This scheme aims to attract and nurture high-performing early research career investigators capable of leading a competitive programme of independent cancer research. 

Candidates for the MCRC Fellowships will have completed a PhD and a period of post-doctoral training and show evidence of independent research at the forefront of their field.  The Scheme is open to clinicians and non-clinicians.

The Scheme will enable you to carry out up to three years of focused research to further strengthen your scientific credibility in preparation for an application for an ‘early career development award’. Applicants will either be on track to apply for, or be in the process of applying for a Cancer Research UK, MRC or Wellcome Trust ‘early career development award’, but would not yet be considered ‘application-ready’.

Working within a dedicated mentoring system, you will be supported through the application process, to include topics such as grant writing support and interview techniques.  Your progress will be consistently assessed against a defined development plan by a broad Career Development Committee.  The focus of such assessment will be on your success, which will be aided by integration into the network of leading Manchester researchers and research networks and measured by your ability to secure independent grant funding.

Research Area

Candidates can continue their research in any of the following fields

  • Basic biology
  • Preclinical studies
  • Biomarker research
  • Imaging research
  • Radiotherapy research including physics

Dry lab as well as wet lab research is welcome.

The MCRC has a particular focus on lung cancer, breast cancer, melanoma, haematological malignancies, prostate cancer and ovarian cancer.


Candidates will be placed into a world leading research environment, alongside internationally competitive cancer researchers with access to the very best research facilities and cutting edge technologies. Each MCRC Fellow will be sponsored by an experienced laboratory head (who will also act as mentor), who will host the Fellow in his/her laboratory, providing a degree of laboratory infrastructure support. The mentor will also act as an independent advisor on career progression.

Candidates will be supported through the ‘early career development award’ application process by their sponsor and mentor and by an Early Career Development Committee which will monitor progress against a defined research/development plan. The focus will always be on placing you in the very best position to be successful as an independent career investigator.

The Fellow will be expected to be hands-on in the lab for a large proportion of his/her time. Throughout the scheme, guidance will be provided on the Fellow’s proposed research programme to ensure it is novel, feasible and places them in a highly competitive position vs. their peers.

Programme Entry Criteria

Successful applicants will have completed a PhD and a period of post-doctoral training. Fellows will need to show potential to lead a competitive programme of independent research at the forefront of their field. As such, we will assess the applicants’ publication record, proposed research proposal, and other academic and scientific credentials, as well as references from previous /current supervisors.


Successful candidates will benefit from a competitive salary, access to world leading facilities, support costs and a mentoring programme specifically tailored to place the candidate in the strongest possible position to be successful in gaining an early career development award.

Career Progression

Once a Fellow has gained a career development award, the Fellow may become integrated into a relevant faculty or institute structure. That faculty/institute would allocate appropriate laboratory space to the Fellow. Alternatively the Fellow can apply for a Senior Career Award.

Application Process

To apply for an MCRC Early Career Development Fellowship, please send a full CV, two referees and a two page forward looking research proposal by email to our training and recruitment team - at MCRCtraining@manchester.ac.uk.