Career Development Fellowship
About this scheme
Applications are considered from any area of our funding remit, including population, prevention and early detection/diagnosis research, but with the exception of any interventional clinical study/trial and drug discovery.
- 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
You should not have:
- Already received 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.
If your salary is fully funded by your host institution you may be eligible to apply for a Career Establishment Award. If you are a clinician, please consider our funding opportunities for clinical academic career development.
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.
Please refer to the documents in the section 'How to apply to this scheme' for the latest guidance.
In these guidelines, we have set clearer expectations for organisations hosting CRUK-funded fellows, to ensure access to training, career progression support, and a clear and transparent commitment towards CRUK fellows' future career trajectory at the host institution.
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 Development Fellowship we expect at least 0.5 FTE or 80% of your working hours, whichever is greater, to be spent on academic research. Find out more about how we support part-time working and extended leave in our flexible working policies.
We updated our guidelines for this scheme in November 2021. Please refer to the documents in the section 'How to apply to this scheme' for the latest guidance.
Funding will cover:
- Your salary.
- 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)
- EMBO Lab Leadership for Group Leaders course: we encourage you to attend this course to gain crucial skills to run your own independent research group. Available as either an in-person (in Germany, please check with the Office for future limited UK spaces) or online course. Please see the EMBO website for more information, including costs.
An annual salary enhancement of £6,500 is paid each year of the funding period.
How to apply to this scheme
Applications for this scheme are considered twice a year, and the application process has two stages:
(optional) Eligibility Enquiry Form: If you would like to enquire about a potential application, please submit a CV and an Eligibility Enquiry Form to the CRUK Office*. We will check that your proposal is within remit and advise you on whether the Fellowship scheme is appropriate for you. This information will also help us guide any conversation you might like to have about your application.
*Please complete and send us your form ideally at least 1 month and no later than 2 weeks before a submission deadline to help us best assist you.
1. Outline applications:
2. Full applications:
- Submit your full application through our Flexi-Grant system. It must be approved by your Host Institution before the submission deadline
- Your application will be reviewed by one of our Expert Review Panels (ERPs), who will provide comments on your application ahead of your interview
- You will be interviewed by an ERP who will consider your application, your presentation at interview, and your responses to questions, before they make a recommendation to the Research Careers Committee
- The Research Careers Committee will make a final decision on funding
Please note the Research Careers Committee has a restriction on the number of applications it can accept, and generally only considers two submissions to any scheme per applicant. If you are applying for a second time, you must contact us before starting a new application.
Outline application deadline
Full application deadline
Interview and Committee Review
|4 October 2022
|21 February 2023
|23 March 2023
|14 September 2023
|5 October 2023
Before you begin your application
Please refer to the following documents for the latest guidance.
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 Development Fellowship.
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).
The 5 year rolling success rate (financial year 2017-2022) from application to funding for this scheme is 11%.
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 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 for QMUL and UCL), Oxford, Southampton, and The South of England
Dr Victoria Walker, Research Grants Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org
For London (QMUL and UCL only), Manchester, The North of England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland
Dr Catherine Cremona, Research Grants Manager: email@example.com
For Cambridge, Birmingham, The Midlands, and Wales
Eve Riley, Research Grants Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org
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: email@example.com
Please refer to the 'How to apply to this scheme tab' for further details and dates for the current funding round.
We offer a range of fellowships, bursaries and other support to help outstanding scientists and clinicians develop their independent research careers.
Dr Charlie Massie
Charlie explains how he demonstrated the skills and experience we expect of a Career Development Fellow.
The average success rate, from preliminary application to award, for fellowships and career support awards through our New Investigator Committee is 8%.
Related guidance to download
Our Strategy and Research Funding teams attend and exhibit at conferences, meetings and workshops throughout the year.