Graduate scheme

We will beat cancer sooner

Applications for our 2015 graduate programme have now closed.

Information about the application process for our programme starting in September 2016 will be available from autumn 2015.

£24,000 p.a. + excellent benefits.

Every year at Cancer Research UK we offer graduates a unique opportunity to join our graduate trainee scheme. Over two years, which includes four 6-month placements, graduates will experience working with the UK’s most valuable charity brand. Cancer Research UK is an inspiring and innovative place to work, filled with talented and dedicated professionals, all of whom are one hundred percent focused on our goal: to accelerate progress and see three in four people survive cancer within the next 20 years.

What makes our scheme special?

Our graduate scheme is ranked No. 1 in the charity sector by The Job Crowd and in 2014/2015 we are ranked at number 56 in the Times Top 100 graduate employer league table. But it’s not just about the statistics – the real hallmark of this programme is the opportunity to work for an organisation that is accelerating progress to beat cancer sooner, making a real difference and improving people’s lives. Our work stretches across all disciplines from fundraising, to scientific strategy and funding, to policy, to HR, finance and IT. You will be able to select which specialism you would like to join when you start the application process.

Over 80 trainees have completed the scheme since 2000. Many of the cohort remain with the charity; having since progressed to senior roles across the organisation. Visit our career stories section to read more about these individuals.

How will we support your development?

The placements you complete will be varied and stretching in their nature, meaning that from day one you will contribute to our cause; drawing on and developing your individual strengths, talents and experience. Trainees usually complete assignments within their own specialist area, with some opportunity to experience work in other streams of the business. You will be supported by your line manager, past graduates, a mentor, as well as HR and the graduate development advisor – so there will be lots of people to support you and your career.

Through exposure to a range of different work environments, trainees complete the scheme with new and well developed skills in managing relationships and project management, which, together with an expanded network across the charity, enables them to excel within Cancer Research UK.

Could our scheme be for you?

We are looking for applicants with the maturity, intelligence and interpersonal skills to quickly adapt in our fast moving environment.  We will beat cancer sooner, and if your application is successful, you’ll be joining our fight.

We have Beliefs, which guide the way we work:

  • United we are stronger than cancer
  • Smart minds and brave hearts win
  • Our stories change the world

So if you are bright, courageous, a people person that loves to engage people creatively, and want to help us achieve our vision, we’re sure we will be right for you.


If you want to apply, you must be able to answer 'yes' to all of the following:

  1. Do you have, or expect to achieve, a minimum of a 2:1 in your undergraduate degree (in any discipline)?
  2. Do you have 280 UCAS points, GCSE Maths and English at 'C' grade or above?
  3. Do you have the permanent right to live and work in the UK without restriction? Or are you entitled to apply or have an outstanding application for a valid work permit?
  4. Have you achieved success outside of your academic career through work experience, internships, summer placements, voluntary experience or positions of responsibility at university?
  5. If applying for the Scientific Strategy and Funding stream, do you hold a degree in a natural, physical or life science?

To find out more about each of our graduate trainee streams and how to apply, follow the links below. 

Career stories

Read about what our former graduate trainees are doing now.

Daniel - Policy, Information and Communications

CRUK scheme graduate

"I chose the Policy, Information and Communications stream because the work we do takes the amazing research of our scientists, and turns it into impactful policy and meaningful information."

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