Cancer and the Workplace

Call for applications

As part of the Irish Cancer Society’s strategy statement ‘Towards a Future without Cancer’, we aim to “inform and influence public policy” in relation to cancer. Previous research commissioned by the Society (The Real Cost of Cancer - 2015) demonstrated that those diagnosed with cancer experience a significant financial burden coupled with changes in employment status.

A cancer diagnosis may impact a person’s ability to work in the short and long term. Additionally, when a person with cancer feels ready to return to work, they may only be able to do so in a limited capacity with reduced hours, or on limited duties. Employers may have little knowledge of the impact of a cancer diagnosis on a person’s ability to work, and this can create conflict and barriers.

Furthermore, a withdrawal from work or a reduction in working hours can have a long-term financial, social, and psychological impact on patients and their families that may outlast recovery. As such, the true extent of the economic and psychosocial impact of cancer remains to be seen, as do the factors which affect a person’s change in employment status.

The aim of this project grant is to understand the impact of cancer on patients’ employment and ability to work, and to inform the Society’s services and advocacy initiatives accordingly.


The purpose of this grant call is to fund a focused research project in the area of cancer and the workplace. The output of this research will be utilised to inform and communicate the society’s advocacy work. Applications for the Cancer and the Workplace Research Grant must, at a minimum, address the following questions across multiple social ecological levels e.g., individual, organisational, and societal levels:

Required Research Question:

  • What is the impact (e.g., financial, social, and psychological) of a cancer diagnosis on a cancer patient’s engagement with work.
  • What factors contribute to people with cancer remaining in work, leaving work or reducing their working hours?
  • What are the barriers (e.g., health, financial, and social barriers) to cancer survivors returning to work (from the perspectives of both the survivor and employer)

Rapid Review

Proposals which include a rapid review of available literature would be preferable. The rapid review would inform policy recommendations, along with an examination of legislative initiatives to support cancer patients in staying in work/returning to work.

Please note that the purpose of this award is to provide the Irish Cancer Society with a report that will be utilised by the Society to inform and communicate the society’s advocacy work. Successful applicants will therefore, be required to provide a brief report mid-way through the research project, in addition to a detailed end-of study technical report within the duration of the project (max 12 months). The content of these reports will be used on an ongoing basis by the Irish Cancer Society, and in its media communications.

Eligibilty Criteria

Applications from individuals that do not meet the eligibility criteria will not be assessed. We therefore strongly recommend you read the following requirements carefully. If you are unsure of your eligibility, please contact

Applicants must*:

  • have a doctoral degree by research (preferably in social policy or similar) with two or more years post-doctoral research experience


  • be a qualified allied health professional (e.g., occupational therapist) eligible for registration with the appropriate professional body (e.g., CORU), with 3 or more first author publications in peer-reviewed academic journals
  • have a track record in cancer research
  • have experience/knowledge of the social policy around employment and/or disability in Ireland
  • have previous experience conducting systematic reviews / rapid reviews

*If you do not meet the minimum eligibility criteria, but feel you possess the appropriate experience/qualifications, please contact to discuss.


It is the intention of the Irish Cancer Society to provide funding for one grant in 2018, subject to grant proposals meeting the required standard as assessed by international peer review. The Cancer in the Workplace Research Grant will provide funding of up to €21,000 for a project of up to a maximum of 12 months duration.

Only proposals with the potential to deliver excellent, informative, and impactful research within the timeframe of the grant will be considered for funding.

Applicant Guidelines

More information on the Cancer and the Workplace Research Call can be found in the Applicant GuidelinesPlease carefully read through these guidelines before making an application

Important dates

Closing date: 3pm Wednesday, 24 October 2018

How to apply

Applications can be made through the Irish Cancer Society Gateway Grant Tracker online system. 

Further information

Please see the Guidelines for the more details and the most up-to-date information. For any queries please contact or contact Dr Christopher Crockford on +353 1 2316 583.


Date Last Reviewed: 
Wednesday, June 21, 2017