Pre-doctoral Research Bursary

About this scheme

Key information

Career level
Health professional
Research area
All research areas
Clinical trials
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 £45,000 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    
10 December 2021 24 March 2022 May 2022
Mid June 2022 13 September 2022 November 2022
Mid December 2021 15 March 2023 May 2023


* The Research Careers Committee is a new CRUK Committee that combined and replaced both our previous Clinical Careers Committee and New Investigator Committee. The Research Careers Committee covers both remits and reviews all associated schemes. 

If you are a pathologist, you should select the "CRUK-Pathological Society Pre-doctoral Research Bursary" scheme to apply for the joint funding.

Before making your application

  1. Read application guidelines (PDF) 
  2. Grant conditions

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

Applications are assessed 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 London (except for QMUL and UCL), Oxford, Southampton, and The South of England

Dr Victoria Walker, Research Grants Manager:

For London (QMUL and UCL only), Manchester, The North of England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland

Dr Catherine Cremona, Research Grants Manager:

For Cambridge, Birmingham, The Midlands, and Wales

Eve Riley, 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 Spring 2022 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.