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Cambridge Institute for Medical Research


1. Potential candidates must first identify the award or Fellowship scheme of interest and ensure that they would be eligible to apply.  Information about Early Career Award eligibility can be found on Wellcome’s website. These schemes can differ significantly – please check eligibility carefully, including such questions as years of post-PhD experience.

2. To allow sufficient time to develop an outstanding and competitive proposal, candidates should contact CIMR at least 6 months before the deadline for a Wellcome Early Career Award or equivalent award/fellowship. There are two possible routes:

(A) In most cases, the Award holder will be associated with one of CIMR’s existing groups, delivering research that is aligned with a specific PI who would act as potential application sponsor. Prospective applicants should enquire directly with a CIMR PI, and first establish whether there is mutual interest in pursuing an application. If so, a target funder deadline will be agreed (and coordinated with any other CIMR applications to the same scheme), alongside a timetabled application preparation plan.

(B) In exceptional cases, if (i) a potential candidate’s research proposal is strongly aligned with CIMR’s research priorities but independent from any current CIMR PI and (ii) the candidate has a strong rationale to be considered as an independent Principal Investigator, then they should contact Prof. Julian Rayner, Director of CIMR at: with a CV, an outline proposal (up to 2 pages of A4) and a short explanation of why they would wish to be considered as a CIMR Principal Investigator if they can secure an Early Career Award or other substantive award. This pre-application will be reviewed by CIMR Leadership, and may be followed (by invitation only), by the same formal evaluation process which is used for any potential new Principal Investigator at CIMR. More details on the latter are available from Prof. Rayner, who is happy to discuss the process and potential projects with candidates.