Cancer Research UK has re-opened its Dragon’s Den-style funding competition that aims to entice innovative thinkers from all backgrounds to apply for a grant to advance their novel project ideas targeting cancer.

The Pioneer Award was set up to tap into “revolutionary thinking” from a broad pool of researchers from all sectors - be it biomedical research, physics or behavioural sciences - to help foster new approaches to tackling the most challenging problems in the field.

Successful projects stand to receive funding from the charity of up to £200,000 over a two-year period.

The scheme was launched in July and has three rounds of funding each year - with the hope to fund 12 applications annually. 

A committee of experts from a range of disciplines spanning academia and industry score entries for funding anonymously in a short-listing process, judging proposals solely on the quality of the idea, and final decisions are made after a pitch by the applicant.

“We’re looking for fresh, innovative ideas that might not ordinarily receive research funding, to tackle the most challenging problems using pioneering approaches,” said David Scott, Cancer Research UK’s director of science funding, earlier this year.

“We’re being ambitious and thinking big - in the hope that this will inspire exciting new research proposals that will ultimately help us beat cancer sooner.”