We only accept applications from the proposed supervisor. Students who are interested in becoming a Breast Cancer Now PhD student should contact the supervisors directly.
Opening: Monday 27 February 2023.
Closing: Wednesday 10 May 2023.
Outcome: Applicants will be informed of the outcome of their applications by mid-January 2024.
Read our full PhD grant guidelines.
1. About our PhD studentships
The scope of the scheme
Our PhD studentships are designed to capture new and highly qualified science graduates into a career of breast cancer research. Our Grants Committee (GC) will assess your application based on:
- The research plan
- Clear relevance to breast cancer research
- The perceived outcomes that will lead to a significant advance in understanding of breast cancer and its impact
- The quality of the environment in which the award is to be held
- The support provided by the supervisor and the host institution to help develop the student's career in research
It is the expectation that the awards will enrich scientific understanding and expertise in breast cancer research. Applicants should have conducted independent research in the field of breast cancer or be an experienced researcher in a related field, and should wish to build on their history and reputation in the breast cancer area, deepening their knowledge and experience.
PhD grant awards can be for three or four-year studentships and can cover student stipend, student fees, college fees (where applicable), research expenses and essential equipment. Named academic/clinical Co-Applicants and Collaborators are permitted from outside the UK and Ireland.
Applications should be made by the Principal Investigator whose position and salary will be guaranteed by the host institution. Our PhD grants are available to researchers working in an institution in the UK or Ireland. Co-Applicants may be based elsewhere, but the PhD studentship and its Principal Investigator must be based at an institution in the UK or Ireland in order to be eligible for funding.
Collaborative applications from within UK and Ireland are welcome, although the contracted grant (and associated funding arrangements) will be with the Lead Applicant's institution. Applicants must have a strong track record in their field.
What areas of research will Breast Cancer Now support?
Applicants should indicate how their proposal meets one or more of Breast Cancer Now’s key strategic objectives as outlined in our strategy:
- Improving treatments, care and services for those affected by secondary breast cancer.
- Improving support for the physical and mental health, and the emotional wellbeing of people affected by breast cancer.
- Developing kinder, smarter treatments for people with breast cancer and improving access to treatments for those affected.
- Improving detection and diagnosis of breast cancer.
- Furthering our understanding of why breast cancer occurs and spreads and using our knowledge to help prevent breast cancer developing.
The funding available
The total amount requested must not exceed £142,777 for PhDs outside London and £150,777 inside London for a four-year PhD.
Please note the following:
- The Applicant and PhD studentship must be based at a recognised university, research institution or NHS trust in the UK or Ireland.
- Lead Applicants should have conducted independent research in the field of breast cancer.
- Applicants should have a track record of identifying and maximising potential in others (e.g. through managing and mentoring their own staff and early career researchers, as primary supervisor of PhD students).
- Lead Applicants should hold employment or honorary (if a clinical academic) contracts that extend beyond the period of the grant.
- Lead Applicants with a fixed-term position may apply, but they must include a letter from the Head of Department to indicate that their salary will be covered for the duration of the PhD.
- Lead Applicants may not apply for more than one grant as Lead Applicant but may apply as a Co-Applicant or Collaborator on more than one application.
- Applicants may have spent time away from research (e.g. a career break, maternity leave, long-term sick leave). Our reviewers will allow for this when the application is considered.
- Co-Applicants and Collaborators may be based at institutions outside the UK/Ireland and/or at pharmaceutical or biotech companies.
- We will consider applications for research that will take place within the NHS. Should the research become part of a clinical trial, we will fund the research but will not act as a sponsor.
- We will consider applications for students undertaking a part-time PhD to facilitate flexible working arrangements.
The following will not be accepted:
- Applications from a commercial entity.
- Applications from the potential students themselves.
- Applications from clinicians taking time out of programme to undertake a PhD.
- Research proposals into conditions other than breast cancer.
- Applications for equipment only. We will accept requests for small pieces of equipment (up to £5000) as part of your proposal, but you must include a clear justification for this request.
- Applications which request funding for consumables or running costs only.
- Applications from an individual who is NOT employed by an eligible institution, i.e. a university or research institute.
- Applications for methods or service development.
- PhDs part-funded with other funders.
3. Accelerated UK work visa
If researchers require a visa to work in the UK, they may qualify for the accelerated global talent visa route. This is open to promising and talented individuals in specific sectors wishing to work in the UK.
4. How to apply
Applications should be made using our online Grant Tracker system. You must complete all sections of the application form. The Lead Applicant, Co-Applicants, the Head of Department and the University or Institution Research Grants office (or finance office if not applicable) must complete the declarations at the end of the application form in order to submit your application. Co-Applicants must confirm their involvement and provide a full CV online. Each Collaborator must confirm their involvement in the PhD online and provide a letter detailing their role in the PhD.
If you have any queries about filling in this application form, please contact the Research Funding Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please read our full PhD studentship guidelines before applying.
5. Application review process
Our Grants Committee will assess your application based on importance and relevance of the research question, originality, methodology, preliminary data, justification for animal use and severity of procedures, applicant track record and the suitability of the project and research environment for a PhD student.
We use a preliminary screening step in our review process. The Grants Committee members carry out an initial review of all the applications and identify those they think will not be competitive. These applications will not be sent out for external peer review and will not be considered for funding.
If we are not going to take your application any further, we will let you know within 12 weeks of the application deadline, and we will send you feedback from the Grants Committee.
Please see Our Funding Processes section for more information.
7. Contact us
If you are unsure about the eligibility and remit of your PhD, please contact the Research Funding team at email@example.com before you submit your application. Once the deadline has passed there will be no opportunity to consider individual circumstances and applications not meeting the requirements will be rejected without peer review.
8. Have a question?
Try our frequently asked questions.