Oxford University is first and foremost an institution dedicated to education and is consistently the world’s best university for clinical, pre-clinical and health training. It is within this enriched environment that the Centre is able to implement its strategy for training the next generation of cancer researchers.
The Centre’s training programme is underpinned by funding for clinical and non-clinical students and we leverage this funding against other University, CRUK and EU sources to maximise the impact and reach of this resource. Our programme is designed to select from the University’s top-ranked candidates and attracts applications from a wide range of disciplines, often from cross-disciplinary collaborations.
To date, the Centre has awarded over twenty DPhil Prize Studentships and eight Clinical Research Training Fellowships (CRTF). Our current training cohorts are well published and have won multiple prizes at international conferences. In addition to their primary supervisors, many DPhil students and CRTFs have secondary or joint supervision and (in some cases) thesis advisors. This provides multidisciplinary support and opportunities to broaden interactions beyond the bench.
Applications for the 2018 intake of CRTFs are will open in late 2017.
One of our strategic priorities is a mentoring scheme for early career researchers. The scheme encourages career development; preparing our ‘rising stars’ for the future leadership of cancer research in the UK and internationally.
To accomplish this the Centre is coordinating an enhanced cohort-based training programme in ‘Translational Oncology’ to compliment core research activity. This programme will expose our trainees to the scientific and clinical background of the priority tumour sites and the current challenges they pose. Trainees learn the scientific methods essential for both stratified medicine and the translation of scientific findings. We also aim to instil the professional skills of scientific integrity, grant writing and public engagement. We also intend on making this programme available to other CRUK-funded students across the University.
This cohort-based approach has been developed to build a close network of driven young scientists capable of working beyond the scope of an individual research project; essential for tackling our challenging clinical problems.
Finally, through workshops, internships and small project awards, the Centre aims to take part in all aspects of training and development throughout a researcher’s career.