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International Cancer Research Partnership (ICRP)

Overview of the ICRP

The International Cancer Research Partnership (ICRP) is an alliance of cancer research funding organizations, including the Center for Global Health (CGH), that collaborate and strategically coordinate opportunities for cancer research across the globe.

Impact of ICRP

ICRP helps define the landscape of global cancer research and identify areas that need strengthening. It does this by

  • partnering with 160 government, public, and nonprofit international funding organizations that represent over $80 billion in investments for cancer research 
  • managing a public database of cancer research funding data beyond the parent grant and principal investigator, so users can find projects and collaborators and avoid duplicate efforts 
  • using the database, ICRP assesses trends in cancer research over time 
  • hosting annual meetings and monthly webinars for organizations funding cancer research to share information and explore partnerships

International Portfolio At a Glance

CGH tracks and analyzes NCI-supported research with international collaborators. These data help us recognize priorities, identify gaps, and foster collaborations between NCI, US-based institutions, and international institutions. CGH has a primary focus on increasing cancer research and capacity-building in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), therefore, the involvement of researchers based at institutions in LMICs is often highlighted in the data below.

This portfolio includes both direct awards to international institutions and domestic awards with international collaborators. Domestic awards with international collaborators make up the majority (>95%) of NCI’s international extramural grants. This portfolio also includes collaborators in countries of all income classes and world regions. Income classes and regions are defined by the World Bank, and NCI’s collaborations with LMICs is inclusive of countries categorized as low income, lower-middle income, and upper-middle income.

The data presented here are sourced from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and shared with our partners at ICRP. Click on the source in images below to reach the ICRP database and search for cancer research funded by NIH or other ICRP partners.

International Collaborations (Grants) by Region

CGH’s core value of collaboration reflects an awareness of the enormity of global cancer as a public health problem, beyond the capacity of CGH or NCI to address alone. Collaborative global research is key to achieving progress, and NCI funds global cancer research with principal investigators and collaborators in all eight world regions.

A world map with approximate boundaries of each world region and the number of grants funded in each region.  Australia & New Zealand: 78 grants East Asia & Pacific: 171 grants Europe & Central Asia: 476 grants Latin America & Caribbean: 53 grants Middle East & North Africa: 32 grants North America (Canada): 185 grants South Asia: 22 grants Sub-Saharan Africa: 106 grants
Credit: National Cancer Institute


International Collaborations (Grants) by Cancer Continuum Focus Area

NIH funds global cancer research across the cancer continuum, as represented by the Common Scientific Outline codes. Out of six scientific focus areas, 29% of grants are coded to biology and 28% are coded to treatment. This aligns with CGH’s strategic research theme of increasing the understanding of cancer etiology and biology through collaborations with global investigators and populations.

Prevention research is currently the lowest funded category, accounting for just 7% of grants. Grants can be coded to multiple focus areas.

NIH global collaborations show the percentage of grants by cancer focus area, as coded by Common Scientific Outline criteria (CSO code).  Biology: 29% of grants Etiology: 10% of grants Prevention: 7% of grants Early Detection, Diagnosis, and Prognosis: 15% of grants Treatment: 28% of grants Cancer Control, Survivorship, and Outcomes Research: 11% of grants
Credit: National Cancer Institute


International Collaborations (Grants) by Cancer Site

Cancer is not a single disease, and different cancer types require different prevention, detection, treatment, and control strategies. NIH funds global cancer research across more than fifty cancer sites in the body, and over a quarter of grants are not site-specific, meaning they apply to all cancer sites.

The image below shows the ten most studied cancer sites in the NIH global cancer research portfolio.

The image shows the ten most studied cancer sites in the NIH global cancer research portfolio through awards.  Not Site-Specific Cancer: 27%  Breast Cancer: 12%  Lung Cancer: 8%  Leukemia: 6%  Brain Tumor: 6%  Colon and Rectal Cancer: 5%  Prostate Cancer: 5% Pancreatic Cancer: 4% Melanoma: 4% Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma: 3%
Credit: National Cancer Institute


Global Cancer Research Training Grants

CGH supports participation by international investigators in relevant NCI cancer research training curricula, co-funding for early career awards for global oncology researchers, and support for institutional research training collaborations between US institutions and international institutions. CGH’s training support focuses on investigators based on low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to enable equitable and impactful global scientific collaboration. Although research training makes up a small proportion of NIH’s global cancer research portfolio, it is a higher proportion of grants with collaborators in LMICs, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.  

In FY2020, 42% of research training grants included collaboration with LMICs.

NIH global cancer research training grants show the number of grants by world region.
Credit: National Cancer Institute


Clinical Trial Grants with International Collaborations 

CGH supports clinical trials with international collaborators and at international institutions as a key part of its research strategy. Given the critical importance of NCI-supported clinical trials in advancing progress against cancer, the limited NCI-supported clinical trials footprint in LMICs can likely be increased to realize important scientific opportunities. NIH currently funds some clinical trials in LMICs by providing dedicated support for investigator-initiated clinical trials at NCI-Designated Cancer Centers with strong LMIC institution partnerships and by collaborating with other internal and external partners.  

In FY2020, 38% of clinical trial grants included collaboration with LMICs.

NIH clinical trial grants show the number of grants by world region.
Credit: National Cancer Institute


Participation of Investigators in Global Cancer Research

CGH supports innovative, impactful research in global cancer control through international collaboration. One of NCI’s strategic priorities is to increase the portfolio of NCI extramural funding involving collaborators in LMICs by developing new extramural funding initiatives and collaborating with other NCI extramural divisions and NIH ICOs. 

The image shows the total number of grants with international collaborators by fiscal year, as well as collaborations in LMICs and PIs in LMICs/direct awards.
Credit: National Cancer Institute


How to Connect

Organizations interested in becoming a partner are welcome to visit the ICRP website and follow the application guidelines

For information, contact Lynne Davies, operations manager, at


Since 2000, ICRP partners have represented a wide range of governmental, public, and nonprofit cancer research funding organizations from across the world. See the full list of ICRP partners and funding organizations.