1. What does a Career Development Fellow do?
A Career Development Fellow is a postdoctoral scientist in the early stages of their career. The position is a training opportunity. It should allow the freedom to work on existing research projects of the scientific group to which they belong, as well as to develop their own research ideas to allow the progression into becoming an independent scientist.
2. Who can apply?
Those who have obtained their PhD or are nearing the end of a doctorate are eligible to apply for a CDF. It is also possible to apply for a CDF post if you already have previous postdoctoral experience.
3. What is the usual length of a CDF post?
CDF contracts usually span a 3 year period, although shorter or longer contracts may be offered depending on availability of funding.
4. Where would I be based?
The Medical Research Council (MRC) Epidemiology Unit is based within the Institute of Metabolic Science (IMS) on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus in Cambridge). Sometimes CDFs may spend time working at other institutions to foster collaborations.
5. If I am called to interview where will it be held?
CDF interviews usually take place at the MRC Epidemiology Unit on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus in Cambridge.
6. What have former CDFs gone on to do?
There are many paths for career progression following on from a CDF position. Most CDFs go on to further scientific positions which could be within the Unit or at other academic institutions, but others go into other careers such as teaching, consulting or to clinical medicine.
7. The Medical Research Council (MRC) and the University of Cambridge – where does the Epidemiology Unit fit in?
In 2013, the MRC Epidemiology Unit became a University of Cambridge department, such that staff are employed by the University rather than the MRC. However, we are still also under the umbrella of the MRC.