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Cancer Research UK awards funding to the CRUK Oxford Centre to support future cancer research leaders.

Cancer Research UK (CRUK) has awarded £9m to the University,  to support the next generation of doctors and scientists to bring novel cancer treatments to patients. 

CRUK is to award the funding over the next five years to train early-career clinician scientists – doctors who also carry out medical research - as part of its Clinical Academic Training Programme. 

The Clinical Academic Training Programme will invest £58.7m at nine research centres, including the Cancer Research UK Oxford Centre.  

 Clinician scientists play an essential role in translating cancer research, helping to bridge the gap between scientific research carried out in laboratories and clinical research involving patients.  

Working across both research settings, their contributions to new knowledge and its translation to clinical practice are critical for cancer research.  


Professor Mark Middleton, academic lead for the clinical academic training programme in Oxford, said:    


 “We are delighted to gain further Cancer Research UK funding to help train tomorrow’s leading cancer researchers. We make the greatest progress when clinicians and scientists work together, and clinician scientists are the key to this approach.  Cancer Research UK’s funding means not only that our doctors and medical students can train as scientists, but also that our scientists will understand better how to apply their work to the benefit of patients. This will accelerate progress towards our goal of beating cancer together.”  

Becoming a clinician scientist usually involves doctors taking time out of their medical training to undertake a PhD, before returning to train in their chosen specialisation, but many clinicians don’t come back to research after qualifying as consultants. This may be due to existing pressure on the healthcare system and lack of available funding.   

To tackle this issue, Cancer Research UK’s Clinical Academic Training Programme provides flexible training options alongside mentorship and networking opportunities to better support clinicians who want to get involved and stay in cancer research.  


Michelle Mitchell, Cancer Research UK’s Chief Executive, said:   


 “Clinician scientists have a very important role to play by bringing their knowledge and experience of treating people with cancer to scientific research.  We need all our doctors and scientists to be able to reach their full potential, no matter their background. That’s why we are continuing to provide flexible training options for early-career clinician scientists.   After the success of the first five years of this programme, we want to encourage even more clinicians to get involved in cancer research to help us get closer to a world where everybody lives longer, better lives free from the fear of cancer.”