Develop the cancer leaders of tomorrow

In order to support cancer research in the long term, we need to continue to build a strong community of highly trained, innovative, world-class cancer researchers.

We will provide support at every career stage, attracting and inspiring the next generation, training outstanding individuals and developing and recruiting the leaders of the future. 

Research Careers

The UK is an outstanding environment for training and nurturing the cancer researchers of the future. Through its existing and new awards along the career pathway, Cancer Research UK is leading the way in researcher development, providing an essential platform for future progress.

Professor Margaret Frame
Director, CRUK Edinburgh Centre

Our approach

We are committed to supporting researchers at all career stages. Alongside financial support, we engage with our researchers, providing development opportunities and peer group networking meetings.

There are a number of specific areas where we will attempt to build capacity. We recognise clinician scientists as a critical group in cancer research. We have a substantial deficit of these scientists and will find ways to attract, develop and retain more of them in research. This will include expanding our Clinical PhD and Clinician Scientist Fellowship programmes.

Mathematical skills are becoming increasingly important in cancer research. There is a skills gap, both in terms of a lack of trained specialists and broader understanding across the community. Through our Centres we will establish initiatives to develop cancer researchers in this area.

There is also a critical gap in molecular pathology skills in the UK, which will become more acute as doctors routinely carry out more genomic analysis of patient samples. This gap transcends different diseases and we will work closely with other funders to address it.

Strong leadership is a critical success factor for any research location or area of research. We need to grow our existing pool of outstanding individuals to support the ambitions of this strategy. We will support academic locations in the UK to recruit the very best senior leaders from elsewhere in the world, enabling them to realise their research visions.

We have identified a gap in our programmatic support for mid-career scientists. Our new awards will provide support for multi-year funding, with the expectation that successful applicants will go on to compete effectively for full programme grants.

We expect our research community to work to the highest standards. We are committed to ensuring all publications from CRUK-funded researchers are made freely available, either through open-access journals or through self-archiving, to ensure that the results of research can be disseminated as quickly as possible.

We will ensure the continued transparency and integrity of research results, establishing robust processes to audit and review research findings. We are a supporter of Universities UK’s Concordant to Support Research Integrity and are committed to its principles. We have clear guidelines for scientific conduct which embody our expectations for maintaining rigour and integrity in all aspects of research. In particular, we expect the highest standards of reproducibility and require that host institutions have a designated research integrity officer, a documented internal integrity policy and appropriate training for PhD students.

We are also committed to transparent reporting of trial results. A condition of our funding is that all trial results, including negative results, are published in a timely manner.

Opportunities for your research

Dr Sergio Quezada with students at the 2015 Lung Cancer Centre of Excellence Conference
We have a broad range of funding opportunities and other support to help the leaders of tomorrow develop their research careers.



Our progress