Our Research Strategy

To deliver progress towards our vision of finding a cure for all types of brain tumours our research aims are built around three pillars which will see us:

Grow capacity – attract and retain talented researchers to increase the quantity of brain tumour research in the UK

Build infrastructure – support the research infrastructure, connecting and improving coordination across the UK brain tumour research community

Accelerate treatments – improve the quality of brain tumour research in the UK and support innovative research to generate new treatments for brain tumours

  • Grow Capacity

    We currently support four Centres of Excellence, and have an ambition to fund seven Centres in the UK.

    By building outstanding teams of collaborative researchers within the academic and medical communities, our Centres of Excellence facilitate the development of long-term strategic research plans to explore promising new avenues.

    As the critical mass of high-quality scientists builds, our Centres are attracting outstanding researchers from across the globe, bringing with them expertise from a wide range of backgrounds whilst simultaneously increasing opportunities for new collaborations.

    This will bring us closer to find that key breakthrough that the brain tumour world so desperately needs.

    Centres of Excellence
  • Build Infrastructure

    Researchers need access to research tools, platforms and resources to deliver their outstanding research.

    Working in partnership with other organisations, our funding is supporting the research infrastructure, connecting and improving coordination across the UK brain tumour research community, ensuring that researchers are able to maximise their potential and ambition to deliver world-leading research and innovation.

    We currently fund two initiatives focused on providing resources for scientists undertaking research into brain tumours.

    Funded Initiatives
  • Accelerate Treatments

    We strive to improve the quality of brain tumour research in the UK and support innovative research to generate new treatments for brain tumours.

    We fund two initiatives that are focused on researching and
    supporting the development of new treatments for brain tumours. 

    Brain Tumour Research Novel Therapeutics Accelerator, in
    partnership with TJBCM

    The University of Cardiff in partnership with the MRC

    Our Centre of Excellence at The Institute of Cancer Research is uniquely positioned to translate scientific breakthroughs into treatments for patients. The team is generating the laboratory data needed to support the launch of new clinical trials.

    Funded Initiatives
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In the news: Clinical trial to repurpose HIV drugs for brain tumour patients

Scientists at the Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence at the University of Plymouth are conducting a clinical trial to see whether using anti-retroviral medications, Ritonavir and Lopinavir, could help people with Neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2). The rare inherited genetic condition causes tumours such as schwannoma (which include acoustic neuroma),  ependymoma and meningioma which develop on the membrane surrounding the brain.

The RETREAT clinical trial, led by Professor Oliver Hanemann and funded by the Children’s Tumour Foundation, will expand on research which showed the repurposed drugs reduced tumour growth and survival in the tumours.

  • We are a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC)

    This is a reassurance that our research is of the highest possible quality. It also means that the money we give to research is automatically increased by 28%.

    Brain Tumour Research endorses the AMRC position statement on the use of animals in medical research and on supporting research in universities.

    AMRC Website
  • Brain Tumour Research Scientific and Medical Advisory Board (SMAB)

    Our Scientific and Medical Advisory Board (SMAB) provides independent, objective reviews of our research programme and strategy.

    Members of the SMAB are chosen due to their internationally regarded experience and expertise, enabling them to provide invaluable scientific support and advice to the charity, our researchers and our Board of Trustees.

    Meet our SMAB
  • Brain Tumour Research is recognised as 'prestigious' funder of research

    UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has recognised Brain Tumour Research as an endorsed funder for the Global Talent visa, the UK’s specialist research and innovation visa.

    It means the charity is recognised as a prestigious funder of research and innovation with an excellent track record of awarding funding to researchers with critical skills, following a rigorous peer review process.

    Read more
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Frequently asked questions

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Why does Brain Tumour Research invest in the Centre model?

Our mission is to establish a network of flourishing Brain Tumour Research Centres throughout the UK, which together will put this country at the forefront of international brain tumour research.  

We are the only national brain tumour charity dedicated purely to funding scientific research into all types of brain tumour. With our secure long-term funding partnerships covering the key salaried positions within our Centres, the researchers will be freed from the limitations and frustrations of applying for one specific project grant after another in order to secure career opportunities, and instead will be able to pursue the sustainable and continuous research so desperately needed if we are to achieve our vision of finding a cure for brain tumours.   


Promising scientists will be able to be trained up through the ranks and fulfil their potential, rather than being tempted into other cancer research which currently attracts greater funding, and with-it greater job security. As specialist brain tumour expertise and knowledge builds, those experienced researchers can then potentially move between centres to encourage cross-pollination of the very best thinking at the cutting-edge of brain tumour research. 


With job security and the ability to build outstanding teams of collaborative researchers amongst the academic and medical communities, Centres of Excellence are therefore able to develop long-term strategic research plans to explore new avenues, in order to find that key breakthrough that the brain tumour world so desperately needs, instead of thinking simply of one small project after another. Sometimes a long-term goal or a new field of research needs to be broken down into smaller parts, but that greater vision must be free to be held in the knowledge that it will be achieved. 


Each Centre of Excellence will become an active partner with Brain Tumour Research. We will supply dedicated members of staff with expertise in fundraising, marketing and PR to work at both local and national level alongside existing teams at Universities and Hospitals attached to these Centres of Excellence. This dedication to the brain tumour cause therefore supports and enhances the identity of each Centre as well as that of Brain Tumour Research, providing a dynamic fundraising atmosphere in order to meet our target of raising £1 million per year per Centre, on an ongoing basis. 


Our Centres will form a new and powerful network, collaborating with each other and other institutes, both within the UK and internationally, in order to accelerate progress in brain tumour research in the UK and make a clinical difference. 


We partner with Researchers and Clinicians who share our vision of a sustainable, secure future for UK brain tumour research.  We want better futures for all those diagnosed and living with a brain tumour.