For researchers, making the transition to the next career stage can be challenging. Researchers should be able to apply for funding at the right time in their career rather than by an artificial cut-off point. So as part of CRUK's commitment to promote equality, diversity and inclusion in research, the post-PhD time restrictions on all response-mode fellowship schemes are being removed.
CRUK's new competency framework for fellowship applicants is intended as guidance to consider which funding opportunity is right to support the transition to the next career level. This framework shifts the focus from the number of years post PhD onto the researcher's achievements and level of independence, research ambition, and their demonstrable skills. The new competency framework will apply to all fellowship schemes with a preliminary application deadline after August 2018.
Early career researchers should not be concerned - assessment will be based on research achievements and potential. For example, the Career Development Fellowship scheme is open to those who haven’t yet established their own independent group and aren’t a senior principal investigator.
Dr Iain Foulkes, Executive Director of Research & Innovation at CRUK explains: "We’re removing a potential barrier for researchers who weren’t previously able to apply for our support because they might have taken a less traditional route into cancer research.
We’re still offering the same great fellowship schemes as before. But now we are being clear about the skills and experience we expect you to have built up before you apply. We’re also setting out how we expect you to develop during your fellowship as you work towards becoming a future cancer research leader."