Senior Cancer Research Fellowship

About this scheme

Key information

Career level
Established independent researcher
Research area
All research areas
Preliminary submission
Final submission
Committee review
Funding period
6 years, or part-time equivalent
Funding amount
Salaries and associated running expenses for you, two postdocs, a technician and a PhD student, plus equipment up to £50,000. Typically up to a total of £2 million.
The Senior Cancer Research Fellowship offers outstanding scientists support to establish or further develop an independent cancer research group.

Applications are considered from any area of our funding remit, with the exception of clinical trials and drug discovery.

You should have:

  • Typically between eight and fourteen years1 of postdoctoral research experience since completing your PhD at the time of submitting the preliminary application
  • Obtained a PhD or MD and extensive post-doctoral research experience if you are a clinician.

You should not:

  • Have a core-funded Group Leader position at one of our Institutes2

There are also some other locations that are not eligible; please contact us before starting your application to see whether your host institution is covered.

If your salary is fully funded by your host institution, you may be eligible for our Programme Foundation Award. If you are uncertain which is the right scheme for you, please contact the office to discuss the best application route.

1We exercise flexibility in our eligibility criteria, taking into account individual circumstances, in particular career breaks and time spent outside research. If you’ve taken leave as a caregiver, that period of leave plus up to an additional 1 year will be factored in when considering eligibility and evaluating research experience. Find out more in our flexible funding policies and contact us to discuss your circumstances.

2Applicants may apply to hold a Fellowship at a Cancer Research UK Institute, provided that they are not in receipt of core-funding concurrently to the Fellowship.

Funding support is provided for up to six years, or equivalent duration for part-time working.

We're very supportive of part-time working and for a Senior Cancer Research Fellowship we expect at least 0.5 FTE or 80% of your working hours, whichever is greater, to be spent on academic research. Find out more about how we support part-time working and extended leave in our flexible working policies.

Funding will cover:

  • Salaries for you, two postdoctoral researchers, a technician and a PhD student
  • Associated running expenses
  • Equipment costs up to £50,000
  • A salary supplement for the Fellow of £10,500 per annum (not applicable to clinicians who have obtained their CCT)

Additional support

Our fellowships offer a range of benefits beyond funding, including access to networking and training opportunities, flexible working policies and an accelerated route through the Tier 1 visa system.

How to apply to this scheme

Overview of the application process

Applications for this scheme are considered twice a year, and the application process has three stages:

  1. Preliminary application: reviewed and short listed by the New Investigator Committee.
  2. Full application: peer-reviewed by international experts and reviewed and short listed by the New Investigator Committee.
  3. Interview: a 35 minute interview carried out by the New Investigator Committee.

All applications must be made through our electronic Grants Management System (eGMS)


Preliminary application deadline

Full application deadline


Committee review

21 August 2017

27 November 2017

21-22 March 2018

March 2018

18 January 2018

24 May 2018

11-12 October 2018

October 2018


Before you begin your application

Please read the following documents:

  1. Preliminary application guidelines (PDF)
  2. Full application guidelines (PDF)
  3. Grant conditions

If you have questions about the eligibility of your proposal for this scheme, or require any assistance with your application, please contact the funding manager.

Applications are assessed by international peer review and final funding decisions are made by the New Investigator Committee.

Cancer Research UK contact details


Dr Marjolein Schaap

Research Funding Manager

Tel: +44 (0)20 3469 8097

More career development opportunities

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We offer a range of fellowships, bursaries and other support to help outstanding scientists and clinicians develop their independent research careers.

Dr Sergio Quezada

Sergio tells us why he chose a CRUK Career Development Fellowship, and the opportunities he has had since moving to the UK to build innovative collaborations with clinical impact.

Success rates

The average success rate, from application to award, for fellowships and career support awards through our New Investigator Committee is 11%.