Sir Pat Forrest Doctoral Training Fellowship in Cancer Prevention

The Scottish Cancer Foundation (SCF) focuses on Cancer Prevention, and wishes to promote research, collaborative working across Scotland and public engagement in this area.  Accordingly, the Foundation wishes to invest in the future of Cancer Prevention by providing motivated early-career individuals with research training opportunities in this area and has been fundraising to this end.  As a result of generous donations, SCF is now in a position to award the first of their Sir Pat Forrest clinical PhD/MD studentships to suitable supervisors and host institutions. The application should not include a named student.  The students should be appointed by due process after the award of the grant, and the Foundation and the Benefactor reserve the right to have oversight of the appointment process.

The available funding is intended to cover a clinical stipend and reasonable costs, and will be awarded on a competitive basis.  Application forms are included in this pack, and should be returned to the Scottish Cancer Foundation at the address given

The deadline is: 31st August 2024

Each application will be assessed by a panel of 3-5 external expert referees, and, informed by written reports from these referees, all applications will be assessed at a meeting of a committee made up of SCF Directors.

Conflicts of interest for panel members will be:


Current or recent (within 5 years) collaborator of applicant

Relative or close friend of applicant

Relative or close friend of any named student

Eligibility criteria

  1. Applicant


  • Works primarily in Scotland at the host institution
  • Will act as primary supervisor
  • Expertise in cancer prevention research
  • Appropriate and excellent publication record in this field
  • Track record in obtaining funding in this field
  • Relevant experience of postgraduate research training and successful higher degree supervision


  • Evidence that previous PhD students have developed successful careers in areas related to their doctoral research
  1. Host Institution


  • Located in Scotland
  • Track record of research in cancer prevention
  • Track record of successful supervision of PhD students
  • Suitable arrangements for independent student monitoring (e.g. a thesis monitoring committee structure)
  • Appropriate training opportunities and facilities for doctoral students
  • Provision of second supervisor
  1. Research Project


  • Conducted in Scotland, although international collaborations acceptable
  • Must be clearly focused on cancer prevention*
  • The research questions must be clearly defined and address issues that are immediately relevant to cancer prevention
  • The methodology must clearly demonstrate how it will answer the research questions
  • The feasibility of the research must be clearly articulated
  • A communication and exit strategy to explain how the results will be communicated to both the academic and lay communities and how the results of the research will be taken forward

*Acceptable areas are:

  1. laboratory based research with a clear translational route to cancer prevention in humans
  2. primary prevention interventions (i.e. in healthy individuals)
  3. secondary prevention interventions (i.e. in cancer survivors)
  4. prevention in high risk groups
  5. research in screening for or early detection of cancer and/or its precursors


  • Multi-disciplinary
  • Lifestyle component
  1. Doctoral Student


  • A degree in medicine that is recognised in the UK
  • Evidence of motivation to work in cancer prevention.


  • A track record in research
  • Evidence of work in public engagement



There are several strong centres for cancer research throughout Scotland ranging from behavioural research in the area of prevention to research into the molecular mechanisms underlying cancer.

However, most of the research is carried out in relatively small units and research collaboration across Scotland is the exception rather than the rule.  One of the Foundation's main aims is to foster collaboration in cancer research as we believe that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

For this reason, the Foundation sponsors workshops to allow researchers across Scotland to come together and explore the possibility of working together e.g. a workshop which took place in February 2018 brought together a group of experts to develop a grant proposal to study lifestyle interventions in cancer patients.