This study presents the functionalization of poly(glycidyl methacrylate) (PGMA) grafted cellulose filter paper by a model compound, ethylenediamine (EDA), through the epoxy groups of PGMA. Cellulose based copolymers were prepared via the radiation-induced and RAFT-mediated graft polymerization. The samples were characterized by ATR-FTIR spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), elemental analysis, contact angle measurements and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). An efficient modification density of around 1 mmol EDA/mg copolymer was attained within ca. 8 h, indicating that chemical composition of well-defined copolymers may further be tuned by appropriately selecting the reactive agents for use in many emerging fields. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.