How we fund cancer research

Cancer Council NSW is one of Australia’s largest non-government supporters of cancer research. We fund world-class research that reduces the impact of cancer. Each year, we receive many excellent and worthy applications for funding. Experts in research and members of the community help us decide which projects we should fund.

So how does this process work?



Researchers submit their funding applications (research proposals) to us.

2 These proposals are assessed by independent panels of expert scientists. The panels assign each proposal a score, based on the quality of the science, the significance and innovative aspects of the research, and the expertise of the research team.
3 In the next stage, only the research proposals deemed to be among Australia’s best are assessed by our Consumer Review Panel. The panel is a group of specially trained cancer survivors, carers and family members, and community members, who judge each proposal according to its value to the community. This panel gives each proposal a score based on its likely benefits and impact.
4 The scores assigned to each proposal by the scientific and consumer panels are combined to create a final ranking. We lead Australian cancer charities by giving the cancer community a voice in all our research funding decisions.


The Cancer Research Committee, a committee of independent cancer research leaders, oversees this process to ensure rigorous transparency, governance and the best use of community donations.



The Cancer Council NSW Board is provided with the recommendations of the Committee to approve the award of the grants.

Why include the community?

Community members work hard all year to raise the money we use to support research. That gives them the right to a voice in deciding where it goes. Survivors and carers understand the lived experience of cancer in a way that other people may not. That’s why the World Health Organization promotes community involvement in research. It’s also why we are committed to seeking community input into our funding decisions through our long-term partnership with Cancer Voices NSW.

Participate as a consumer

Our Consumer Review Panel

The Consumer Review Panel consists of men and women from across metropolitan and regional NSW, representing a range of cancer experiences, including survivors and carers.

We are indebted to the members of the panel making recommendations for funding in 2022:

  • Robyn Bransby
  • Lorraine Breust
  • James Butler (Chair)
  • Stephen Circosta
  • Vanessa Killen
  • Ash Lester
  • Abdelmesih Malak
  • Tony Maxwell
  • Phil Mendoza