Scottish Government cancer research funding: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

You asked;

is it possible to advise the funding invested in any cancer research by the Scottish Government over the last 5 years?


The answer to your question is available publically; PQS5W-23665.

Relevant background information is included in the Annex.


The Scottish Government’s Chief Scientist Office (CSO) supports health research in Scotland through a number of mechanisms including:

• NHS Research Scotland (NRS), a partnership between CSO and the NHS Boards that works to ensure NHS Scotland provides the best environment to support health research. Through the NRS arrangements, CSO provides funding to the NHS Boards to meet the additional costs associated with hosting research and supports national infrastructure to maximise quality, efficiency and co-ordination. Around 60% of CSO’s budget is distributed by allocation to the Scottish NHS Boards through NHS Research Scotland ( NRS supports research across all categories and we do not hold figures broken down by clinical specialty.

• Within NRS the 26 topic-specific research networks span a wide range of clinical areas to promote clinical research and support the development, set up and completion of research studies within their particular clinical areas. The Cancer research network is funded by CSO to run cancer clinical trials across Scotland (

• Co-funded initiatives with medical research charities to support research projects and fellowships in Scotland in particular areas. Applications are assessed through independent expert peer-review with funding recommendations made by independent expert panels

• An annual contribution to the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to allow Scottish-based researchers to apply for funding via the large UK-wide NIHR research funding schemes. These cover all clinical areas, and cancer forms a major part of the portfolio.

• Direct research funding. CSO runs a number of funding programmes. These include 2 grant funding schemes, covering Experimental Medicine and Health Services Research; a small grants scheme for pilot work; and funding for a limited number of Clinical Fellowships. All of CSO’s direct research funding is response mode. This means that funding isn’t allocated to any particular clinical area. Applications are received from across the clinical spectrum. A rigorous process of independent expert review is then undertaken to identify those projects that receive funding. This review process takes into account the feasibility, clinical importance and value for money of the proposed research, and the track record of the researchers in delivering successful research projects. In common with other high level health research funders, CSO receives more applications than it can fund, with on average around 25% of applications being successful.

About FOI

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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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