University Church of St Mary the Virgin, where Vaults and Gardens is located
Image Credit: Tony Hisgett

Oxford awarded £9m for cancer treatment research

Cancer Research UK (CRUK) will award £9 million in funding to the University over the next five years to train early-career clinician-scientists. 

Under its Clinical Academic Training Programme, CRUK will invest a total of £58.7 million in nine research centres, including the Cancer Research UK Oxford Centre.

Clinician scientists are doctors who also carry out medical research. CRUK said they “play an essential role” in helping to bridge the gap between scientific research and clinical research involving patients

Training as a clinical scientist involves taking time out of their medical training to complete a PhD before returning to their specialisation. However, it is uncommon for clinicians to come back to research due to minimal funding opportunities and the existing pressure of the healthcare system. 

In CRUK’s survey in 2023, it found that 74% of its clinical research staff had said “it has become harder to deliver research in a timely manner in the last 18 months.”

The programme will therefore provide flexible training alongside mentorship and networking opportunities to better support physicians who would stay involved in cancer research.

Professor Mark Middleton, the academic lead of the programme, said, “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.”

“We need all our doctors and scientists to be able to reach their full potential, no matter their background,” said Michelle Mitchell, the Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK. 

“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.” 

Image Credit: Tony Hisgett

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