Manchester University plans to start construction of the new £20m cancer research centre near the Christie Hospital in May 2012.
The building, designed by Samlesbury-based Wilson Mason & Partners, is scheduled to be completed in December 2013.
The cost of the construction contract is put at between £16m and £17.5m, the university said in its tender document published this week.
The new research centre was commissioned by Manchester Cancer Research Centre, a partnership between the university, Cancer Research UK and the Christie Cancer Centre.
At 63,000 sq ft, the new centre on Wilmslow Road will form part of the hospital campus, in Withington, south Manchester, which is undergoing extensive redevelopment.
The laboratory spaces will be contained in three, two-storey pavilions, each supported by a third floor plant. The base plan arrangement is intended to promote increased interaction between research teams and contains a bistro and lecture theatre for 150 people on the ground floor.