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Cancer Research Leadership Forum

The Cancer Research Leadership Forum (CRLF) was established in 2009 to foster collaboration between national community-supported cancer organisations that fund cancer researchers and their work in Australia.

The members of CRLF share a common goal – to reduce the burden of cancer in Australia. To achieve this goal, CRLF members are working together to augment their efforts, through coordinated planning, sharing of learning and resources and co-funding of national cancer research projects.

CRLF members

Towards a national resource

In 2011, almost $300 million was awarded to Australian cancer research projects from a range of funders, including the state and federal governments, community, public and private sectors. Over one quarter of this funding came from CRLF member organisations.

A major initiative of CRLF is to drive the development of a national resource for the community-funded cancer research sector. The proposed national resource – Maximising the impact of cancer research funding in Australia: A national resource to guide research investment and improve cancer outcomes – will identify priorities, optimise the use of existing resources, develop capacity in areas of need and ensure a balance of funding across the cancer research spectrum. Ultimately, CRLF hope to maximise the effectiveness of every dollar donated by the community towards cancer research.

By driving development of a national resource, CRLF aim to:

  • Identify and address existing discrepancies in funding of cancer types
  • Develop an integrative and collaborative approach to funding cancer research, which engages consumers, researchers, clinicians, industry and funding bodies, while also encouraging translation to practice; and
  • Develop sustainable, highly trained, multidisciplinary research capacity, by providing support for areas of unmet need. These areas include: long-term funding, bridging/short-term funding, speculative research and research into health services and prevention.
  • Ensure appropriate provision of enduring national research infrastructure, such as bio-specimen banks, data registries and large-scale, longitudinal, epidemiological studies.

In 2011, CRLF successfully applied for a grant from the Macquarie Group Foundation’s collaborative funding scheme to support development of this resource in consultation with all stakeholders. The major cancer charities, researchers, consumers and other stakeholders have worked together to identify priorities and gaps in all types of research across the cancer spectrum and recommend potential strategies to ensure research funding achieves the greatest impact for people at risk of or affected by cancer.

To coincide with World Cancer Day on 4 February 2012, CRLF released a White Paper – ‘Towards a national cancer research plan’ – to engage all interested stakeholders in making recommendations about the actions required to improve cancer research planning and coordination of funding in Australia.

On 7-8 September 2012, CRLF convened a National Cancer Research Summit. This was the second stage of development of a national resource to maximise the impact of cancer research funding.

Click here to see the outcome of the conference and the report published in January 2013.