The transition from a junior researcher to a permanent University research position is one of the greatest challenges for ambitious young scientists. Recognising this, the Ninewells Cancer Campaign has provided funding for talented young scientists (Adrian Saurin, Laureano de la Vega and, most recently, Sourav Banerjee) to establish independent research groups in the Jacqui Wood Cancer Centre. As a result of our investment, Adrian and Laureano have subsequently been awarded prestigious fellowships from Cancer Research UK and other funders, with Sourav now following a similar path. Our scientists describe below how much Ninewells Cancer Campaign means to them, alongside the PhD students funded within their research teams.