Pre-doctoral Research Bursary

About this scheme

Key information

Career level
Health professional
Research area
All research areas
Final submission
Committee review
Funding period
up to 12 months
Funding amount
up to £25,000

The Research Bursary provides short-term funding to allow clinicians and other health professionals to get involved in research projects early in their career.

The bursary should be used to give you a greater understanding of research before deciding whether to undertake a PhD or MD, and/or give you the time and resources to obtain preliminary data before applying for a PhD or MD.

You should be:

  • a clinician, nurse or other medical professional
  • working in any area of our funding remit
  • based in the UK

You should not have:

  • completed a PhD or MD
  • already received Fellowship funding to allow you to undertake research, except if you hold an NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowship or equivalent.

Funding support is provided for:

  • Up to £25,000 to cover salary and/or research expenses

Funding support is not provided for:

  • Funding Masters courses
  • Supporting costs of research that will contribute towards a PhD or MD
  • Salary costs for applicants who have already registered for a PhD or MD.

CRUK-Pathological Society Predoctoral Research Bursary

Pathological Society LogoFunding support up to a total of £50,000 for 12 months can be requested if your medical speciality is pathology, thanks to our partnership with the Pathological Society. Applicants claiming this increased funding must be members of the Society.

How to apply to this scheme

Overview of the application process

Applications for Research Bursaries are considered twice a year by the Research Careers Committee. Timelines typically follow this schedule, but may vary:

Applications open      Application deadline      Funding decision    
19 December 2023 7 March 2024 May 2024
30 May 2024 26 September 2024 November 2024


If you are a pathologist, please contact us before starting your application as you may be eligible for the "CRUK-Pathological Society Pre-doctoral Research Bursary" scheme

Before making your application

  1. Grant conditions

If you have questions about the eligibility of your proposal for this scheme, or require any assistance with your application, please contact a Research Grants Manager.

Applications are considered on the basis of:

  • Your research achievements to date.
  • The scientific merit of your proposal.
  • The research environment provided by the host department.
  • The relevance to cancer research and our research strategy.

The 5 year rolling success rate  (financial year 2017-2022) from application to funding for this scheme is 55%.

Applications are assessed by the Research Careers Committee.

Cancer Research UK contact details

Please contact the relevant Research Grants Manager if you have questions about your eligibility or require any assistance with your application or active award.

For London (except Imperial and ICR), The North East, Scotland, and Northern Ireland

Dr Catherine Cremona, Research Grants Manager:

For Cambridge, Oxford, and The South East and West

Eve Riley, Research Grants Manager:

For London (Imperial and ICR only), The Midlands, The North West and Wales

Dr Fran Smith, Research Grants Manager:

Please contact Dr Marjolein (Lein) Schaap, 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:

Please refer to the 'How to apply to this scheme tab' for further details and dates for the current funding round. 

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.

Disability and accessibility support

We offer additional support for grant applicants and grant holders who are disabled or have a long-term health condition.