Bridge to academic leadership programme

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Join a diverse and vibrant research community

We're launching a new pilot programme, bridge to academic leadership, to support the next generation of cancer research leaders and guide postdocs in their transition to an independent group leader position. Applications for this programme close 30 June 2024.

Through the programme you will:

  • Develop skills to help with generating fellowship and programme ideas.
  • Deepen your understanding of how to pitch for funding.
  • Improve your grant writing skills.
  • Have the opportunity to apply for a £25k award to build your research niche.
  • Discover how to lead and manage a team in an academic environment.
  • Observe a fellowship interview through one of our funding panel meetings.
  • Build confidence in negotiating and securing a group leader post.
  • Access networking opportunities with your cohort and beyond.

Apply today                             

Contact us to find out more



About the programme


The bridge to academic leadership programme is open to all postdoctoral researchers who wish to transition to an independent group leader role in cancer research within 2-3 years. We invite applications from postdocs based at any UK institution, whether funded by Cancer Research UK or another funder.

We actively encourage applications from people of all backgrounds and cultures, as we believe a diverse workforce will help us to beat cancer sooner. In particular, we welcome applications from researchers from ethnic minority groups, women and non-binary researchers and researchers who are disabled or have a long-term health condition.

Duration & format

Six sessions will take place between September 2024 – February 2025. These will be a mixture of online and in-person sessions, consisting of talks, group activities and facilitated discussions. Participants are required to attend all sessions and will be expected to commit time to completing assignments between sessions. These assignments will help build an application submission for a £25k award to be used towards building your research niche. Travel and accommodation costs for the in-person sessions will be covered. 

Application deadline

30 June 2024



How to apply

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Step 1 

Register to apply on Flexi-Grant and then complete the form. If you have already registered, please log in using your details.

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Step 2

Applications will then be assessed by a panel of Cancer Research UK fellowship holders.

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Step 3

Outcomes will be announced in late July with the programme launching in September.



Facilitators and speakers

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Other career opportunities

Discover other opportunities to develop your independent research careers, including networking groups and events, training and travel grants.

Find out more                                    
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Postdoc futures event

This free one-day event is for all postdoctoral cancer researchers to connect and pick up practical career tips.

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Disability and accessibility guidance

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