Women of Influence

Our Women of Influence initiative champions women in cancer research. The mentorship scheme pairs exceptional scientists with leading businesswomen to provide early career researchers with support from outside of academia at a critical time in their development.

We recognise that a diverse research community with a variety of skills and perspectives is essential to delivering our mission to beat cancer sooner. But while women and men are roughly equal proportions of our research community at earlier career stages, we know that women may face more barriers when progressing to senior positions. This scheme supports our fellows and senior postdoctoral researchers in tackling some of these barriers, empowering them to become leaders.

Contact us

If you're interested in joining or supporting the Women of Influence programme, get in touch!


Calling for mentors

If you have substantial experience in a senior management or executive position, are based in the UK, and are looking for a way to give something back, we'd love to hear from you. 

Since the scheme launched, its success has pushed us to expand the initiative to open it up to more of our researchers, and as a result, we are always looking for new mentors from diverse backgrounds and geographical locations across a range of professional sectors. 

If you would like more information about the scheme and how to get involved, please contact:


Alice Choi


I have thoroughly enjoyed being a mentor for the Women of Influence initiative. Aside from the fact that I am a huge supporter of women in science and of Cancer Research UK in particular, it’s been great to spend time with my mentees and learn more about the opportunities and challenges they are facing, and work on practical solutions together.

—Alice Choi, mentor


Benefits for mentors

Photo of Women of Influence mentor
  • Contribute to our aim of beating cancer sooner by supporting and empowering women in research
  • Be part of a community of women tackling barriers in the workplace 
  • Network with mentors and mentees at our annual meeting 
  • Gain a unique insight into the work of Cancer Research UK’s scientists 

Benefits for mentees

Photo of Women of Influence mentee
  • Get support and fresh perspectives from outside academia
  • Be part of a community – join other researchers and mentors, plus the wider Cancer Research UK community
  • Benefit from talks and skills workshops
  • Network with our mentors and mentees at our annual meeting
Katrin Ottersbach


Having somebody outside work to chat with and to get input from has really boosted my confidence and reignited my enthusiasm during these difficult times.

— Dr Katrin Ottersbach, Programme Foundation Awardee


More career development opportunities for researchers

Research Career Development

We offer a range of fellowships, bursaries and other support to help outstanding scientists and clinicians develop their independent research careers.