Future Leaders

We have launched a new scheme to fund future scientific leaders of research into the causes and treatment of brain tumours.

There is a need to develop the workforce and support the future leaders of scientific research into the brain tumour field, whilst delivering The Charity's Research Strategy, 'A Cure Can't Wait'.

Purpose and scope

This funding scheme has been established to identify excellent early stage non-clinical researchers and support them through their career to enable them to establish themselves and develop their research in the brain tumour field. The scheme runs in three parts, with only those entering the scheme as Postdoctoral researchers eligible for the latter grants. Initially, the scheme is open to international researchers but Senior Fellowships must be taken up at a UK university or institute.


The initial stage of this scheme is to support a named Postdoctoral Fellow over a period of three years. The funding limit is £180,000 over 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 Junior Fellowship, available for four years of funding. The amount awarded for this period will total up to £480,000 to support the junior fellow 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 of the rounds will be competitively assessed with interview panels being convened for the Junior and Senior Fellowships. 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

The application opening date and deadlines for this scheme will be announced soon.

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

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 Board (SAB).

Initial applications should be made by a Principal Applicant with a named postdoctoral researcher. Evidence must be provided that the name researcher is of the highest calibre and has the potential to be a future leader in the brain tumour field.

The guidance notes for this award will be available soon.

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 UK and 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 research are welcome to apply, providing they also fulfil the above criteria.l
  • 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 studying 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 host institution should provide additional transferable skills training to the fellow, such as the planning and writing of publications, project management, supervision of junior lab members and presentations in conferences and to the general public
  • As individuals 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, preferbly during scoping of the project.

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.

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.

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.

Further information

Guidance notes for this award will be made available soon.

All applications need to have Patient or Public Involvement (PPI) at any stage of their proposal. To facilitate this, you may choose to engage with The Charity's Research Involvement Network (RIN). This is a virtual network of people who either have a brain tumour themselves, or care for someone who does. For them, participation in your project at any stage of its development and in any capacity, would mean using their own personal experience of this devastating disease for the greater good.

If you have any queries or would like to discuss your application, please do get in touch with us:

E-mail: research@thebraintumourcharity.org

Phone: +44 (0) 1252 418190