Support a young scientist

Start your support today

Support the next generation of scientists’ ground-breaking research by sponsoring a PhD student from £100 a month.

Make an impact by investing in one of our most promising PhD student’s integral research projects and help us beat cancer sooner.

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What is Support a Young Scientist?

Each year, Cancer Research UK needs to raise £ millions to fund the vital PhD research of 120 top young scientists. Our PhD programmes are widely regarded as among the best in the world, and to accelerate progress we need to continue to recruit and train the very best students from the globe.

Change lives, right now, by funding new research that will beat cancer sooner.

What difference will my support make?

PhD students are an integral part of a research team. Dr Jason Carroll Group Leader at the Cambridge Research Institute and Professor Mark O’Driscoll of the University of Sussex share how they couldn’t carry out their live-saving research without the support of their PhD students. 

Support a young scientist interview


Our PhDs are tackling cancer from all angles

To reach our ambition of 3 in 4 people surviving cancer by 2034, our PhD students are integral to research in three focus areas.

1.Preventing cancer

Groundbreaking studies are uncovering more about how cancers develop and spread, helping us to understand more about the biology of early stage cancers.

2.Personalising medicine

We’re leading revolutionary bowel and lung cancer trials using genetic testing to match patients with new drugs.

3.Cancers of an unmet need

We’re boosting our research into hard-to-treat cancers to improve survival rates. For example, our scientists are harnessing the power of the body’s immune system to help beat aggressive brain tumours.

By giving this generous monthly gift over 4 years – the typical length of a PhD – you will be making a significant difference to the work of our brightest young minds as they make new discoveries in specific areas of cancer research.

Professor Charles Swanton
University College London, Department of Oncology and the Francis Crick Institute

Professor Charles Swanton completed his PhD in 1998 at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund Laboratories on the UCL MB-PhD programme before completing his medical oncology and Cancer Research UK funded post-doctoral clinician scientist training in 2008. After having a huge impact during training, he has gone on to become the Chief Investigator of the CRUK TRACERx clinical study to decipher lung cancer evolution and is co-director of the CRUK Lung Cancer Centre of Excellence. Professor Swanton’s work has led to insight into genomic diversity within cancers and molecular mechanisms driving cancer branched evolution. He was awarded the Stand Up 2 Cancer Laura Ziskin Translational Cancer Research Award in 2015. Professor Charles Swanton is the epitome of what our PhD students can go on to achieve and what impact they can have in the world of research. 

Natalia Bodrug,  PhD student in the Angiogenesis and Adhesion group, Barts Cancer Institute

Natalia is currently researching the role that tumour blood vessels play in cancer growth and progression and is working on finding new ways to alter tumour blood vessels in order to stop cancer from progressing and metastasizing.  The research Natalia is carrying out will potentially mean big improvements in treatments and specifically the anti-angiogenic therapies. Natalia has recently been awarded a prize for the best presentation at the Barts Cancer Intitute Postgraduate Day.

Nicky McGranahan, Cancer Research UK funded PHD student at London Research Institute

Nicky is studying the DNA of 400 cancer patients, hoping to discover which changes contribute most to cancer development. The research that he carries out will help Doctors to select the best therapies for each individual’s cancer based on unique genetic properties.

Even at the very start of their career, PHD students can make life-saving discoveries that will change the future of cancer research. 

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