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Funding

The scheme runs in three parts (Postdoctoral fellowship, Junior Fellowship and Senior Fellowship), with only those entering the scheme as postdoctoral researchers eligible for the latter grants. Evidence must be provided that the named researcher is of the highest calibre and has the potential to be a future leader of the field. It is envisaged that the Senior Fellowship will be based in the UK and, as such, only applicants open to move to the UK should apply.

The initial stage of this scheme is to support a named Postdoctoral Fellow over a period of three years. The funding limit is £180,000over this period and the application must address one of the areas identified in ‘A Cure Can’t Wait‘.

At the end of the first stage, successful applicants will be invited to submit a further application for a Junior Fellowship, available for four years of funding. The amount awarded for this period will total up to £480,000 to support themselves and a research associate in a host laboratory. The programme of work should continue to develop the themes that they have been working on as a Postdoctoral Fellow. However, it is expected that the researcher will begin to develop their own group and independent research.

Finally, upon successful application, a Senior Fellowship will be awarded with up to £1,000,000 for five years to support the applicant and a small group. Again, the research should be carried out in a host laboratory that will enable the further development of the applicant to become a fully independent group leader. This senior post must be at a UK university or institute.

All rounds will be competitively assessed with interview panels being convened for all fellowships, either in person or via video conferencing. Applicants will be encouraged to find different host institutions, and thus different mentors, throughout the process to ensure a diverse exposure to techniques and concepts.

Successful applicants will be expected to engage with The Charity to build a network of researchers and promote this scheme and the aims of The Charity.

Application process

Applications will open on 8 June 2017 and will undergo a two stage approach:

Letter of intent will be requested until 5 p.m. (London time) on 28 July 2017. This MUST be submitted by the Mentor.

Successful applicants will then be requested to submit a full proposal until 5 p.m. on 20 October 2017. This MUST be submitted by the aspiring Fellow.

Applications must be submitted online through our new portal: Proposal Central. Please do take the time to get familiar with the site, set up an account and start filling in your profile.

In order to find our calls for applications visit this quick access link: letter of intent application form

The Brain Tumour Charity is a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) and adheres to its principles of peer review. Applications will be awarded through a competitive peer reviewed process (in line with AMRC principles) and then considered by our Scientific Advisory Boards (SABs).

Eligibility criteria

  • All grant applications must focus on the research priorities highlighted in our Research Strategy ‘A Cure Can’t Wait‘.
  • This scheme is initially open to international researchers. However, Senior Fellowships must be taken up at a UK university or institute.
  • The named postdoctoral researcher must, at the date of the call deadline, be in possession of a doctoral degree. Clinicians moving into full time laboratory based research are welcome to apply, providing they also fulfil the above criteria.
  • The named postdoctoral researcher’s previous research need not necessarily be in the brain tumour field, but they must be able to demonstrate how they will apply their prior learning to the study of brain tumours.
  • Only applicants who have been awarded a Postdoctoral Fellowship on the scheme are eligible to apply for a Junior Fellowship. Following that, only applicants who have been awarded a Junior Fellowship are eligible to apply for a Senior Fellowship.
  • Applicants should seek different mentors, at different host institutions, throughout the process to ensure a diverse exposure to techniques and concepts.
  • The Mentor must hold an employment contract beyond the period of the grant.
  • The Host Institution should provide additional transferable skills training to the Fellow, such as planning and writing of publications, project management, supervision of junior lab members and presentations in conferences and to the general public.
  • As they go through the scheme, fellows are expected to show greater maturity and independence from their mentors.
  • All applications shall have input from those affected by brain tumours as early as possible, preferably during scoping of the project. You may choose to access our Research Involvement Network (RIN) for Public Patient Involvement.

Assessment criteria

Potential of the Fellow
The Fellow must be appropriately trained and be able to demonstrate a strong track record in scientific research. They should be well suited to carry out the planned studies and applications must contribute to the development of the Fellow, allowing them to reach a position of professional maturity/independence. At all applications stages, Fellows must evidence now their willingness to relocate to the UK to take up a Senior Fellowship.

Expertise of Mentors
Mentors must be well positioned to provide the Fellow with appropriate training, supervision and mentoring to help them establish themselves as independent researchers. There should be identifiable programmes for personal development at the Host Institution that the Fellow can be enrolled upon.

Methodology
Projects must have a sound approach and methodology in order to address the questions raised while exposing the Fellow to different techniques.

Potential for patient benefit
A potential pathway for the research project to lead to patient benefit must be articulated as well as the anticipated impact of this. Applications with a clear path to clinical application will be strongly favoured.

Value for money
Projects must demonstrate that the funds requested are essential for the work and how these represent value for money. Leveraging matching funding from other organisations will be favoured.

Key dates

5pm on 28 July 2017 – Deadline for receipt of letter of intent

End August 2017 – Invitation for submission of full applications

5pm on 20 October 2017 – Deadline for receipt of full applications

March 2018 – Biomedical SAB meeting

March 2018– Awards announced

Further information

Please note: applicants should not, under any circumstances, directly approach Trustees or committee members in connection with their (or another’s) research application.

All applications shall have input from those affected by brain tumours as early as possible. To facilitate this you may choose to engage The Charity’s Research Involvement Network (RIN), a virtual network of people who either have a brain tumour themselves or care for someone who does. Information on contacting the RIN can be found at thebraintumourcharity.org/our-research/for-researchers/patient-public-involvement