Women of Influence

Our Women of Influence initiative champions women in cancer research. The mentorship scheme pairs exceptional female scientists with leading business women 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 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!

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 CRUK 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


Since the scheme launched, our mentees have published 385 publications, secured 124 additional grants (£62M), won 182 prizes, initiated 80 collaborations, participated in 308 engagement activities and filed 2 patents.

Benefits for mentees

Women of Influence annual networking meeting
  • Be part of a community – join other female fellows and mentors, plus the wider CRUK community
  • Talks, skills workshops and networking at our annual Women of Influence fellows careers day
  • Join our online group with LinkedIn
  • Get support and fresh perspectives from outside academia
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, CRUK Programme Foundation Awardee


Dr Michaela Frye


Leadership and management skills are not in the curriculum of a scientific career and I was eager to learn about both. I felt in need of advice on how to 'survive' in a male-dominated and highly competitive field.

— Dr Michaela Frye, Senior Cancer Research Fellow


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.

How we’re prioritising equality, diversity and inclusion

Cancer Research UK fellows 2016.

To foster an environment that supports innovation and creativity, we're prioritising equality, diversity and inclusion, making sure that regardless of background or circumstance we are supporting the best people and ideas.

Reflections from three women in science

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we spoke to three of our female scientists about their careers, and what they feel needs to change to better support women in science.

Flexible research careers funding policies

We understand that our researchers may follow varied career paths to become the research leaders of tomorrow. We have flexible funding policies that are designed to accommodate a diverse pool of applicants, and we have flexible working policies to ensure we continue to support you as you develop your own research path.