Research Innovation Workshops

​Our 3-day sandpit workshops foster multidisciplinary innovation in cancer research.

Our Innovation Workshops


The Process

This intensive but exciting process involves real-time peer review to help workshop participants develop their ideas from start to finish, supporting and transforming research ideas into pilot studies.

Our Innovation Workshops

The workshops are highly collaborative, bringing together a range of experts across disciplines:

  • 25 participants including researchers, healthcare professionals, policy makers and technologists

  • A senior academic guides the workshop and facilitates innovative thinking

  • Subject guides, specialists in their fields, encourage and stretch participants’ ideas by making connections – both between participants and to the wider body of knowledge

  • PPI representatives help participants focus on patient and public benefit

The workshops are designed to foster innovation:

  • The group define the scope of the challenge and build on collective knowledge

  • Challenge themes have included ‘Harder to Reach Groups’, ‘Risk Perceptions’, ‘Early Years’, ‘Decision-making’, and ‘Harnessing Technology’

  • Ideas are developed using real-time peer review

  • Outputs are captured in highly innovative feasibility study proposals

Successful project teams are awarded one year of seed funding to conduct pilot and feasibility work, with the aim that they will then be in a position to apply for further funding to develop the ideas.

How to apply

Our workshops cover a variety of research fields, and each workshop has a set theme. Browse the upcoming workshops below and click through to find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

Upcoming workshops

Early detection: Artificial intelligence in clinical image analysis

Application deadline: 28 November 2018
Workshop dates: 6–9 January 2019


Immunology: Modulating the immune state in cancer and arthritis

Application deadline: 11 February 2019
Workshop dates: 3–5 April 2019

This is a very different experience. Sometimes it puts you out of your comfort zone. But it was such a thrill!

 – Dr Gozde Ozakinci

Read the full story

Download the workshop reports

Discover the research we funded in previous Innovation Workshops:

"Immune homeostasis", July 2017

Risk Perception and Cancer Prevention”, February 2015

Cancer Prevention in Harder to Reach Groups”, July 2014

Thinking differently: innovation in research funding

Find out more about the ways we're funding fresh ideas to tackle cancer.