NCRI Cancer Research Database

About the database

NCRI has been collecting cancer research funding data since 2002,  to understand how money is spread across the various areas of research, and identify any gaps.

To track how UK funding for cancer changes over time, our Partner organisations are asked to submit data each year on how much they have spent on cancer research, and the research projects and programmes that they spent it on. Each piece of research funding is then coded by cancer site and by research category, using an international classification system called the Common Scientific Outline (CSO).

► Common Scientific Outline coding system (ICRP website) 

Putting the data to use

NCRI publishes annual summaries of the data, as well as periodic reports looking at trends or particular areas within the portfolio. This helps to identify areas of relative strength and weakness within UK cancer research. NCRI Partners can also use the information to undertake detailed analyses of their own.

Where a gap or imbalance in funding is found, our Partners can then look at ways to address this. For example, our first database analysis in 2002 found that research spending was relatively low in the areas of cancer prevention and risk, and supportive and palliative care – this led to NCRI developing the National Prevention Research Initiative and Supportive and Palliative Care Collaboratives to address this.

The latest data

In 2013, NCRI Partners spent £503m on cancer research, which is almost double the amount being spent in 2002. When taking into consideration the effect of inflation, there has been an increase of over 50% in cancer research spend since 2002. About 55% of the portfolio is spent on research applicable to all cancer types, and cancer biology and treatment receive the greatest share of funding. You can access the data packages and read about trends in more detail in the reports below.

► Data package – all data (Excel)

► Data package – data on top 6 cancers by research spend (Excel)

► Data analysis reports (NCRI webpage)

Connecting up data internationally

As a member of the International Cancer Research Partnership (ICRP), NCRI is able to upload portfolio data to the ICRP website, alongside that of other countries.

► International Cancer Research Partnership (ICRP) website

► International collaboration (NCRI webpage)

 Further information

► Email the NCRI Research Analyst