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The Ruth Strauss Foundation has launched a small grants programme that will award grants of up to £50,000 each to promising research projects that focus on improving the lives of people with non-smoking lung cancer.  

Opening today (14 August 2023), the grants programme will fund research that supports Ruth Strauss Foundation’s vision to enhance awareness of non-smoking lung cancer, to improve treatment access and options, to better meet patients’ needs, and to improve evidence-based information about the disease. 

A total of £150,000 is available to applicants who work at a university, NHS hospital, hospice or research institution in the UK. Grants can be used to fund a standalone project or research that forms part of or contributes to a wider project.  

Applications must be submitted by 5pm on 13 November 2023 to be considered.

Striving towards life-saving research 

There are 48,500 new lung cancer cases in the UK each year. That’s around 130 people per day who are diagnosed with the disease [2]. Around 15% of lung cancer is in those who are non- or never smokers [3] and the overall number of lung cancer cases in non-smokers is on the rise [4].

At Ruth Strauss Foundation, we want to bring people together to influence high-quality research into non-smoking lung cancer.

Only then can we identify the causes of the disease, so that people with non-smoking lung cancer are diagnosed earlier, have access to evidence-based information and better treatments, and live longer, healthier lives.

Our grants programme will form an important first step towards achieving those goals.

Expert input to rubberstamp research priorities 

We surveyed professionals and experts – including oncologists, cancer nurse specialists, and researchers, among others – to determine which areas of research are most important and feasible with funding of up to £50,000.

Their important insights have helped us to shape the research areas our grants programme will focus on.

In addition, the grants programme is run according to best-practice guidelines set out by the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC). As an introductory member of the AMRC, the Ruth Strauss Foundation is committed to funding the very best research into non-smoking lung cancer.

Independent and transparent review 

All research proposals that are submitted by the deadline of 5pm on 2 November 2023 will be subject to review and assessment by our Grants Allocation Committee against a comprehensive set of criteria.

The Grants Allocation Committee will meet in early February 2024 to discuss the proposals, and the successful applicants will be notified by the end of February 2024.

The charity has reached an exciting milestone as it launches its first grants programme to invest in research for non-smoking lung cancer. Unfortunately, this type of cancer is often diagnosed later, at stages 3 or 4, and it is estimated that almost 6,000 people in the UK who have never smoked die from the disease every year.” [1]

Deepa DoshiHead of Mission Services, RSF



  1. Bhopal A, Peake MD, Gilligan D, Cosford P. Lung cancer in never-smokers: a hidden disease. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. 2019;112(7):269-271. doi:10.1177/0141076819843654
  2. Lung cancer statistics | Cancer Research UK accessed 08/08/23
  3. Khan, S., Hatton, N., Tough, D. et al. Lung cancer in never smokers (LCINS): development of a UK national research strategy. BJC Rep2, 1 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1038/s44276-023-00006-w
  4. Cufari ME, Proli C, De Sousa P, Raubenheimer H, Al Sahaf M, Chavan H, Shedden L, Niwaz Z, Leung M, Nicholson AG, Anikin V, Beddow E, McGonigle N, Dusmet ME, Jordan S, Ladas G, Lim E. Increasing frequency of non-smoking lung cancer: Presentation of patients with early disease to a tertiary institution in the UK. Eur J Cancer. 2017 Oct;84:55-59. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2017.06.031. Epub 2017 Aug 4. PMID: 28783541.

Find out more

For more information on the non-smoking lung cancer research grants programme, contact Deepa Doshi on 07930 340774 or email deepa.doshi@ruthstraussfoundation.com or click on the button below.

Grants programme