Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships

Please note that in light of the developing Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, the Clinical Oncology Academic Committee has taken the decision to suspend the SURF scheme in 2020. We hope to run the scheme again in 2021.

Any enquiries should be directed to

Applications open: February 2021

Background and nature

The RCR Summer Undergraduate Fellowships (SURF) in Clinical Oncology provide medical students with a unique opportunity to undertake an eight-week research project in the field of academic clinical oncology during their early years of study. Each competitively-awarded SURF provides both bursary funding for the applicant and additional funding for the research project.

Why should I apply?

These prestigious awards are an excellent opportunity for medical students to bolster their CV while gaining an insight into the field of clinical oncology and the academic opportunities it provides. This will help you to gain key academic experience, including in public speaking as well as grant and academic writing, and key skills relating to data analysis, critical thinking and research governance. You’ll also gain mentorship from senior academics and clinicians who will be able to provide you with advice and support to begin a career in academic oncology. The recipients will hold the title: 2021 RCR Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow in Clinical Oncology.


  • Five awards are available

  • Bursary of £1,440 each (equivalent to £180 per week) to provide expenses for a medical student to undertake an eight week project during the summer vacation

  • Project funding of £500 to the supervising department or laboratory to meet the costs of supporting the student including travel to the RCR to deliver a presentation on the project


The RCR SURFs in Clinical Oncology are available to medical students enrolled in both undergraduate- and graduate-entry programmes within the UK.

Undergraduate-entry students must be enrolled in their second, third or fourth year of study at the time of applying. (The equivalent will apply if you are undertaking a longer course; please note that those in their first or final years of study are not eligible.)

Graduate-entry students must be enrolled in their first, second or third year of study at the time of applying.

Guidance notes

Guidance notes will be available. 

To apply

Applicants will need to submit:

  • A completed application form

Assessment procedure

Applications are made in open competition and the Fellowships are awarded by the Academic Committee based on the recommendation of an assessment panel. The decision of the assessment panel is final and binding. Successful applicants will be invited to present the results of their work at an appropriate RCR event. Applicants will be informed of the outcome of their application in late April.

Enquiries should be directed to


Recipients of 2019 awards: 

  1.        Joe Wilson (Undergraduate), Oxford Institute of Radiation Oncology, University of Oxford
  2.        Sana Hussain (Undergraduate), University of Leeds
  3.        Michael Corden (Undergraduate), Christie NHS Foundation Trust
  4.        Lucy Sandhu (Undergraduate), Christie NHS Foundation Trust
  5.        Olivia Kemp (Graduate), Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre