The CRUK Convergence Science Centre supports researchers across the participating institutions with funding opportunities aimed at exploring new approaches to cancer research, training the next generation of convergence scientists, and develop innovative technologies with a real-world impact on clinical practice.

The Development Fund (Seed Funding)


Developing research at the convergence of the life, clinical, engineering and physical sciences is the key focus of the CRUK Convergence Science Centre. The Centre supports emerging ideas with its own seed funding scheme: the Development Fund. The aim is to promote new approaches and accelerate the adoption of new innovations in clinical practice and research. The primary intention of this seed funding is to develop the preliminary data required to build a more substantive project that could attract funding from external sources.

The Development Fund is a £50k award for a year. It supports projects in any area of cancer research, spanning prevention, detection and diagnosis, treatment and cancer biology. Applicants must clearly articulate the clinical and/or biological question that will be addressed and, if applicable, the need for novel engineering/ physical sciences approaches to address them. Applications must utilise a convergence science approach and align with the Centre strategic priorities. Convergence science is a unique approach to solve vexing research problems, especially those focusing on societal needs, or in the case of cancer research, unmet clinical needs with solutions that directly put cancer patient wellbeing at the centre of their design. Cross-institutional applications between the ICR and Imperial are highly recommended but not mandatory. The funding decisions are managed by our Research Subcommittee. Eligibility and remit may vary from call to call please see below for current call opening and information.
Previous CALL (FEBRUARY 2023)


Developing new technologies, methodologies, and tools to address urgent unmet clinical needs in cancer healthcare and to solve intractable cancer problems is the key focus of the CRUK Convergence Science Centre. 



Applications will be accepted in any area of cancer-related tools, technologies and methodologies spanning prevention, detection, diagnosis, and treatment as outlined in the Centre’s priority list (see guidelines). The focus of the CRUK Convergence Science Centre is to merge EPS and cancer research expertise to develop new technologies, methodologies and tools that directly put cancer patient wellbeing at the centre of their design. Priority will be given to the development of innovative cancer technologies, methodologies, and tools.








Convergence PhD studentships

The Centre offers training opportunities for clinical and non-clinical students; our approach harnesses the diverse expertise and infrastructure of a globally renowned university and a world leading influential cancer research institute. In addition, we create custom-built skills courses that complements the research undertaken by our students to equip them with the skills and confidence to succeed in any sector including academia, industry, business, politics, and healthcare. Our model builds unique student cohorts that focusses on topical issues in cancer research and utilises novel engineering and physical sciences approach to address them – this is what we mean by convergence science.

The Centre believes that the cancer research community should become more diverse, and we are a champion for diversity in our training activities. We have implemented strategies to ensure that our student community reflects the diversity of our world. We believe that students from diverse backgrounds will bring fresh perspectives that will promote innovation. Each year we host a bespoke student recruitment event which welcomes candidates from all backgrounds thereby giving all candidates a fair chance at securing one of our highly competitive PhD studentships. We bridge research teams from Imperial College London and The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) to undertake convergence research and we are looking for supervisors from distinct disciplines across the two institutions who will equip our PhD students with cutting-edge convergence research skills by exposing them to novel concepts in cancer biology, engineering, and the physical sciences. 
Our training portfolio includes three distinct pathways which enables us to attract candidates at multiple stages of the scientific career pathway.