How we fund research


Ovarian Cancer Action was founded in 2005 to help transform the prospects for women by advancing ovarian cancer research in the UK. 

To date, we’ve funded a grand total of £12.3 million in medical research. Every penny we invest is spent according to a long-term research strategy, developed in close collaboration with experts in the field and guided by patients. This – alongside regular reviews of all our ongoing projects - ensures that the funds generously raised and donated by our supporters go towards talented scientists whose research will improve the women’s lives. 

Learn more about our current approach to research and the people who ensure every generation of research we fund is high quality and will help make ovarian cancer survivable. 

Next generation research. A three-part approach.

We fund research that focuses on prevention, detection and treatment because improvements in each will transform how long and how well women will live. Right now, we’re funding scientists at the Ovarian Cancer Action Research Centre and the University of Oxford – their projects are part of the next generation of research that will:

  1. Prevent cancer
  2. Catch ovarian cancer early, and 
  3. Create new and effective treatments that can be personalised to the patient. 

Our guiding principles

The funding decisions we make are guided by a number of key principles. Our research must be:

  • Translational. The research will translate from the lab into real life, and make a difference to women with ovarian cancer
  • Innovative. We find and fund the people who are asking the key questions whose answers will improve survival 
  • Informed, evidence-based and current. We keep pace with the latest thinking in ovarian cancer research and treatment, guided by our HHMT International Forum on Ovarian Cancer

Choosing the research we fund

We bring together the scientific and clinical experts to help the Governance team decide where your money goes. Here are the people who work with us to identify the most promising areas of research that need our investment. 

HHMT International Forum on Ovarian Cancer

Every four years Ovarian Cancer Action hosts the Helene Harris Memorial Trust (HHMT) International Forum on Ovarian Cancer. Each Forum brings together the world’s leading ovarian cancer experts to discuss and debate what we need to do to make ovarian cancer a survivable disease. These research priorities are published in the journal, Nature Reviews Cancer and inform our own research objectives.  You can download the Nature Reviews Cancer 2015 article and the lay summary.

Scientific Advisory Board

Ovarian Cancer Action is a proud member of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC).  All AMRC members regularly assess the science they fund using a process called peer review to ensure their research is of the highest standard. Our reviews are carried out by our Scientific Advisory Board, a panel of international ovarian cancer experts who gives us impartial advice on the quality of the work we have funded and will fund in the future.   

Click here for the full list of our Scientific Advisory Board members.

Ethical research

Research involving animals has played a role in some of the biggest medical advances of our time. When there are no feasible alternatives, we fund research using animals as an essential part of nailing ovarian cancer once and for all. As AMRC members we only fund research that complies with the law, and are committed to refining, reducing and replacing the use of animals in research wherever possible.  We are a signatory of the Concordat on Openness on Animal Research and are committed to transparency around the use of animals in research.