Cancer Research UK awards £20,000 grant to University of Derby academic

1 August 2017

A University of Derby academic is part of a team to be awarded £20,000 by The Cancer Research UK Prevention Initiative to fund a research study exploring ways to support family and friends through physical activity following a cancer diagnosis.

The funding will enable Dr Ainslea Cross and the team to develop of a toolkit for patients and their family and friends to provide information and support on physical activity, as well as to prompt coping planning, and develop tactics for when things aren’t going to plan.

A recommended integrated referral pathway will also be developed that will signpost users to existing resources and physical activity provisions from cancer charities and the NHS.

To apply for the Innovation Grant, Dr Cross, Academic Lead for Psychology at University of Derby Online Learning, was required to submit a proposal detailing her areas of expertise and research projects, before being shortlisted with 40 other academics to attend a three day workshop in Oxford.

At the event, Dr Cross, who already works with Move, a charity dedicated to supporting young people living with cancer through the power of exercise, collaborated with five other academics from across the UK. The team was tasked with generating new research ideas to promote physical activity for cancer prevention and pitching the final project to test the feasibility of their idea.

Commenting on the study, Dr Cross said: “After a cancer diagnosis, family and friends often want to do something positive to help. Becoming more physically active, can bring benefits for the person with cancer, as well as reduce the risk of cancer in others.

"Our work will explore the wider social support unit for supporting physical activity following a family or friend’s cancer diagnosis."

Nearly half of all cancers are attributed to various lifestyle and environmental factors, so cancer prevention through behaviour change has the potential to make a significant difference. The Cancer Research Prevention Initiative aims tackle cancer by funding cutting edge research into behavioural and lifestyle changes that can prevent people getting cancer, and the policies that support such changes.

Find out more about the Cancer Research UK Prevention Initiative.

Find out more about studying Psychology at the University of Derby Online Learning.

For further press information please contact Gemma Bradley, University of Derby PR Officer, on 01332 592279 or email