Community involvement in research 


Volunteer opportunities available to help Cancer Council WA make decisions about cancer research funding.

Cancer Council WA is the largest charitable funder of cancer research in Western Australia.

All researchers who apply for our funding must show they will include community representatives in their research projects to ensure they involve the people the research is intended to benefit. In addition, all our research grant applications are reviewed by volunteer community representatives to help us ensure the research we fund is relevant to the WA community.

You can help make a difference to cancer research by becoming a volunteer community representative to review our research grant applications. Community representatives are members of the public who have a personal connection to cancer, such as experience of cancer, caring for someone with cancer, a family member or friend diagnosed with cancer, or experience volunteering for a cancer-related organisation. No prior research experience is required.


How can you get started?

Step 1.

Register your details 
Click on the register button below and complete a short survey to indicate your interest in participating in community representative training.

Step 2.

Complete the training
Complete the two-hour online training and the two-hour face to face training designed to inform and prepare you to be involved in health and medical research.

Step 3.

Attend a workshop
Attend a workshop to understand the steps involved in reviewing and assessing research grant applications submitted to Cancer Council WA. By completing this workshop you will be eligible to be involved in our assessment panels. Participation is entirely voluntary.

See how Cancer Council WA funds cancer research.


To register

Register your interest now for the 2021 training by clicking the ‘register' button below. The form will take 5-10 minutes to complete and must be completed by Friday 23 April 2021.


Online training

Once you have completed the registration form you will be sent a link to the online training.

Online training will take approximately two-hours to complete and must be completed by Monday, 3 May 2021. You will be awarded a certificate on completion of the training.
To be eligible for the face-to-face training please email this certificate to

Face-to-face training

Once you have completed the online training you will be invited to attend the two-hour face-to-face training. This training scheduled for Wednesday, 19 May 2021 from 5-7pm at the Cancer Council WA Subiaco site will provide you with an opportunity to discuss your learnings from the online module.

On completing this training you may be interested in participating in research projects led by cancer researchers in Western Australian. Please click on the link below to join the Consumer and Community Involvement program:

Face-to-face workshop

The final step is to attend a half-day workshop for Saturday, 22 May 2021 from 8am to 1pm at the Cancer Council WA Shenton Park site. This workshop will provide you with an opportunity to learn about how community members help Cancer Council WA make research funding decisions by reviewing and assessing research grant applications.

On completion of this stage you will be eligible to be involved in our assessment panels.

If you are from a non-metro area and unable to attend the face to face training and workshop, or if you have any questions please contact Anna Nankivell on 93884354 or at


Cancer Council WA research grant assessment panels

Once the consumer representative training has been completed you may be invited to participate in our grant assessment panels. Our panels are primarily made up of scientists and researchers, with up to four community representatives.

Each grant assessment panel is required to review, assess and recommend applications for funding for particular grant schemes.  For details on our grant schemes visit our 'Funding opportunities' and  'Successful funding' pages.

Panel members are given up to one month to complete their assessments for a grant scheme. Assessments are completed at home at your own pace. Some computer literacy is expected with MS Word, email and web-based platform as such as 'Microsoft Teams'. The number of applications will vary and it takes between 2-6 hours to review and assess all the applications for a grant scheme.

Additionally panel members will attend 1-3 meetings a year which last from 2-4 hours. These meetings are usually held on a weeknight from 4:30pm at the Cancer Council WA Subiaco or Shenton Park sites.

The annual time commitment for panel members is between 6-15 hours, usually in the second half of the year. Panel members are also required to complete a short refresher training course every 2 years.

Positions on our panels are volunteer positions, both for the scientific and community representatives, and as such no honoraria are paid, however approved out-of-pocket expenses are reimbursed.

For information on volunteering with Cancer Council WA please visit our volunteer page.