Research Innovation Workshops
Our 3-day sandpit workshops foster multidisciplinary innovation in cancer research.
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.
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.
Early detection: Robotics and robotic technologies for diagnostic delivery
Application deadline: 23 May 2019
Workshop dates: 14–17 July 2019
Reports from past workshops
Early detection: Novel AI approaches to medical image interpretation — January 2019
This workshop focussed on developing new research ideas utilising emerging technological and methodological insights from computer science, artificial intelligence and image analysis for the interpretation of clinical images, thus providing a novel and innovative approach to detecting cancer early.
Early detection: Sensor technologies for liquid biopsy — July 2018
As part of our wider efforts in early detection, we recognised that this developing field benefits from uniting cancer biologists with experts from fields including chemistry, physics, engineering, mathematics, and computer science. We therefore partnered with EPSRC and STFC to run this multidisciplinary workshop focussed on liquid biopsy technology.
Immunology: Immune homeostasis — July 2017
Advances in the field of immunology are already bringing benefits to many patients, and immunology is a strategic priority for both CRUK and Versus Arthritis. With many opportunities for shared learnings across the spectrum of inflammatory diseases and cancer, our first sandpit workshop focussed on immune homeostasis.
Cancer prevention: Risk perception — February 2015
Cancer risk perception means people’s beliefs about their vulnerability to the disease and their judgements about the probable benefit from intervention. Risk perceptions of cancer are therefore an essential component of health behaviour change. This workshop developped new multidisciplinary research ideas to understand, identify and engage with people’s risk perceptions.
Cancer prevention: Harder to reach groups — July 2014
Harder to reach groups encompasses the broad spectrum of different groups and communities who are not benefiting as much as the general population in terms of improved cancer outcomes. This workshop brought together a diverse range of expertise to recognise, identify and engage harder to reach groups and to generate radical ideas for how to reduce inequalities.
This is a very different experience. Sometimes it puts you out of your comfort zone. But it was such a thrill!
– Dr Gozde Ozakinci
Find out more about the ways we're funding fresh ideas to tackle cancer.