Career Foundation Fellowships

Find out more about the Career Foundation Fellowships and how you can apply.

*****Applications are now closed*****

We have developed two new fellowship schemes that will support post-doctoral researchers to help them realise their research aims and career ambitions, no matter what their experience or career stage.

The first of these to be opened to applications are the Career Foundation Fellowships. These provide early career researchers (clinical and non-clinical) the opportunity to develop the skills and build experience needed to take the first step towards becoming an independent investigator. If you are more progressed in your career, you may be eligible for our Career Progression Fellowships. Find out more about them here.

Virtual Panel: Fellowships Launch

If you are interested in applying to either of the Fellowships, we recommend watching the recording of the virtual panel that we held on 23rd September 2021. It contains useful information about the fellowships and how to write a strong application. Find out more information at the bottom of this page.

Watch Here

Applying for a Career Foundation Fellowship

If you are interested in applying for a Career Foundation Fellowship, please read the relevant information below.

Key details

  • Eligible for post-doctoral researchers:
    • early in their careers with limited experience in pancreatic cancer research and are beginning to develop own research ideas and contribute to the field
    • who are re-entering the field following a career break
    • with some experience and who have made contributions to other research fields and/or disciplines for whom this will be their first application in pancreatic cancer
  • Final year PhD students may apply but must have undertaken and passed their viva before the Fellowship start date
  • Open to applications from clinicians and non-clinicians
  • Proposals may focus on any aspect of research that aims to improve the lives of people affected by pancreatic cancer
  • Maximum duration: 2 years
  • Maximum size of award: £200,000
  • Applicant will be Principal Investigator but should have named Supervisor and Collaborators

Please note, approximately £600,000 – £700,000 is currently available to fund the 2021/22 Career Foundation Fellowships. 

Key dates

Below were the dates for the first funding call. When we know more about the dates for a potential second funding call, they will posted here.

  • Fellowships open for applications: 31st August 2021
  • Application deadline: 1pm, Wednesday 3rd November 2021
  • Interviews: February/early March 2022
  • Funding decisions: March 2022
  • Successful Career Foundation Fellowships begin: Summer 2022

Before you apply

All applicants are strongly encouraged to refer to the Guidance for Applicants and FAQs before completing their application.

All potential applicants and their Host Institutions should ensure that they have also reviewed Pancreatic Cancer UK’s Terms and Conditions, which set out the standard terms applicable to Career Foundation Fellowships funded by Pancreatic Cancer UK.

Applicants can undertake a proportion of their Fellowship in another (UK based or non-UK based) Institute of a named Collaborator however, Pancreatic Cancer UK will contract with one UK-based Host Institution only and it will be the responsibility of the Host Institution to agree subcontracts with the other Institutions involved in the Fellowship. Our experience is that this subcontracting takes a significant amount of time, so we advise you to coordinate discussion with the Institutes involved as soon as possible as you are developing your proposal. Applicants undertaking a proportion of their Fellowship at another Institute with a named Collaborator will also be required to include a signed letter of support from the Finance Department of the Institute.

Applicants should be aware that their proposals will also be reviewed by people with lived experience of pancreatic cancer and are therefore strongly encouraged to demonstrate how they have already/intend to involve people with lived experience in the development and delivery of their work. At Pancreatic Cancer UK, we have a fantastic Research Involvement Network (RIN) made up of over 250 individuals that have been affected by pancreatic cancer including patients, carers, loved ones and survivors. They give valuable insight and help to ensure that research is centred around the needs of patients. If you would like members of RIN to help shape your application you can find out more about how to do this here. Please get in touch with the Research Team as soon as possible and by no later than 30th September 2021 (for Career Foundation Fellowships) if you would like to discuss this further or if you have any questions.

How to apply

Applications for the Career Foundation Fellowships are currently closed.

If you have any questions or queries about the Fellowship application process, we are more than happy to help or advise you. So please don’t hesitate to contact us on


Virtual Panel: Fellowships launch and grant writing discussion

We held a virtual panel in order to help those who may wish to apply to either of our new Post-doctoral Fellowships, of which, the Career Foundation Fellowships are now open for applications. Attendees were able to ask questions they had about the Fellowships and there was a panel discussion, with questions from the audience, on how to write a successful fellowship application. If you were unable to attend we recommend that you watch the recording as we believe it gives applicants the tools they needed to make their application to us, as well as to any other fellowships, as strong as possible.

Watch it here

The Panel

We have handpicked a panel of experts, that have vast experience in applying for and reviewing fellowships. The panel will be made up of:

  • Professor Michelle Garrett, Professor of Cancer Therapeutics in the School of Biosciences at the University of Kent.  Michelle is the Chair of our Scientific Advisory Board and has experience in applying for and undertaking a fellowship herself, as she was awarded the Lucille Markey International Research Fellowship, in 1991.
  • Dr Gina DeNicola, Assistant Member in the Department of Cancer Physiology, Moffitt Cancer Center. Gina was a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Lewis Cantley at Weill Cornell Medical College and received a fellowship from Pancreatic Cancer Action Network in 2014. Since then, she has also established her own lab at the Moffit Cancer Centre, and so is responsible for recruiting her own post-doctoral fellows. She is also a member of the Scientific Advisory Board that will be reviewing the Career Foundation Fellowship applications.
  • Dr Shereen Sabbah, Research Programme Manager, Versus Arthritis. Shereen has been responsible for the development and delivery of the fellowship and PhD awards at Versus Arthritis since she joined the charity in 2017. The charity has funded 409 personal awards worth ~£82million over the past 20 years and she has a wealth of experience in what makes a successful fellowship application.
  • Dr Simon Vincent, Director of Research, Support and Influencing for Breast Cancer Now. Simon lead the team at Cancer Research UK that was responsible for the charities fellowship funding for 9 years and so has a deep understanding of the application process and what makes an applicant successful. He also spent a year at the Academy of Medical Sciences, supporting early-career biomedical researchers through mentoring, career support, policy development and by awarding grants. He is now working at Breast Cancer Now and is responsible for almost all of the charitable work that the charity does.


For any queries relating to the Career Foundation Fellowships, please email or call the research team on 020 7820 6705.