Sam on a rooftop overlooking central London

Dr Sam Godfrey

Cancer Research UK

Explaining the science of cancer research

Dr Sam Godfrey joined the University of Kent in 2002, studying for his undergraduate degree in Biomedical Science. After graduating, he went into industry, working at pharmaceutical companies. He discovered he wanted to do more in the research space, to tackle the questions that no-one knows the answers to. This meant studying for a PhD, so Sam applied for the Alumni Postgraduate Research Scholarship – funded through the Kent Opportunity Fund by donors.

“When I went for my interview for the alumni scholarship, I hadn’t been back since finishing my undergraduate degree at Kent. I walked across campus and thought ‘this is where I want to be’. The fact that the University has so many committed supporters shows that it finds its way into everyone – I don’t think you ever truly leave Kent behind”.

Successful in his application for the scholarship, Sam studied for his PhD at Kent from 2008-2011, trying to develop a new treatment for cancer. The experience set him on his path to where he is today, in the science world, working at Cancer Research UK.

“I couldn’t have afforded to pay for a PhD. The Alumni Postgraduate Research Scholarship funded by alumni was so important for me. It gave me the opportunity to focus 100% on my studies and to take on an issue I was passionate about – cancer research”.

He joined Cancer Research UK in 2013, initially as a science translator, making the science behind the research appeal to the charity’s supporters. His science background from Kent, as well as his experiences of postdoctoral work at Imperial College London played a significant role in that job. Today, he finds and establishes partnerships outside of Cancer Research UK, with organisations and people who can help them achieve more when it comes to beating cancer.

“Without the support of Kent alumni, I wouldn’t have got my PhD and I wouldn’t be where I am today. To all the people that donate to Kent, thank you so much”.