 Research Grant Round

The Cancer Society is a major funder of life-saving and world class cancer research through its Research Grants Programme.
The Society will consider proposals from prominent and well-published researchers aimed at preventing, detecting and treating cancer more effectively.

The Society will also consider applications for training scholarships to allow students to undertake advanced research in the field of cancer, leading to a Doctorate in Philosophy from a New Zealand University.

Applications for the 2018 Grant Round and Training Scholarships are now open and close at 5pm on 29th September 2017.


Any queries should be directed to:

As part of the 2018 CSNZ Research Grant Round we will be administering the McClelland Trust award.




Results from the 2017 Research Grant Round

Each year the Cancer Society administers a national grant round to fund cancer research. It is part of the Cancer Society's mission to reduce the incidence and impact of cancer in our communities. A voluntary committee of research experts across Australasia apply a rigorous assessment procedure in order to rank applications.

In 2017, five multi-year projects out of 32 applications were successful in securing funding. Six of 25 applications were funded last year. Brief summaries of 2017-funded projects follow:

  1. Researchers at Waikato District Health Board will carry out a clinical trial that explores new uses for a type of surgery to improve lymphoedema (tissue swelling). Lymphoedema is a common and lingering side effect of surgical cancer treatment that reduces survivors’ quality of life.
  2. University of Otago Researchers aim to identify new immune system targets to further improve treatment of cancer.
  3. Researchers at the University of Auckland will explore how cancer cells repair themselves after being treated with chemotherapy or radiotherapy. This research study will investigate ways to prevent cancer cells from using repair mechanisms.
  4. Another group of University of Auckland researchers are developing new drugs that may provide better treatment options for people with metastatic breast cancer.
  5. Researchers at the University of Otago School of Pharmacy will test a new oral immunotherapy treatment for colorectal cancer that may be less toxic than existing treatments.

Every year in August, the Cancer Society asks for applications for the National Grant Round via this website. The Cancer Society's regional divisions may fund smaller-scale research studies throughout the year. If you would like more information about Cancer Society research grants in your area, please contact the relevant Division, or visit their research pages on this website.



The McClelland Trust Award

Robert McClelland of Southbridge, Canterbury, died on 5 February 1955 and under his Will he established a Trust in perpetuity to apply the income in each year towards research into the causes of and cure of cancer.

The Trust Board to administer the income from the Trust currently consists of a representative of Public Trust, the Mayor of Selwyn District Council and a Medical Advisor on behalf of the Canterbury District Health Board. All grant applications will be assessed by the National Scientific Advisory Committee of the Cancer Society of New Zealand. The Trust Board will consider the recommendations of the Committee and then make its funding allocations.

Projects must be for 1 year only, as the Trust should be regarded as a supporting funding source and not a total funding source. The funding may be used to support several separate projects or, in exceptional circumstances, the total amount may be allocated to one specific project.



Research Grants and Funding

We are the largest non-Government funder of cancer research in New Zealand through our annual Research Grants Programme. The applications follow a rigorous assessment procedure similar to that undertaken by the Health Research Council. Each year grants approved for funding total over $3 million and represent a wide range of research projects aimed at detecting and treating cancer more effectively.

A number of scholarships are awarded annually to allow students to undertake advanced research in the field of cancer, leading to a Doctorate in Philosophy from a New Zealand University.

Policy and Research Manager
04 494 7270



Social and Behavioural Research

Since 1990, with the growing need to address the prevention of cancer the Society has supported Social and Behavioural Research at Otago University, Dunedin. Funding of $392,500 per annum is committed to The Cancer Society Social and Behavioural Research Unit at Otago University. The Unit currently works across all health promotion areas to:

  • build up and maintain the evidence base.
  • evaluate health promotion programmes.
  • support post graduate students into the field.

More recently the Unit has also commenced working with Support Services to develop a body of evidence on psychosocial/spiritual research focusing on the needs of cancer survivors.

It is with much pleasure that the Cancer Society Social & Behavioural Research Unit presents its 2016 Annual Report.

You can also read their: