Our alliance of over 30 member organizations allows us to participate strategically in the Canadian cancer research community by engaging in the following activities.

Convene and Catalyze

The CCRA provides a critical forum for Canadian funders of cancer research to identify and establish collaborations which will effectively advance cancer research and control. Our alliance has set the stage for joint strategic action by establishing shared priorities and goals, and fostering collaboration among member organizations.

Synthesize and Inform

The CCRA has worked to gain a greater understanding of the cancer research-funding landscape in Canada. An environmental scan begun in 2005 has evolved into a comprehensive multi-year database of nearly 30 000 research projects funded by more than 40 organizations with annual reporting, known as the Canadian Cancer Research Survey (CCRS).

The CCRS is unique in the world because of the breadth of organizations involved and the variety of funding programs included. It has been instrumental in identifying funding gaps, and highlighting needs and opportunities for new shared investment.

Showcase and Connect

Since 2011, we’ve provided the biennial Canadian Cancer Research Conference (CCRC) that connects both new and established researchers across the cancer research continuum.

The CCRC provides these key offerings:

  • A showcase of Canada’s leading cancer researchers and emerging topics in cancer research
  • Opportunities for funding agencies to connect with their research communities, promote new or existing programs, and host workshops
  • Community events and patient involvement

Facilitate and Prioritize

Bringing funders, researchers, and patients together to identify and prioritize areas for cancer research funding is the process that CCRA has used to formulate its research frameworks. The frameworks completed for prevention, cancer survivorship, and palliative and end-of-life care helped inform funding programs, and guided the creation of research networks and health care policy.

We’ve published two strategic plans to date, which are landmark documents for cancer research funders. We recently launched a vision for how Canada can become an international leader in cancer research, delivering tangible impact for its population.


Without the collaboration of Canada’s cancer research funders, the following two transformative initiatives wouldn’t have succeeded:

  • Under the leadership of the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, the CanPath (Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow’s Health and formerly known as the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project) is a national population cohort of over 330 000 volunteers, which provides valuable data to help us understand the causes of cancer and other chronic diseases.
  • The Canadian Cancer Clinical Trials Network (3CTN) is a Canada-wide initiative to improve patient access to clinical trials, as well as the efficiency and quality of those trials. The initiative began with seed funding from the Partnership and has evolved into a multi-partner undertaking of Canadian funders and cancer centres.

Recognize and Celebrate

The biennial CCRA Awards are member-driven and recognize individuals who have had a remarkable impact on cancer research and the cancer research community. Presented during the CCRC, these awards help to inspire the next generation of cancer researchers by acknowledging the awardees’ important legacy.