Career Development Fellowship
About this scheme
Applications are considered from any area of our funding remit, with the exception of clinical trials and drug discovery.
You should have:
Space and facilities to run an independent research group
You should not have:
- Already received funding to set up your research group
- A core-funded Group Leader position at one of our Institutes*
Some other locations are not eligible; please contact us before starting your application to check your host institution is covered.
If your salary is fully funded by your host institution you may be eligible to apply for a Career Establishment Award. If you are a clinician, please consider our funding opportunities for clinical academic career development.
If you are applying for funding rounds with a preliminary application deadline up to August 2018, our eligibility rules based on years post-PhD apply:
You should typically have between 3 and 8 years postdoctoral experience. However, we exercise flexibility with this criteria, taking into account career breaks, flexible working, changes in discipline and other personal circumstances.
If you are applying for funding rounds with a preliminary application deadline after August 2018, our eligibility rules based on years post-PhD will no longer apply:
You should be able to demonstrate that you meet the range of skills and experience as outlined in the ‘establishing independence’ career stage in our Fellowships Competency Framework
Career breaks, flexible working, changes in discipline and other personal circumstances will be taken into consideration when assessing your record of outputs, research achievements and career progression.
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 Career Development 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 the Fellow, one postdoctoral researcher, and one technician
- Associated running expenses
- Equipment costs up to £25,000
An annual salary enhancement of £6,500 is paid each year of the funding period.
How to apply to this scheme
Applications for this scheme are now considered twice a year, and the application process has three stages:
- Preliminary application: reviewed and shortlisted by the New Investigator Committee.
- Full application: peer-reviewed by international experts and reviewed and shortlisted by the New Investigator Committee.
- 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
20 August 2018
20 November 2018
18-19 March 2019
5 February 2019
21 May 2019
17 - 18 October 2019
Before you begin your application
You must read:
- Guidelines for preliminary applications (PDF)*
- Guidelines for full applications (PDF)*
- Grant conditions
The New Investigator Committee will judge your application on:
- Scientific quality and originality: your proposal must have a strong scientific rationale.
- Cancer relevance: value of the proposed work in advancing the fundamental understanding of cancer or improving how cancer is diagnosed and/or treated.
- Your track record and potential to produce outstanding results.
- Suitability and strength of your research environment and collaborators: access to resources and facilities required for the fulfillment of the Career Development Fellowship.
The Committee will also consider how closely your research aligns with the priorities laid out in our Research Strategy, including earlier detection and harder-to-treat cancers (brain, lung, oesophageal and pancreatic cancers).
Cancer Research UK contact details
We offer a range of fellowships, bursaries and other support to help outstanding scientists and clinicians develop their independent research careers.
Our investment of over £150 million in fellowships funds a diverse community of researchers, supporting long-term career progression and providing much more than just security of the funding.
The average success rate, from preliminary application to award, for fellowships and career support awards through our New Investigator Committee is 8%.
Related guidance to download
Our Strategy and Research Funding teams attend and exhibit at conferences, meetings and workshops throughout the year.