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We aim to enhance clinical and basic cancer research in Oxford with the ultimate goal of increasing cancer cure rates.


The Department of Oncology within the Medical Sciences Division was created in October 2010 with a mission to improve cancer care through research and teaching. To do this, the Department delivers research in an array of linked themes. There is a strong emphasis on translation, with established infrastructure to develop scientific insights towards clinical application. The aims of the Department include the development of truly multidisciplinary and collaborative oncology research in Oxford, and working closely with colleagues in the NHS Cancer and Haematology Centre, research can be rapidly and efficiently translated into cutting-edge clinical treatment for cancer patients.

Fundamental to our approach is to train students in translational, as well as basic, science so that they acquire key transferable skills during their time with us. Programmes are usually multidisciplinary and, as described below, attract high quality committed candidates who stay the course. Our translational focus makes us an attractive destination for Industry and we are growing the financial contribution to studentships from this source.

The Department incorporates a number of other internationally recognised research groups working in oncology and related fields. Currently the Department has activities on four sites in Oxford; these are the Old Road Campus Research Building, the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, the Radiobiology Research Institute, and in the Cancer and Haematology Centre.

The Department of Oncology has over 400 staff and more than 120 postgraduate students - both clinical and non-clinical - and is one of the largest departments within the University of Oxford’s Medical Sciences Division. The Department of Oncology has also been awarded a departmental Athena SWAN Silver award in recognition of its commitment to introduce organisational and cultural practices that promote gender equality, and of its efforts to improve the working environment for both men and women.