Cancer Australia’s national audit of funding to cancer research projects and programs 2012–2020

Cancer Australia published the third national audit of cancer research funding in 2023. ‘Cancer research in Australia: an overview of funding for cancer research projects and programs in Australia 2012 to 2020’ examines the national patterns of funding provided directly to cancer research projects and programs, for the years 2012 to 2020. By building upon earlier national audits the report also provides a trend analysis of funding over the six triennia covering the period 2003–2020.

It’s expected that the national cancer research audit will guide both Cancer Australia and the wider national cancer control sector in prioritising decision-making around cancer research funding.

Highlights from the 2012 to 2020 national audit include:

  • In the period 2012 to 2020, 4,813 cancer research projects and programs were funded across Australia, with a total value of $2.12 billion.
  • Across the six triennia from 2003–2005 to 2018–2020, Cancer Australia’s three national audits identified a total of $3.43 billion in funding awarded to 9,241 cancer research projects and programs.
  • Total funding increased more than 3-fold from $292 million in 2003–2005 to $934 million in 2018–2020, and the number of active research projects in each triennium increased from 1,332 in 2003–2005 to 2,231 in 2018–2020.
  • In the period 2012 to 2020, 88% (4,277) of cancer research projects and programs were funded by a single identified funding source.
  • The proportion of funding to single tumour site-specific research projects and programs increased from $107 million (37% of funding) in 2003–2005 to $545 million (58% of funding) in 2018–2020.
  • The Australian Government was the largest funder of cancer research projects and  programs, providing 58% of the direct funding identified in the audit.

Find out more:

 

Cancer Australia’s review of funding to research projects in Australia 2016–2018

To identify opportunities for developing strategic priorities in cancer research and future investment, Cancer Australia undertook a review of funding awarded up to July 2015, for cancer research projects and research programs in Australia for 2016 to 2018.

This review of funding to cancer research projects and programs was made possible through the co-operation and provision of data by major funders of cancer research in Australia who together provided 90% of funding to cancer research projects and research programs in Australia 2006 to 2011.

Highlights from review of funding to research projects in Australia 2016-2018

  • Over $252 million in funding to cancer research in 2016 to 2018.
  • The Australian Government was the largest funder providing more than $187 million (74%).
  • 95% of the identified research projects are being supported by a single funding source.
  • The level of proportional funding to many cancers was low compared with their burden on the Australian population.
  • The majority of projects (81%) have one or more named collaborators.

Find out more:

View the highlights: Review of Funding to Research Projects in Australia 2016-2018.

Cancer Australia’s national audits of funding to cancer research and research capacity 2006–2011

Cancer Australia’s previous audits describe the breadth of cancer research funding in Australia, resulting in a national picture of funding to cancer researchers, capacity and infrastructure. 

The second national audit of cancer research funding was published in 2014 and covered research projects and programs from 2006 to 2011. This report provided valuable data on cancer research funding in Australia, including direct funding for tumour-specific research and the extent of collaborative research efforts.

In 2015, Cancer Australia published results from the national audit of cancer research capacity funding. ‘Cancer research in Australia: An overview of funding to initiatives to support cancer research capacity in Australia 2006 to 2011’ was the first national audit on funding for cancer research capacity building, including data on funding for cancer researchers and research infrastructure. The Report also combines the data with the funding provided to cancer research projects and programs.

Highlights from the 2006 to 2011 national audits include:

  • Over $1.7 billion in funding was provided to cancer research between 2006 and 2011.
  • The Australian Government was the largest funder, providing more than $1 billion (58%).
  • Total funding to support cancer research capacity increased 41% from 2006–2008 to 2009–2011.
  • 91% of all grants and awards to support cancer research capacity were funded by a single funding source.
  • Career funding for cancer researchers totalled $304 million, and annual funding almost doubled from 2006 to 2011.
  • Mid-career Fellowships were the least commonly awarded Fellowship type in 2006–2011.
  • Scholarships and Fellowships in the areas of Prevention research, Public Health, and Health Services Research, received the lowest levels of funding in 2006–2011.
  • Funding for initiatives which build cancer research capacity and infrastructure totalled $453 million, and annual funding increased almost 50% from 2006 to 2011.
  • The level of proportional funding to many cancers was low compared with their burden on the Australian population.
  • Measured per head of population (per capita) and as percentage of each country’s economic output (Gross Domestic Product, GDP), the level of funding to cancer research was similar in Australia, Canada and the UK.
  • The pattern of funding across the cancer research continuum was similar for Australia, Canada and the UK.

Find out more:

Research capacity report - published in 2015

Research funding report published in 2014

Cancer Australia’s national audit of funding to cancer research 2003–2005 

Cancer Australia published the first national audit of cancer research funding in 2008. ‘Cancer research in Australia: an overview of cancer research projects and programs in Australia 2003 to 2005’ identified, for the first time, the national pattern of investment in cancer research projects and programs.

Highlights from the 2003 to 2005 national audit include:

  • Over $291 million in funding was provided to cancer research between 2003 and 2005.
  • The Australia Government provided 66 per cent ($190.3 million) of the direct funding to cancer research projects and research programs in 2003 to 2005, of which the majority was to research projects and programs funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC; $165.8 million).
  • The largest proportion of funding allocated between 2003 and 2005 was in the field of Biology (51 per cent of funding), but research into Cancer Treatment was also well supported. Funding of research into the causes of cancer (Aetiology), cancer prevention, early detection, diagnosis and prognosis, and cancer control, survivorship and outcomes research was relatively low by comparison.

Find out more: