Competency framework for fellowships

Our competency framework for fellowship applicants is intended as guidance for you to consider which funding opportunity is right for you to support your transition to the next career level.

How we are improving our Competency Framework for you

Research Career Development

Our competency framework aims to support and nurture the most talented and dedicated researchers. We have received feedback from our fellows community that they need more support to translate their research and this aligns with our research strategy to 'accelerate the translation of research for patient benefit'. Therefore, from September 2020, our Competency Framework for Fellowships has been updated to reflect the skills and experience relevant to research translation. This will ensure translational efforts are being recognised and valued in our assessment processes.

We define a researcher engaged in the translation of research as ‘undertaking applied research and related activities that are based on fundamental scientific and clinical discoveries, and are intended to make a clinical impact on patients with cancer’. Not all researchers will translate their research, but for those who do, we are committed to recognise their relevant skills and experience. We appreciate that these will vary across different fields and types of research and therefore they might not all be relevant to you, personally.  

Previously, in 2018, we introduced the competency framework and removed our time-bound eligibility criteria for our fellowships. 

The framework covers three career stages and for each stage, clarifies the range of skills and experience that we expect you to demonstrate, which includes:

  • Your current research experience and impact at the time of applying
  • Your future research ambitions that we expect you to develop during the fellowship
  • Your wider supporting and enabling skills at the time of applying, which will help you deliver on your research ambitions

The competencies outlined in the framework should be considered holistically. You might be able to demonstrate excellent skills/experience in several competencies, or some skills/experience across all competencies.

You will be assessed based on your body of work and its impact and influence in your field, and on your proposed research. The specific fellowship funding scheme guidelines outline the assessment criteria that the committees will use to make the final funding decision.

The updated translational skills and experience in in the framework will be included in our assessment processes to ensure translational efforts are being recognised and valued on par with other scientific outputs such as publications, which forms part of our implementation of DORA principles. 


Printable document

If you need to save or print the Fellowships Competency Framework, download our printable version.

Career breaks (due to personal circumstances), part-time working and changes in discipline will be taken into consideration by our panels and committees to make appropriate adjustments when assessing your record of outputs, research achievements and career progression.

Before applying, you will need to assess your suitability for a particular career stage and fellowship funding scheme, and then discuss your application with your host institution. Specific ‘eligibility’ rules may also apply for individual fellowship funding schemes.

If you need further guidance, please contact your relevant Research Grants Manager (listed on each funding scheme) who can advise on your suitability for a particular fellowship scheme.  When contacting us, please include:

  • a short CV, including key research outputs
  • 1 page (max) abstract of your proposed research
  • a short description of why you’re applying for a particular fellowship and how you meet the expected skills and experience



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.