The charity is using crowdfunding website IndieGoGo to ask people to make donations, with a deadline of 11 December.
The first project requires £75,000 in donations to fund research growing 3D lung tissue in a laboratory; the second has a target of £75,000 to help Cancer Research discover how skin cancer spreads and hides; while the third ‘Agent EBV’ project is looking for £40,000 to fund research into helping the immune system fight cancer. The projects have so far only attracted £2,744, £5,474 and £2,544 respectively.
The projects are being led by Cancer Research-backed scientists, each of whom has posted a video pitch to encourage people to donate, giving viewers insights into cancer research and its impact on lives.
Crowdfunding campaigns are typically live for a limited period of time, during which if targets are not met, the project is not funded and pledges are refunded to donors.
Dr David Scott, Cancer Research UK’s director of research funding, 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."