Background and Context:
A strategic and coordinated approach to funding cancer research could facilitate the conduct of priority research and accelerate rapid changes in care and outcomes. However, to strategically target research funding, an understanding the current landscape of cancer research investment both nationally and internationally is required.
To undertake an audit of funding provided to cancer research projects and research programs in Australia in the period 2006 –2011.
Funding information was requested from Australian and international organisations likely to have directly funded cancer-related research projects and research programs in Australia between 2006-2011. The funded research was classified using the Common Scientific Outline to show the pattern of funding across the research continuum and to allow for comparisons of Australian and international data. This audit also purposefully analysed the extent of co-funding of cancer research and the degree of research collaborations.
The data from this audit has provided the evidence-base to inform Cancer Australia’s future research priorities and the data and findings are expected to also be of value to other funders of cancer research, policy makers, researchers and consumers.
Outcomes/What was learned:
The pattern of funding across the cancer research continuum was broadly similar in Australia, the UK and Canada. Australia, Canada and the UK all had proportionally higher levels of investment in the fields of cancer Biology and Treatment, and all had proportionally lower levels of investment in Prevention research. Further, only 10% of research grants were co-funded and the majority of collaborations occurred within the research institute of the grant recipient.
An opportunity exists for national and international funders to co-fund cancer research in areas of shared priority and establish funding models which value and reward international collaborations.