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Striving for a cancer-free future

Postdoctoral Research Fellowships


Cancer Council Victoria is the largest not-for-profit funder of cancer research in Victoria. Every year, we spend approximately $20 million on world-class cancer research projects.

Purpose of the Fellowship

Cancer Council Victoria offers Postdoctoral Fellowships to Victorian scientists who have recently completed a PhD and who would benefit from an additional 6 or 12 months of support to achieve a significant milestone in the research based on their thesis work. There are two rounds each year in February and September

The application must establish that the research will be greatly enhanced by having the candidate spend a further 6 or 12 months with the same research group (i.e., where the recipient was a PhD candidate).


  • The research must relate to cancer aetiology, prevention, diagnosis or treatment.
  • For the round opening in April 2022, applicants must have their PhD thesis submitted OR accepted as passed between 1 October and 31 March. 
  • ‘Submission of thesis’ is defined as having submitted a PhD thesis with the University Graduate Office and the thesis has proceeded to examination.  Evidence showing that the thesis has been submitted and is under examination is acceptable to meet this eligibility criterion.
  • ‘Accepted as passed’ is defined as having lodged a PhD thesis with the University Graduate Office, the thesis has been examined and a letter or other document is available indicating that the PhD has been accepted as passed.
  • Funding will not be granted to any researcher who is receiving or who is an applicant for funding from the tobacco industry or any of its agencies or subsidiaries.

Available funding

The fellowship funding is $80,148 per annum (pro rata for six months).

Fellowships will be awarded for a period of 6 or 12 months. Please nominate the funding duration you are applying for on the application form, noting that the scope of the research plan must be suitable for the nominated period of funding.

Funds will be paid quarterly in advance to the administering institution, which will make payments to the recipient according to its internal arrangements.

Key dates

Applications open:               Tuesday 1 February 2022 

Applications close:               Friday 8 April 2022

Fellowships commence:     1 July 2022

Selection criteria

The following criteria will be used to guide the selection of a fellowship recipient:

  • The quality of the applicant's academic record and research achievements,
  • The significance of the research proposal and the case made for the 6 or 12 month continuation, and
  • Demonstration that the project outcomes are feasible and that the proposed work is a natural progression of the PhD project, not a new project.


The selection process and decision will not be influenced by the nominated funding duration.

Conditions of Postdoctoral Research Fellowships


At the conclusion of the fellowship, recipients must submit a report on their research to Cancer Council Victoria who may specify special reporting requirements or formats.

Recognition of Cancer Council Victoria

The fellowship holder must acknowledge the support of Cancer Council Victoria and (if applicable) any nominated fund, donation or bequest, in all publications, presentations and media announcements pertaining to the research for which the fellowship has been awarded. Cancer Council Victoria may specify from time to time a form of words to be used to acknowledge the support of Cancer Council Victoria and any nominated fund, donation or bequest.

Limitation of other paid activity

The fellowship is provided for full-time research. The fellowship holder must not engage in other paid activity which materially diminishes his or her capacity to conduct the research full-time.

Other funding sources

The fellowship holder may receive funding from other sources however the other funding must not be contingent on any naming rights pertaining to the candidate or the research.


If offered a fellowship, your Research Administrative Officer will need to certify that you have the relevant committee approvals e.g. Human Research Ethics Committee, Animal Experimentation Ethics Committee, Biosafety Committee. The fellowship funding will not commence until all approvals have been provided. 




Download application form


If you have any questions, please contact:   

The Grants Team  
Research Governance & Optimal Care Unit
03 9514 6200

Current recipients

Dr Sibel Saya 
University of Melbourne 
Multi-cancer genomic risk assessment to target screening in general practice (Apr 2022 - Apr 2023)
DNA testing to predict risk of cancer in general practice 

Dr. Marc Rigau Cortal  
University of Melbourne 
Optimisation of the phosphoantigen-reactive gamma-delta T-cell receptor for use in adoptive T-cell therapy against the most common blood and solid tumours in the Australian population  (Jan 2022 - Dec 2022)
Empowering human immune cells against blood and solid cancers


Past recipients 


Dr Edmond Kwan
Monash University 
Comprehensive circulating nucleic acid analysis to identify biomarkers for immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer
(mCRPC)  (Jan 2021 - Dec 2021)

Dr Peter Savas
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
Extending genomic profiling to understanding outcomes in clinical trials (Jan 2021 - Dec 2021)

Mr Charles Bell
The University of Melbourne
Identifying new drug targets to specifically reduce the activity of genes that are essential for cancer cells (Jul 2020-Jun 2021)

Dr Tanjina Kader
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
Development of a new test after a mammogram to help doctors and patients decide whether they should operate or save their breasts (Jul 2020-Jun 2021).

Dr Margs Brennan
The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
Testing MCL - 1 inhibitor treatment in humanised MCL - 1pre-clinical mouse models of Philadelphia-like paediatric acute lymphoid leukaemia (Jul 2019-Dec 2020)

Dr Na Li
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
Discovering new genetic causes of familial breast cancer (Jan 2020-Dec 2020)

Dr Mohamed Saad
Hudson Institute of Medical Research
Identification of ADAM17-driven Molecular Events in Lung Cancer (Jan 2020-Dec 2020)

Dr James Whittle
The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
Targeting cell survival pathways in breast cancer (Jan 2020-Dec 2020)

Dr Simon Preston
The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
Targeting caspase-8 in T-regulatory cells as cancer immunotherapy in Hepatocellular carcinoma (Jan 2020-Jun 2020)

Dr Lara Edbrooke
The University of Melbourne
Rehabilitation in inoperable lung cancer - a cost-effectiveness evaluation (Jan 2020-Jun 2020)

Dr Pasquale Fedele
The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
Targeting IRF4 in Multiple Myeloma (Jan 2019-Dec 2019)

Dr Rebecca Delconte
The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
Increasing Natural Killer cell ability to detect and kill cancer cells (Jul 2018-Jun 2019)

Dr Shuai Li
The University of Melbourne
Understanding why and how environmental factors change breast cancer risk by studying genes (Jul 2018-Jun 2019)

Dr Hendrika Duivenvoorden
La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science
Validating markers that predict early breast cancer invasion (Jan 2018 - Dec 2018)

Dr Simon Hogg
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre  
Developing drugs that promote the immune system to eliminate cancer  (Aug 2017-Jul 2018)  

Dr Tan Nguyen
The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
Can we inhibit RNA degradation to help treat cancer?  (Jan 2018 - Dec 2018)

Dr Tuong Linh Nguyen
The University of Melbourne
Predicting a woman’s future risk of breast cancer from her mammograms (Jan 2018 - Dec 2018)

Dr Ashleigh Poh
The Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute
Improving responsiveness to anti-cancer immunotherapy  (Jul 2017-Jun 2018) 

Dr Antonia Policheni
The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
How does cell competition and cell death prevent childhood blood cancer? (Jan 2018 - Dec 2018)