Grants-in-Aid applications

Expressions of interest opens 24 May 2021


Cancer Council Victoria’s Grants-in-Aid program funds high quality research into the causes, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. We are committed to funding research projects tackling all cancer types to achieve our vision for a cancer-free future.

Applications will be assessed in a two-phase process consisting of an Expression of Interest and if shortlisted, applicants will be invited to submit a Full Application.

The submission process is now managed directly by Cancer Council Victoria and no longer via the NHMRC.

Key Dates

Expression of interest open

Monday 24 May 2021

Expression of interest close

Friday 25 June 2021

Full applications open
(invitation only)

Monday 6 September 2021

Full applications close

Friday 8 October 2021

Applicants notified

December 2021

Please note: individual institutions may have earlier closing dates to allow for internal processing before submitting to Cancer Council Victoria by the specified deadline.

Available funding

Our Grants-in-Aid support cancer research for up to $100,000 per year for two or three years.

Additional funding is available for two Low Survival Cancer research projects. Low Survival Cancers are generally defined as those with a five-year survival rate of ≤50%. To be eligible for one of these specific funding grants, applicants must answer ‘yes’ to the relevant question in both the EOI and Full Application forms and provide details of the direct relevance to Low Survival Cancers.

Selection Criteria

Applications are assessed on the following three criteria in both the Expression of Interest (EOI) and Full Application phases.

For the EOI, all criteria are weighted evenly. For Full Applications, the criteria will be weighted as follows:

  1. Quality/excellence of research including design and methodology (50%)
  2. Impact and significance to cancer (20%)
  3. Team track record, collaborative capacity and feasibility (30%)

As of 2020, the Standing Research Subcommittee provides all assessment of Grants-in-Aid submissions. The Medical and Scientific Committee   then reviews and ratifies awarding the grants. 

These guidelines may be updated and will be finalised
by Monday the 24th of May 2021.


  • Grants-in-Aid are awarded to research conducted in Victorian universities, hospitals and medical research institutes.
  • The work to be funded must relate to the causes, prevention, diagnosis or treatment of cancer.
  • Funding will not be granted to any researcher who is receiving or who is an applicant for funding from the tobacco industry or any of its agencies or subsidiaries.

Limitations on funding for researchers and institutions

  • The first-named Chief Investigator (CIA) must hold a primary appointment at an institution in Victoria. 
  • Chief Investigator A (CIA) may only submit and hold one Cancer Council Victoria Grant-in-Aid as CIA.
  • Any Chief Investigator may only act as CI (B, C, D etc) on one submission in the 2021 round.
  • No changes to the Chief investigators are to be made between the EOI and Full Application unless there are extenuating circumstances.

Cancer Council Victoria employees are eligible for inclusion on Grants-in-Aid project applications providing:

  • The Cancer Council employee is not listed as Chief Investigator A (CIA)
  • The project is led by another institution, and funds are awarded to and expended by another institution.

Research Plan

The extended response to this question in the full application should include the sections outlined in the expression of interest. It should also include details for key activities and milestones to support the projects research plan.

Aims and Hypotheses 
Hypotheses to be tested should be clearly stated.

Methods / Design 
Include sufficient detail for methods and experimental design to be assessed.

Experimental Plan
Clearly outline the experimental plan that best fits your project design.

Key Activities and Milestones
To clearly demonstrate the expected progression of your project, list every milestone you expect to achieve and when you expect to achieve it, including employment of staff, ethics approval, development of study measures, data collection (eg expected recruitment numbers within each 6 monthly interval), data analysis, manuscript preparation etc.

Curriculum Vitae

Include the following information in all CV 'sunder the following headings. CV’s must be limited to 3 pages.

Provide a list of your qualifications. For each entry include; the name and location of the institution, the degree received (if applicable), the month and year of end date and the field of study.

Career Disruptions
Outline any career disruptions that you have experienced that impact the length of time between your PhD (or MBBS) being awarded and the closing date for applications.  

Personal Statement
Briefly describe why you are well-suited for your role(s) in this project. Relevant factors may include: aspects of your training; your previous experimental work on this specific topic or related topics; your technical expertise; your collaborators or scientific environment; and/or your past performance in this or related fields.

Positions and Honors
List in chronological order the positions you've held that are relevant to this application, concluding with your present position.

Contributions to Science
Briefly describe your most significant contributions to science that relate to this project. This section should also highlight your accomplishments, and those of your colleagues, as scientists. This information will be used by the reviewers in the assessment of each of your experience for a specific role in the proposed project, as well as to evaluate the research team as a whole.  

Publications (5 years)
List your publications from the last 5 years, particularly those that relate to the project.

Salary requests

  1. Salary requests for CIAs will be permitted provided the CIA’s PhD (or MBBS) was awarded < 13 years ago at the closing date for applications.
    Note:  In order to verify eligibility, applicants must include the date of the letter advising them of their PhD or MBBS qualification being approved. This is to be    provided in the ‘Budget’ question of the Full Application form. Career disruptions will only be considered if applicants provide specific details of their situation.

  2. Salary requests for CIB, CIC, CID etc will be permitted provided the salary is not being requested to support someone who is a group leader or head of laboratory.

  3. All requests for salary must be justified. Applicants are asked to include this justification in Budget section of the Full Applications document. This detail is not required for the EOI.

Relevance to cancer

Relevance to cancer is the fundamental criteria for eligibility for Grants-in-Aid funding. The primary focus of the project must relate to the causes, prevention, diagnosis or treatment of cancer. You must include information on the relevance to cancer in your response, including how you might progress the results of your work and its translation into clinical practice.

The application will be considered insufficiently relevant if the relevance and significance to another disease is greater than to cancer, or if the research is of such a fundamental nature that its likely short or medium term impact on cancer control is low. 

Other funding sources

You may seek funding from other sources for the same project, however, there must be no overlap or duplication of funded components.

Role of the Administering Institution

The Administering Institution guarantees that the infrastructure and research environment necessary to support the research will be available. The Administering Institution also provides the administrative framework through which applications are received and payments made.

Should the application be successful, the Administering Institution is required to enter into a funding agreement with Cancer Council Victoria. The conditions in the agreement cover the standard grants contract areas including acknowledgment, intellectual property, reporting requirements etc.

Grants-in-Aid certification form

Download certification form


If you have any questions, please contact:   

Dorani Lacey
Research Governance & Optimal Care Unit

03 9514 6319  


Projects commencing in 2021

Dr Rishu Agarwal
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
Circulating tumour DNA and genomic markers of poor response to Ibrutinib-Venetoclax combination therapy in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (2021 -2023) )

A/Prof Ian Campbell
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
Finding new genes that cause familial high grade serious ovarian cancer (2021 -2023)

A/Prof Prudence Francis
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
Understanding response to neoadjuvant therapy in hormone receptor positive breast cancer; a correlative analysis of the ELIMINATE trial (2021 -2023) 

A/Prof Marco Herold
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
Looking beyond the role of mutant DNMT3a in AML (2021 -2023) 

Prof Brendan Jenkins
Hudson Institute of Medical Research
Uncovering the broad clinical utility of the innate immune pattern recognition receptor, Toll-like receptor 2, in pancreatic cancer (2021 -2023) 

Dr Linh Nguyen
University of Melbourne
Combining novel breast cancer risk factors to produce automated and accurate personalised breast cancer risk prediction at the time of mammographic screening (2021 -2023) 

Prof Anthony Purcell
Monash University
Defining the antigenic landscape of malignant mesothelioma - new opportunities for immunotherapy (2021 -2023) 
This project is funded through the generous support of the Lyall Watts Mesothelioma Research Fund. 

A/Prof Erica Sloan
Monash University
Harnessing neural-immune communication to enhance the radiotherapy abscopal response (2021 -2023) 

A/Prof Jeanne Tie
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
RESOLUTE: Randomised phase II trial to evaluate the strategy of integrating local ablative therapy with first-line systemic treatment for unresectable oligometastatic Colorectal cancer (2021 -2023) 

Dr Daniel Utzschneider
Peter Doherty Institute, University of Melbourne
Characterization and targeting of T cells for the treatment of leukemia (2021 -2023) 

Dr Ajithkumar Vasanthakumar
Peter Doherty Institute, University of Melbourne
Targeting regulatory T cells in mammary adipose tissue to treat breast cancer (2021 -2023) 

A/Prof Ilia Voskoboinik
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
How to overcome tumour resistance to immunotherapy (2021 -2023) 

Prof Ingrid Winship
University of Melbourne
What can tumour mutational signatures tell us about the cause of familial colorectal cancer? (2021 -2023) 

Projects commenced in 2020

Dr Holly Barker, Dr Kristy Shield-Artin, Dr Cassandra Vandenberg and Dr Gayanie Ratnayake 
The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
Identifying new treatment options for the rare and aggressive ovarian carcinosarcoma (2020 -2022)
Co-funded by the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation 

Dr Paul Beavis, Prof Phillip Darcy, Prof Benjamin Solomon and Prof Sherene Loi
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
Enhancing cell-based therapy of cancer (2020 -2022)

A/Prof Daniel Buchanan, Prof Mark Jenkins, Prof Ingrid Winship, Prof Finlay Macrae, Prof Alex Boussioutas and A/Prof Christophe Rosty
University of Melbourne
Why does colonoscopy fail to prevent cancer of the large bowel in people with Lynch syndrome? (2020 -2022)

Prof Suzanne Cory and Dr Gemma Kelly
The Walter and Eliza Hall institute of Medical Research
Testing a promising new therapeutic target (MNT) to improve treatment of diverse human lymphomas and other cancers driven by high levels of the oncoprotein MYC (2020 -2022)

Prof Paul Donnelly and A/Prof Carleen Cullinane
University of Melbourne
Diagnostic imaging and therapy of cancers with copper radiopharmaceuticals (2020 -2022)

Dr Debra Gook, A/Prof David Westerman and Prof Claus Anderson
The Royal Women’s Hospital
Eliminating leukemic cells from ovarian tissue for safe restoration of fertility (2020 - 2022)

Dr Ian Majewski and Dr Peter Valk
The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
How does the DNA damage that accumulates with age influence cancer risk? (2020 -2022)

Dr Delphine Merino, Dr Melissa Davis and Dr Belinda Yeo
Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute
Design new treatments for patients with aggressive breast cancer using sequencing and drug response prediction (2020 -2022)

Dr Ashley Ng, Dr Kira Behrens, Prof Warren Alexander,  Dr Rebecca Feltham, Prof John Silke and Dr David Komander
The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
Drugging Undruggable Targets in Ph+ B-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (2020 -2022)

Prof Richard Pearson
University of Melbourne
Combinatorial targeting of cellular “housekeeping” processes to treat cancer (2020 -2022)

Prof Andrew Perkins
Monash University
Towards a cure for myelofibrosis  (2020 -2022)
Funded by the Victorian Government through the Victorian Cancer Agency 

A/Prof Jake Shortt and Dr Lev Kats
Monash University
Determining the reasons why leukaemia and lymphoma become resistant to treatments that alter the methylation of cancer DNA (2020 -2022)

Dr Lorey Smith and Dr Brendon Monahan
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
Preventing Resistance to Targeted Therapy in Melanoma (2020 -2022)

Dr Florian Wiede
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
Enhancing the immune system in combating liver cancer in obesity (2020 -2022)
Funded by the Victorian Government through the Victorian Cancer Agency 

Projects commenced in 2019

Prof Robin Anderson, Prof Robert Parton
Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute


Dr Nicholas Clemons, Prof Wayne Phillips, Dr Gang Chen, Dr Cuong Duong, A/Prof Sarah-Jane Dawson, Prof David Watson, Prof Reginald Lord, A/Prof David Wang
The University of Melbourne
Development of a simple blood test to guide treatment decisions for patients with oesophageal cancer (2019-2021)
Funded by the Victorian Government through the Victorian Cancer Agency 
Dr James Dowty, A/Prof Daniel Buchanan, Prof Ingrid Winship, A/Prof Robert Waterland, Dr Jihoon Joo, Prof Mark Jenkins, Prof Melissa Southey
The University of Melbourne


Dr Moritz Eissmann, Prof Matthias Ernst, Prof Alex Boussioutas
La Trobe University
Testing antibodies inhibiting IL33-signalling against gastric cancer (2019-2021)
Funded by the Victorian Government through the Victorian Cancer Agency 


A/Prof Thomas Gebhardt
The University of Melbourne
Dr Catherine Granger
The University of Melbourne
A randomised control trial to evaluate the effect of exercise and self-management on outcomes of people with operable lung cancer (2019-2021)
Funded by the Victorian Government through the Victorian Cancer Agency 
Dr Lev Kats, Prof Ricky Johnstone
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
Dr Simon Keam
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
Prof John Mariadason
Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute
Prof Neil O'Brien-Simpson, A/Prof Andrea O'Connor, Prof Michael McCullough, Dr Jason Lenzo
The University of Melbourne
Dr Lorraine O'Reilly, Prof Andreas Strasser, A/Prof Nicholas Huntington
The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
A/Prof Louise Purton, A/Prof Carl Walkley, Dr Meaghan Wall, Dr Helene Jousset
St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research
Prof Andrew Scott, A/Prof Hui Gan, Prof Weisan Chen
Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute
Prof Matthew J. Watt, Dr Renea A. Taylor, A/Prof Daniel Nomura
The University of Melbourne

Projects commenced in 2018 

Dr Ashwini Chand, Prof Matthias Ernst, Prof Michael Parker
La Trobe University
Repurposing drugs for the treatment of gastrointestinal cancers (2018-2020)


A/Prof Phillip Darcy, Dr Paul Beavis, Prof Dale Godfrey
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
Investigating the role of a novel immune cell subset in cancer (2018-2020)


Dr Daniel Gough, Prof David Watkins, Dr Kate Sutherland, A/Prof Jake Shortt
Hudson Institute of Medical Research
Identifying new treatments for platinum resistant Small Cell Lung Cancer (2018-2020) 


A/Prof Daniel Gray, Prof David Huang, Prof Andrew Roberts, Prof Terence Speed
The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
Understanding how new therapies target blood cancer (2018-2020)


A/Prof Craig Harrison, Dr Paul Gregorevic, A/Prof Jose Garcia
Monash University
Towards precision medicine for cancer cachexia (2018-2020)


A/Prof Christine Hawkins, Prof Andrew Scott, A/Prof Carl Walkley
La Trobe University
Testing new drugs for bone cancer (2018-2020)


A/Prof Thomas John, Prof Andrew Scott, A/Prof Hui Gan
The Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute
New treatments for mesothelioma (2018-2020)


Prof Ricky Johnstone, A/Prof Jake Shortt
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
Targeting transcriptional addiction for cancer therapy (2018-2020)


Dr Gemma Kelly, Dr Marco Herold, Dr MaryAnn Anderson
The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
Investigating a novel anti-cancer agent targeting MCL-1 for the treatment of haematological cancers (2018-2020)


Prof Christina Mitchell, Prof Catriona McLean
Monash University
Regulation of phosphoinositide 3-phosphate tumour suppressor activity (2018-2020)


Dr Donia Moujalled
Monash University
New treatments for Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (2018-2020)


Prof David Ritchie, Dr Nicholas Huntington
The University of Melbourne
Inhibiting immune cell function to improve stem cell transplant outcomes in leukaemia (2018-2020)


Prof Tony Tiganis, Prof Catriona McLean
Monash University
Determining how liver cancer develops in obesity (2018-2020)

Projects commenced in 2017 

Dr Urmi Dhagat, Dr Sophie Broughton, Prof Michael Parker, A/Prof Louise Purton
The University of Melbourne (2018-2019); St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research (2017-2018)
How does the protein hormone interleukin-3 regulate cell signalling in leukaemic cells? (2017-2019) 


A/Prof Hui Gan, Prof Andrew Scott, Prof John Mariadason, A/Prof Elgene Lim, Prof Niall Tebbutt
La Trobe University
Anti-EGFR drug conjugates for the treatment of colorectal and breast cancer  (2017-2019) 


Prof Suzanne Garland, Prof Sepehr Tabrizi, A/Prof Richard Hillman, Dr Alyssa Cornall, Dr Fengyi Jin, Dr Jennifer Roberts, Dr Isobel Poynten, Dr Monica Molano, Dr Dorothy Machalek
The University of Melbourne
Assessment of potential tests for anal cancer screening (2017-2019)


Prof John Hopper, Dr Daniel Schmidt, Dr Enes Makalic, Dr Carmel Apicella, Dr Louise Keogh, Dr Helen Frazer, Dr Pierre-Antoine Dugue, Dr Ralph Highnam, Mr Kevin Nguyen, Dr Jill Evans
The University of Melbourne
Automated measures that predict risk and masking of breast cancer  (2017-2019)


Dr Peter Janes, Prof Andrew Scott, A/Prof Thomas John
Monash University (2017-2018); La Trobe University (2018-2019)
Targeted antibody therapy for malignant mesothelioma 
Lyall Watts Mesothelioma Research Grant (2017-2019)


Dr Ian Majewski, Prof David Huang, Prof Andrew Roberts
The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
Targeting cell survival pathways to treat cancer (2017-2019) 


Dr Kate Murphy, Prof John Silke, Prof Gordon Lynch, Prof Leanne Delbridge
The University of Melbourne
A novel treatment for heart failure in cancer and with chemotherapy (2017-2019)


Dr Lan Nguyen
Monash University
Elucidating the dual functions of YAP in breast cancer (2017-2019) 


Dr Belinda Parker, A/Prof Phil Darcy
La Trobe University
Predicting the benefit of therapies for patients with triple negative breast cancer (2017-2019)


A/Prof Helena Richardson, A/Prof Patrick Humbert, Prof Josef Penninger
La Trobe University
Determining how a novel protein controls cell shape and cancer progression  (2017-2019)


Dr Adam Uldrich, Dr Daniel Pellicci, Dr Ilia Voskoboinik
The University of Melbourne
Examining the anti-cancer properties of gamma delta T cells (2017-2019) 
A/Prof Carl Walkley, A/Prof Wallace Langdon, Dr Meaghan Wall, Dr Alistair Chalk
St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research
Understanding how blood cancers form (2017-2019) 

Projects commenced in 2016 

A/Prof Kieran Harvey, Dr Nicola Waddell, A/Prof Kaylene Simpson
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
What causes mesothelioma and how can we treat it?
Lyall Watts Mesothelioma Research Grant (Sept 2016 - Aug 2019)


Dr Nicole Haynes, Prof Ricky Johnstone, A/Prof Sherene Loi
The University of Melbourne (Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre)
Targeting HER2+ breast cancer with novel combination therapies (2016-2018)


Dr Peter Janes, Prof Dimitar Nikolov, Dr Elgene Lim
Monash University
Novel therapeutic antibodies to fight drug resistant breast cancers  (2016-2018)


Prof Stephen Nutt, A/Prof Lynn Corcoran
The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
Exploring new molecular targets on plasma cells as therapies for multiple myeloma  (2016-2018)


Dr Gretchen Poortinga, Prof Grant McArthur, Prof Ross Hannan
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
Understanding how cancer cells become resistant to a novel treatment of blood cancers (2016-2018) 


A/Prof Louise Purton, Dr Meaghan Wall, Dr Carl Walkley
St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research
Identifying better treatments for blood cell cancers (2016-2018)


Prof Jamie Rossjohn, Prof Andrew Brooks
Monash University
Exploring how tumour cells are recognised by Natural Killer cells (2016-2018)


Dr Karen Sheppard, Prof Grant McArthur
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
Understanding why melanomas stop responding to therapy that inhibits cells from growing  (2016-2018)


Prof Andreas Strasser, Dr Daniel Gray
The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
How does competition between cells impact tumour development (2016-2018)


Prof Jose Villadangos, Prof William Heath
The University of Melbourne
Improving cancer killing with live cell therapy (2016-2018)


Dr Florian Wiede
Monash University (2016-2017); The University of Melbourne (2018)
Defining a novel immunotherapy for more effective cancer treatment (2016-2018)