Pathway to Independence

19 November 2018

Developing future clinical academic leaders in cancer research

The second run of the BRC’s flagship leadership programme ia being held on the 19th and 20th November 2018. Hosted at the Moller Centre, Cambridge and opened by Prof Nick Turner (day 1) and Prof Charlie Swanton (day 2).

This intensive residential programme will provide 26 early career clinical researchers from across the BRC network (at Clinical Lecturer or equivalent level) with:

  • advice and coaching to become independent researchers - in particular those that are thinking of applying for a Clinician Scientist Fellowship in the next 6-18 months
  • inspiration, peer group support, mentorship, advice and networking opportunities

The programme will include an interactive session focussed on writing applications and interviews (covering the principles of peer review, mock panels and fellowship interviews) and topics such as getting published and balancing priorities and leadership styles, presented by clinical academics working in cancer research and key funders. The content has been developed for junior clinical academic researchers who are aiming to become independent. Representatives from the major research funders and the Academy of Medical Sciences will attend the event. 


The Clinician Researcher Career Paths project comprises a number of activities aimed at the development of clinicians across the ICR and The Royal Marsden. These are overseen by the Cancer Centre Research Strategy Board since December 2015 and include:

  • The flagship leadership programme ‘Pathway to Independence’ – a bi-annual event open to early career clinicians looking to become independent clinical academics
  • The BRC Clinical Researcher Career Development programme including career/funding advice from clinical academics and funders
  • A mentoring scheme for clinicians
  • The Clinical Academic Forum, a quarterly meeting which is open to clinicians of all stages of their career and which focuses on the challenges and topics that early career clinicians want to address
  • The creation of a mailing list for all clinician researchers at ICR and RM to increase targeted communications

The above activities have continued successfully through recent changes in staffing and are currently delivered by the ICR Researcher Development Manager and the BRC Clinical Research Operations Manager.