Canadian Cancer Society / Lotte & John Hecht Memorial Foundation Disruptive Innovation Grants in Cancer Research Pre-announcement


Canadian Cancer Society (CCS)


The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) and the Lotte and John Hecht Memorial Foundation (Hecht Foundation) are excited to announce the upcoming launch of a new funding opportunity, the CCS/Hecht Foundation Disruptive Innovation Grants in Cancer Research. These grants will provide a unique opportunity for researchers in cancer, or any other field or discipline, to test out their novel ideas for potentially game-changing impact in cancer prevention, detection or treatment. Disruptive Innovation grants will be bold, high risk/high reward, early-stage projects for which preliminary data is not required. Projects will be rated on their novelty, feasibility and potential impact in the cancer field.

Disruptive Innovation Grants will address a largely unmet need in our funding ecosystem by supporting unique, disruptive, ideas inspired by imagination, serendipity and hitherto unexplored connections across fields and disciplines, projects that would not normally be able to access “traditional” funding sources. Examples of the kinds of projects we are seeking would include the adaptation of breakthroughs in other health conditions, such as cardiovascular, neurological, metabolic and infectious diseases to the cancer field, or the harnessing of technologies from fields such as AI, robotics, engineering, chemistry, biology and ecology, or the opportunity to pursue serendipitous observations not supported by existing funding. If successful, Disruptive Innovation Grants will achieve what their name suggests — disruptions in the way we currently prevent, diagnose or treat cancer that will ultimately change the status quo. The funding opportunity is open to both independent researchers and teams, as appropriate for the work proposed.

These grants are not intended to support research that represents incremental research in a program of work or an expansion of previous work, but rather provide truly novel insights and directions for future larger grants that will serve as “game-changers” in the way we approach cancer, disrupting existing methods and displacing the status quo.

Anticipated Dates:

  • Program Launch: Mid-January 2024
  • Letter of Intent due date: March 21st, 2024
  • Full application due date: August 1st, 2024
  • Results announcement: Mid- December, 2024
  • Anticipated funding start date: January 15th, 2025

Funding Availability

Approximately $4M is available for this funding opportunity, enough to fund up to 16 projects. Individual projects will be awarded up to $250K over two years, with the full $250K being awarded in the first year. Funding can be applied to generating pilot data for a new and exciting idea, establishing and developing new collaborations where appropriate, testing a new technology/intervention or using an existing technology/intervention in an innovative way. We envisage that data generated and/or collaborations established through a Disruptive Innovation grant will form the basis for a more extensive future project.

For Questions, please contact

Office of Research

Laurie Gallinger, Awards & Agreements Officer
Research Services Office

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