What is Excellence in Research?

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Cancer Research UK supports GPs to deliver best practice. We have created a central resources hub for Health Professionals which hosts all of our CRUK resources and further materials to help with managing the pandemic. We are updating the information as guidance changes. There is also a page specifically for patients on our about cancer hub.

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Develop your skills and expertise, connect with clinical research nurse peers, and share knowledge and experience of clinical cancer trials and treatments.

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At Cancer Research UK, we know the valuable role clinical research nurses have in the delivery of vital cancer research. You use your specialist knowledge and skills to deliver new treatments. You care for patients throughout their clinical trial journey, working tirelessly to improve outcomes. All with the aim of seeing more survive and live beyond cancer.

Excellence in Research is designed to support you in this important role.

Excellence in Research is a programme designed to support all clinical research nurses working on cancer trials by:

  • Providing, curating and signposting you to relevant news and educational resources on cancer trials and treatments
  • Facilitating communication, collaboration and best-practice sharing between you and your clinical research nurse peers
  • Supporting your professional development as a clinical research nurse
  • Raising awareness of clinical research nurses and your work on clinical cancer trials
  • Highlighting your valuable contribution to cancer research

Despite delivering ground-breaking cancer treatments and caring passionately for your patients, your role as a clinical research nurse is often misunderstood. You report feeling undervalued by the wider clinical team, who have a low awareness of what you do. What’s more, you want to stay up-to-date with advances in cancer treatment and trial outcomes, and be better connected with your peers.

And that’s why we’ve set up Excellence in Research. To support your learning with opportunities to grow your skills and expertise as a clinical research nurse. To encourage and facilitate knowledge sharing between you and other clinical research nurses working on cancer trials. To give you the tools to raise your profile. We want to provide a forum for you to connect with peers across the UK and make you feel part of an expert cancer research nursing community.

You’ll have access to a range of relevant news, information and educational content to support you in your role as a clinical research nurse working on cancer trials. Learn about the latest advances in cancer treatments and updates from cancer trials across the UK. Explore useful tools and opportunities from us and other organisations to develop your clinical research nurse skills and knowledge, all in one place on the Excellence in Research hub.

On top of revalidation and continuing professional development (CPD) support, you’ll hear from other research nurses working on cancer trials through a mix of interviews and case studies. You’ll also be able to share good practice tips, advice and learnings from your experience of working on clinical cancer trials.

Our newsletter gives updates on our latest educational content and activities, including study days, bite-sized learning, courses and useful resources for you and your patients. Sign up now.

Yes; the programme is for all clinical research nurses working on cancer trials, not just those at Cancer Research UK centres or on trials funded by Cancer Research UK. 

You can sign up regardless of where you work, what trials you work on or how you are funded.

Whilst Excellence in Research is primarily aimed at clinical research nurses working with patients on cancer trials, we want to support other practitioners in the clinical research team where we can.

Some of the education and professional development resources and opportunities offered will be relevant to all those working on clinical cancer trials. If you’re not a nurse but involved in delivering new cancer treatments and support to patients as part of a clinical trial, see our continuing professional development & education section.

Signing up for the latest news, information, and opportunities from the Excellence in Research programme is easy. You simply need provide a few details about your role and interests; sign up now.

Yes. The programme launched with a day of educational talks and workshops at the Francis Crick Institute in London and gave clinical research nurses the opportunity to meet colleagues and peers from across the UK. Look out for the news and information about upcoming activities and events and materials and tools to support setting up your own workshops and meetings in your local area or region.

The programme launched in February 2018 with an event at the Francis Crick Institute. The agenda included what’s next for cancer research and the role research nurses have to play. Interactive workshops discussed areas such as consent, communication, patient cases and targeted treatments. A large part of the day was hearing from you as clinical research nurses. Attendees described what clinical research nursing means to them, the barriers you face, and what support would help you in your daily role and with your development. What we heard has helped shape the programme.

See more on shaping the programme or watch the launch event highlights.

The Excellence in Research programme supports clinical research nurses to deliver high quality cancer research and clinical care for patients. It provides and shares opportunities to develop their clinical skills, stay informed on the latest cancer research, and connect with others working on cancer trials.

The programme itself doesn’t offer funding for academic research projects or PHDs however, you can learn more about the research that Cancer Research UK funds.

At Cancer Research UK, we support more than 4,000 researchers, doctors and nurses to find new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer. Thanks to our donors, we are able to fund the full spectrum of research, from lab-based basic biology and discovery research, through to the development of new treatments and running clinical trials with patients.

Each research proposal is considered by our funding committees, groups of cancer experts who work to strict guidelines, meeting regularly to review lots of requests for funding and decide which should be supported. Proposals are also peer-reviewed by experts in the research area. They consider things like the overall impact of the research, the proposed approach, whether it is something we should be doing or if similar research is already being done, and how it can help develop the research community.

You can read more about our funding process on our Science blog.


Yes, you can add any e-learning or educational activities you participate in as part of the Excellence in Research programme to your revalidation portfolio. Where possible, Excellence in Research will offer accredited courses. To include evidence of your participation in any Excellence in Research courses, activities and workshops, you must use the latest revalidation reflection form from the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Go to the NMC forms

Excellence in Research is a programme for clinical research nurses, by clinical research nurses. We want to hear from you. We welcome all your suggestions, ideas, and comments on the programme and how we can support you to grow your expertise, skills and knowledge. Send us your comments by emailing the team.

Join the conversation and follow @CRUKHCPs for news, updates and opinion.


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