Workforce, training and education
Yorkshire and Humber


Academic opportunities.


The University of Leeds Radiation Therapy Research Group was founded in 2012 and is based in the Bexley Wing at St James’s University Hospital. In 2016 we were externally assessed as an emerging Centre of Excellence in the UK and as internationally leading in clinical trials leadership and delivery.
The group’s strategy is to deliver world-class patient focussed research embedded in the NHS. We aim to improve cancer survival and reduce treatment side effects through the use of the best radiotherapy technology and its combination with novel therapies. This will be achieved in clinical trials and through project and programmatic funding. We are committed to developing the future academic leaders in radiotherapy related research.
Since 2012 the group has expanded to include two Professors in Clinical Oncology (David Sebag-Montefiore and Susan Short), an Associate Professor (Ann Henry), two Yorkshire Cancer Research funded University Academic Fellows (Ane Appelt and Louise Murray), two research physicists  (Richard Speight and David Bird), a Biostatistician (Lucy McParland) and Project Manager (Katherine O'Mahony).

Our training programme provides research opportunities at all stages of training.

These opportunities exist as either

1. part of a formal academic training scheme or

2. interwoven within a clinical training scheme as either a higher degree or fellowship.


Click below for more details and to hear our trainee experiences:





The Cancer Clinical Trials Centre (CCTC) is located in purpose built facilities that provide facilities for the assessment and treatment of patients, office space for staff with fully networked computer systems, a laboratory, and specialist activities such as bone densitometry. The environment is ideal for both patients and staff and has allowed rapid expansion of the staffing and the range of research that can be performed. The CCTC is fully integrated within Weston Park Cancer Centre and is credited as a pioneer of numerous modern advances within the field of cancer research. Additional clinical research active groups with links to the CCTC include surgical and urological oncology and haematological oncology.

The Cancer Clinical Trials Centre is involved in research studies ranging from dose-finding Phase I studies through to post-marketing Phase IV trials. The key areas of research have continued to flourish over recent years and several new interests have developed. The major areas of current research interest include:-

  • Phase III Clinical Trials
  • Drug Development Programme
  • Bone Oncology
  • Radiotherapy Developments
  • Trophoblastic Tumours
  • Lung Cancer Biology
  • Late Effects of Cancer Treatment

The Sheffield ECMC (Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre) is based within the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and is the premier centre in the UK for bone oncology with an international reputation for clinical and translational research. The Centre has facilities for imaging, flow cytometry, DNA sequencing and histopathology.

Trainees are encouraged to attend research lunchtime seminars organised by Professor Thomas Helleday.




About our academic training - West Yorkshire Training scheme

There is a strong commitment to academic clinical oncology training at Leeds Cancer Centre and at the University of Leeds. Together, we offer a broad range of opportunities for trainees to undertake research within local areas of excellence. These include in technical radiotherapy, patient-reported outcome measures, health-economics, big data, trials and the fundamental biological sciences.  Our trainees are encouraged to get involved in these and other research areas and a number are enrolled in the NIHR Integrated Academic Training Pathway at Academic Clinical Fellow or Clinical Lecturer level. As a measure of our success, we have secured external funding for out-of-programme fellowships from, amongst others, the National Institute for Health Research, Medical Research Council and Wellcome Trust. Our trainees have also secured roles with a number of prestigious national bodies, including within Cochrane UK, NICE and the Royal College of Radiologists.

Trainees interested in undertaking research are supported by the Radiotherapy Research Group based within Leeds Cancer Centre, and by a number of senior clinical and academic oncologists at Professorial or Associate Professor level. We also provide an opportunity for trainees to present their work during an annual prize presentation session, and at weekly departmental meetings. Many have also gone on to present their work at national and international conferences, as well as publishing in leading journals. At present in the department we have one Academic Clinical Fellow and one Academic Clinical Lecturer, with five trainees undertaking out-of-programme fellowships.
Leeds was a founding centre for the Northern Oncology Trainees Collaborative for Healthcare Research (NOTCH). Through this joint venture with other major cancer centres across the North of England, our trainees have the opportunity to gain research experience and training through participating in large, collaborative research studies.
Trainee testimony - Chris Jones – Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Fellow - West Yorkshire training scheme

I moved to Leeds in 2015 to take up an Academic Clinical Fellowship (ACF) in Clinical Oncology. I’d previously completed an Academic Foundation Programme post and was attracted by the high-quality training environment in Leeds and the high regard with which its structural biology research is held. During my ACF I was able to both undertake a laboratory research project and to run a trial, as well as getting involved in a number of other research activities. This led me to securing external Wellcome Trust funding for my current PhD fellowship, which is based at the University of Leeds and focuses on cellular signalling mechanisms involved in the development of oesophageal cancer. The department are exceptionally supportive of academic trainees and I continue to gain clinical experience by remaining on the oncology on-call rota.

Trainee testimony - Katie Spencer – MRC Clinical Research Fellow - West Yorkshire training scheme

I have been a Specialist Registrar in Leeds since 2009 having worked less than full-time for a number of years. I had considered doing a PhD during my early training but didn’t enter the academic pathway at that time as I wasn’t sure this was for me. Having had the opportunity to become involved in a large local project I decided to seek funding to allow me to pursue a PhD in clinical epidemiology and health economics. Support, both within the clinical department and University, helped me to secure MRC Fellowship funding. I am now completing my PhD whilst remaining on the on-call rota to maintain my clinical skills. I’ve recently become a NICE scholar and hope to enter the clinical academic pathway as an Academic Clinical Lecturer when I finish my PhD.

Academic Training contacts - West Yorkshire training scheme

Dr.Katy Clarke

Clinical Training Programme Director


Dr.Daniel Stark.

Academic Training Programme Director


Professor Sebag-Montefiore

Audrey and Stanley Burton Professor of Clinical Oncology and Health Research


Dr.Chris Jones

Academic Clinical fellow Clinical Oncology