Atlantic Cancer Research Grants


Please see the eligibility and requirements section prior to creating an application. Please note additional requirements for this competition below.


Please consult the application guide for details on how to submit your application.


Atlantic Canada has the highest incidence of cancer (per 100,000 people) in Canada. The Canadian Cancer Society launched a campaign in 2020 to raise $20 million for prevention, support and research programs in this region.

This grant funding opportunity is supported by the J.D. Irving, Limited — Excellence in Cancer Research Fund. In addition to operating grants, the Fund will also support trainees enrolled in the Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute’s (BHCRI) Cancer Research Training Program (CRTP). More than 250 trainees have taken part in CRTP over the last 20 years and the majority of graduates have gone on to have successful careers in science and medicine in Canada and abroad. Applicants are encouraged to learn more about the CRTP on BHCRI’s website.

This combined investment by the J.D. Irving, Limited — Excellence in Cancer Research Fund will build capacity in cancer research across Atlantic Canada and train the next generation of cancer researchers, creating a continuous pipeline of emerging talent and promoting local discoveries in cancer research that will have far reaching benefits.  

Deadline dates

Full applications due: June 23, 2021
Results announcement: late October, 2021
Anticipated start date: November 1, 2021

Program description

The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) is issuing this special Atlantic Canada call for operating grant applications focused on cancer research. Applications are encouraged from all areas of cancer research (e.g. biomedical, clinical, health services, and (psycho)social, cultural, environmental and population health research).

Principal Investigators must hold a firm academic position at a Canadian university in one of the Atlantic Provinces: New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia, or Prince Edward Island. All research funds administered through this competition must remain within Atlantic Canada.

CCS is committed to equity, diversity and inclusivity and strives to promote inclusive excellence in its research programs. We welcome eligible applicants of diverse backgrounds to apply for our funding opportunities.

Funds available

The full funding envelope for the Atlantic Cancer Research Grant competition is currently $2.1M. Additional donations to the J.D. Irving, Limited — Excellence in Cancer Research Fund may increase the funding envelope.

Applications for up to $100,000 per year for 3 years will be accepted. Therefore, it is anticipated that at least 7 grants will be awarded in this competition. Successful applications must fall within the fundable range for CCS awards (>3.5). These grants are non-renewable.

Funding will be provided to support the direct costs of research, including supplies, eligible salaries, and equipment associated with the proposed work. Equipment requests cannot exceed 15% of the requested budget. Indirect costs are not eligible. Please consult our grant expense policies when creating your budget.

Peer review

Two peer review committees will be assembled to review the full applications: biomedical/clinical and health services/(psycho)social, cultural, environmental and population health research. The peer review committees will be composed of diverse (gender, geography, career stage, race) scientists with expertise relevant to the submitted applications, and patient/survivor/caregiver representatives who will evaluate the relevance of the applications to cancer and those affected by it.

The Application

Please consult the application guide for specific instructions.

When preparing the full application, the following is required:

  1. A “public” (non-scientific) summary
  2. An impact statement articulating the anticipated impact of the research on cancer and those affected by it
  3. A scientific abstract (and non-confidential abstract)
  4. A detailed scientific proposal (maximum 5 pages of single-spaced text) clearly stating the aims of the project including any previous work done in the area, experimental design, methods, and analysis. 2 pages of figures/tables/charts and associated legends are permitted.
  5. 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 are required, and a description of the research environment where the work will take place.
  6. A detailed budget and justification providing rationale for the requested consumables, personnel, and equipment associated with the research project. Details must include the number of personnel required to complete the work, a description of their experience and/or education level, and their time commitment to the project.

Review criteria

The review criteria for the full application will include four main assessment categories: Research Strategy, Investigator(s), Environment, and Relevance.

Research strategy

  • scientific merit and convincing rationale that considers critical review and analysis of preliminary data and/or published literature, as appropriate
  • feasibility of the project, including identification of potential problems and how they will be addressed, including alternative approaches
  • sex, gender, and other identity factors (e.g. race, ethnicity) and their intersectionalities considered in the research design, methods, analysis, interpretation, and dissemination of findings
  • appropriateness of the term and amount of support requested


  • the qualifications and appropriate expertise of the investigator(s)
  • consideration of equity, diversity and inclusion principles in team composition and recruitment processes, and training and development opportunities


  • quality of the research environment in which the work will take place (is there appropriate equipment, mentorship, etc. available to support success?)


  • potential impact of the project on cancer, and those affected by it

Additional Requirements

In addition to the usual requirements for scientific and financial reporting, funder acknowledgement, Canadian Cancer Society policies on open access and tobacco related funding, applicants are also advised that J.D. Irving, Limited expects that funded researchers will be open to sharing updates on their progress throughout the term of the grant, through written, verbal, and other forms of communication (for example, video presentations).

Multiple applications/multiple sources of funding

It is understood that applications may also be made to other agencies to provide support for grants/programs similar to those submitted to the Canadian Cancer Society. For this competition, duplicate applications submitted to other agencies will be accepted, but budgetary overlap will not be permitted at the funding stage.


Last modified on: June 9, 2021