Research opportunities in early detection and diagnosis

Early detection research

We have a broad variety of opportunities to help researchers progress their early detection and diagnosis research or get involved in this field for the first time, from research funding grants to events and conferences.

We support research across the pipeline, from discovery research which takes us further in our understanding of early-stage disease, to translational studies and research which bridges the gap between scientific breakthroughs and clinical practice or healthcare policies.

EDx research areas diagram prototype

Early Detection and Diagnosis of Cancer: a Roadmap to the Future

Derived from extensive consultation across the early detection and diagnosis ecosystem, the Early Detection and Diagnosis of Cancer Roadmap aims to unite fragmented efforts across the UK to drive progress in early detection and diagnosis. We’re calling on everyone from researchers and industry, to regulators, the NHS and the public, to combine efforts to realise a future where early detection and diagnosis is a routine reality. 

International Alliance for Cancer Early Detection

The International Alliance for Cancer Early Detection (ACED) is a new £55 million partnership uniting scientists at 5 world-leading centres for early detection research. Scientists in the Alliance are working together at the forefront of technological innovation to translate research into realistic ways to improve cancer diagnosis. We anticipate that as ACED develops, the wider early detection community will also benefit from the training, funding, collaboration and partnership opportunities that we expect it to create.

Events and conferences

Our events break the barriers between disciplines and open up new avenues for collaborative research. We have upcoming conferences in early detection and early diagnosis, as well as online archives of highlights and outputs from previous events.

Event Key information

Innovation Sandpit Workshop: Novel approaches to triaging primary care patients

At this intensive and interactive three-day event you'll have the opportunity to network, form new multidisciplinary collaborations, develop new ideas and pitch for seed funding.

7 – 10 Nov 2021


Early Detection of Cancer Conference

Our annual early detection conference brings together world experts across a range of disciplines to discuss themes including the biology behind early-stage cancers, new detection and screening methods, and enhancing the accuracy and uptake of screening.

6 – 8 Oct 2021 


Early Diagnosis Research Conference

Our biannual early diagnosis research conference explores research on the diagnostic pathway, including screening, public awareness of symptoms and factors in the primary and secondary care systems.

Spring 2021


Virtual Academic-Industry Meetups for Cancer Early Detection and Diagnosis

Are you an early detection researcher looking for new opportunities to exchange ideas and interact more closely with industry collaborators? Are you a company looking for academic partners to explore how your technology could be applied to cancer early detection and diagnosis, or to overcome roadblocks in your development?

Bridging the sectors of academia and industry, our virtual meetups will help you meet your next collaborator.

Jan 2021





Our portfolio

We fund the best research from the best researchers, across the spectrum of early detection and early diagnosis research. The case studies below provide a taste of the kinds of projects and programmes that we support.

Risk stratification, AI and bold new ideas: our latest funded early detection research

Radiographer looking at mammogram image

We’re using our funding to build a broad and strong early detection research community and we recently invested in 15 new projects and programmes in this field.

A transatlantic collaboration to develop blood tests that pinpoint cancer location

Dr Chunxiao Song and Dr Thuy Ngo aim to use epigenetic and transcriptome technology to detect cancer earlier and provide information on where the cancer originated from, using funding from our CRUK-OHSU Early Detection awards.

New-onset diabetes: a link to help detect cancer earlier

Professor Eithne Costello is developing a diagnostic test to detect pancreatic cancer at an early stage in individuals with new-onset diabetes with the support of our Early Detection Programme Award.

Our policy on early diagnosis


We work to ensure that diagnosing cancer early stays at the top of the agenda, and that research discoveries translate into healthcare policies and clinical practice in the NHS.

Resources for health professionals

breast scan

Find out about activities in the UK focusing on early diagnosis of cancer, including screening projects and resources, and our early diagnosis research conferences.

Our research on early diagnosis

Our scientists are looking at new ways to detect cancers earlier, and we've contributed to some of the advances that have seen cancer survival rates double over the past 40 years.