Career Establishment Award

About this scheme

Key information

Career level
Early career researcher
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, running expenses, and equipment for up to two posts
The Career Establishment Award supports new group leaders who have a salaried independent position to establish their own independent research group.

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

You should:

  • Have a full-time, fully funded post at a UK university or research institute for the duration of the award
  • Have space and facilities to run an independent research group
  • 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
  • If you are a clinician, have completed your specialist training, which would normally include obtaining a PhD or MD, and have post-doctoral research experience

You should not have:

  • Already received Fellowship 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.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 Establishment Award we expect at least 15 hours a week (or pro-rata equivalent) to be spent on academic research. For this award, our general rule for fellowships of spending at least 0.5 FTE or 80% of your working hours on research does not apply. Find out more about how we support part-time working and extended leave in our flexible working policies.  

Funding will cover:

  • Salaries and running expenses for up to two posts. You may choose from a postdoctoral researcher, a technician and/or a (non-clinical) PhD student.
  • Associated running expenses
  • Equipment costs up to £25,000
  • Relocation costs up to £1,000 if you wish to take up your fellowship at a new host institution (see application guidelines for more details)

Additional support

Our fellowships offer a range of benefits beyond funding, including access to networking and training opportunities, flexible working policies and an accelerated UK work visa route through the new Global Talent Visa system.

How to apply to this scheme

Application process

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

  1. Preliminary Application: reviewed and shortlisted by the Research Careers Committee*.
  2. Full application: If shortlisted, you will be invited to submit a full application. This will be assessed by an Expert Review Panel and will include an interview.
  3. Committee Review: The Research Careers Committee meet to review the funding recommendations of the Expert Review Panels and make the final funding decision.

How to Apply

We are currently migrating to a new grants management system. It will be available for you to complete an Outline application in mid-October. Ahead of time, you can prepare your research proposal - details can be found in the Preliminary application guidelines, and complete a Skills and Experience form. If you intend to apply to the scheme please let the office know by emailing fellowships@cancer.org.uk and we can alert you to when the new system is available.

Timelines

Preliminary application deadline

Full application deadline

Interviews

Committee review

3rd November 2020

26th January 2021

March 2021

May 2021

*The Research Careers Committee is a new CRUK Committee that will replace the New Investigator Committee and the Clinical Careers Committee. The Research Careers Committee will cover both remits and review all associated schemes. If you would like more detail on Committee composition, please email fellowships@cancer.org.uk.

Before you begin your application

You must read:

 

The Research Careers 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 Establishment Award.

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).

Applications are assessed by international, Expert Review Panels and funding decisions are made by the Research Careers Committee.

Cancer Research UK contact details

Please contact your Research Grants Manager if you have questions about your eligibility for this scheme or require any assistance with your application or active award

For Cambridge, Manchester, Scotland, The North of England (incl Newcastle), Wales

Dr Flora Scott, Research Grants Manager: fellowships@cancer.org.uk

For London, Oxford, Southampton, Birmingham, Northern Ireland, The South

Dr Victoria Walker, Research Grants Manager: fellowships@cancer.org.uk

Please contact your Research Programme Manager if you would like to hear more about the support we offer e.g. CRUK Fellow meetings, activities and training, and to share any potential challenges you might face

For London, Oxford, Southampton, Birmingham, Northern Ireland, The South

Dr Marjolein (Lein) Schaap, Research Programme Manager: fellowships@cancer.ok.uk

For Cambridge, Manchester, Scotland, The North of England (incl Newcastle), Wales

Dr Lorenzo de la Rica, Research Programme Manager: fellowships@cancer.ok.uk

 

More career development opportunities for researchers

Research Career Development

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

Dr Doryen Bubeck

Doryen talked to us about relocating to the UK from the US, and the support she has received to make major advances in her research career at the same time as starting a family.

Success rates

The average success rate, from preliminary application to award, for fellowships and career support awards through our New Investigator Committee is 8%.

Research events

Our Strategy and Research Funding teams attend and exhibit at conferences, meetings and workshops throughout the year.