The charity is asking for donations, via the website IndieGoGo, to finance three research projects:
- Growing 3D lung tissue in a laboratory to beat cancer
- Helping us find out how skin cancer spreads and hides
- Agent EBV: Helping the immune system fight cancer
Each project is being led by a Cancer Research UK-funded scientist who wants to carry out a piece of additional, high-quality research that falls outside their existing funding.
The scientists behind each project have produced a film pitch, explaining the aims of each project, giving the public a window into the world of cancer research and some of the life-saving work that is going on right now.
This is the first time that Cancer Research UK has attempted to fund a project entirely through crowdfunding.
Dr David Scott, director of research funding at Cancer Research UK, said: “Crowdfunding is growing more popular and offers an exciting new way to fund scientific research.
“Today, two in four people survive cancer. Cancer Research UK’s ambition is to accelerate progress so that three in four people will survive cancer within the next 20 years. This means funding more scientists, more cutting-edge ideas and more high-quality research. To achieve this, we need to find new ways to fund innovative projects and crowdfunding could be one answer.
“We’re opening the doors to our scientists and their future research projects. By inviting everyone to be a part of the decision-making process, we can give them the power to make this crucial research happen now.”
Dr Victoria Sanz-Moreno, based at King’s College London and leading the skin cancer project, added: “It’s been amazing to see the public support for our research, and to get such a positive response from people who are as excited by the project as we are.
“We’ve never tried this before so it’s an opportunity to get people more involved in our research. It’s also a great way for people to see some of the things we’re working on and directly help us to beat cancer sooner.”
The deadline for donations is midnight on 11 December 2014. Find out more, and donate, on the IndieGoGo website.