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Research Funding Policies

Human Stem Cell Research

Stem cell research has an important role to play in investigating how cancers develop, spread and become resistant to treatment. However, the use of stem cells – in particular those obtained from human embryos - has been a controversial issue in recent years. The regulation of this area of research varies greatly from country to country, so we have adopted a funding policy that we believe reflects the scientific value of human embryonic stem cells within cancer research as a whole.  

Where it is scientifically justified we will fund research that involves the use of human embryonic stem cell lines, but we will not fund the derivation of new embryonic stem cell lines from human embryos, or any other direct use of human embryos. It is the researcher and institution’s responsibility to ensure that they adhere to any relevant laws or regulations in their country that cover the use of human embryonic stem cells in research.

Download our Human Stem Cell Research Funding Policy in full for more details.


The Tobacco Industry

Tobacco use is the world’s greatest preventable cause of cancer, therefore we consider working with, supporting or accepting support from the tobacco industry to be incompatible with AICR’s charitable objectives. We will not accept applications from anyone who is applying for, or has received, any funding or fees from the tobacco industry (or bodies substantially funded by the tobacco industry) within the last 10 years. If an AICR grant-holder accepts funding from the tobacco industry (or bodies substantially funded by the tobacco industry) we will terminate their AICR funding.

Download our Tobacco Industry Funding policy in full for more details.

Research on Animals

Our ultimate goal is to help people living with cancer, now and in the future, by supporting research aimed at finding new ways to prevent and treat the disease. Our considered view is that, to save human life and prevent human suffering, properly regulated animal research is both necessary and justified. The modern treatments for cancer we have now could not have been developed without animal studies.

However, using animals in medical research raises a number of complex ethical questions. We will only fund research that adheres to the principles of the 3Rs (Reduction, Refinement, Replacement) to ensure that the use of animals is kept to a minimum. We will also fund animal research only in institutions where we are confident that there are adequate animal welfare standards in place, along with a sufficient level of regulatory oversight.

Download our Animal Research Funding policy in full for more details.


Open Access Publishing

AICR’s mission is to support fundamental and translational scientific research aimed at improving the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of all cancers.  The formal dissemination of results to the research community, most often through publication in scientific journals, is an integral part of the research process.  We believe that it is only by sharing new scientific insights widely and promptly that improvements to the lives of people affected by cancer can be made as quickly as possible. 

However, the traditional model of scientific publication has for years locked research data away in subscription journals, allowing access only in return for payment.  This may not present a problem to scientists working in well-funded research institutions, but it can prevent those working in developing countries or at less affluent institutes from accessing the latest research findings in their field. AICR was founded on an understanding that excellent science can come from researchers anywhere in the world, so this is a concern.  AICR also subscribes to the principle that the findings of research supported by charitable donations ought to be freely available to the public that funded it.

New models of open access scientific publishing have emerged over the last decade that now offer an alternative to the traditional publishing route.  We believe that unrestricted access to published research data is important, therefore we have adopted a policy to mandate that research generated by AICR grants awarded from October 2013 must be published in open access form.  This new policy will help ensure that the data produced through AICR grants have maximum visibility, use and impact. 

The full policy on open access publishing can be found here.

Further information on how AICR grantholders can comply with this policy can be found here.

If you wish to apply for the reimbursement of Article Processing Costs, please use this application form.


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