Increasing Bowel Screening Uptake Research Award 2019


Increasing Bowel Screening Uptake Research Award 2019


Joint funding by the National Screening Service and the Irish Cancer Society

Deadline: 3pm Tuesday 12th November 2019


Bowel cancer (colorectal cancer) is one of the most common types of cancer diagnosed in Ireland. An average of 2775 cases of bowel cancer were diagnosed each year in Ireland during 2015-2017 (1). Bowel cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer among males (after prostate cancer) and the third most commonly diagnosed among females (after breast and lung cancer). Annual numbers of cases of bowel cancer are projected to increase by approximately 100 % by 2045 compared to 2015 (2). Identification of precancerous lesions will usually mean cure without further treatment and if bowel cancer is detected at an early-stage, it is easier to treat and there is a better chance of recovery often curable.

In 2012 the National Screening Service introduced BowelScreen, the National Colorectal Cancer Screening Programme.

Analysis has shown that in an eligible population in Ireland uptake of bowel screening following invitation was 40.2% in the prevalent round of screening (round one 2012-2015) (3). For the period between 1 January and 31 December 2016 the uptake of bowel screening following invitation was 39.8% (4). This is substantially lower than the percentage uptake of breast screening (76.2% in Jan-Jun 2018) and cervical screening (79.8% in Jan-Jun 2018) (5).

The literature has identified a number of different barriers hindering the uptake of bowel screening in Ireland (3,6). In particular research has shown that men have a significantly lower uptake when compared to women and there was significantly lower uptake in disadvantaged areas as opposed to affluent areas (6).

The Irish Cancer Society and the National Screening Service are committed to increasing the uptake of bowel screening in Ireland. Therefore, the aim of this award is to fund a project that identifies and pilots an intervention designed to overcome these barriers and increase bowel screening uptake.

Please see the Guidelines for more information.


The funding is provided jointly by the National Screening Service and the Irish Cancer Society. There is funding available for one grant in 2019. This will be subject to the submitted grant proposals meeting the required standard as assessed by international peer review. Any application that does not meet this required standard will be eliminated from the application process. The Increasing Bowel Screening Uptake Research Award 2019 will provide funding of up to €160,000 for a project of up to a maximum of 24 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.

How to Apply

Eligible applicants can submit an application through the Irish Cancer Society Grant Tracker online system.

Key Dates

Call Open Wednesday 16th October 2019
Deadline for Applications 3pm Tuesday 12th November 2019
Irish Cancer Society external peer review November-December 2019



National Cancer Registry Ireland (2019) Cancer in Ireland 1994-2017 with estimates for 2017-2019: Annual report of the National Cancer Registry. NCRI, Cork, Ireland. 


National Cancer Registry (2019) Cancer incidence projections for Ireland 2020-2045. National Cancer Registry, Cork. 


The National Screening Service, BowelScreen. BowelScreen Programme Report Round One 2012-2015 


The National Screening Service, BowelScreen. Programme Statistical Bulletin 2016 – 2017

Department of Health. National Cancer Strategy 2017-2026


Clarke, N, McNamara, D, Kearney, P.M, O'Morain, C.A, Shearer, N and Sharp L. (2016) 'The role of area-level deprivation and gender in participation in population-based faecal immunochemical test (FIT) colorectal cancer screening.', Prev. Med, 93, pp. 198-203




Date Last Reviewed: 
Monday, August 26, 2019