In 2021 NCRI celebrated its 20th anniversary. To mark the occasion, we have looked back at some of NCRI’s most significant achievements and asked some of our supporters to explain the impact they have had on the cancer research community.
The past year has continued to be challenging for NCRI Partners and the cancer research community as we recover from the initial impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and adjust to our new environment. We understand the challenges, including financial, that are impacting the community, but I am convinced that NCRI has a lot to offer in our shared desire to advance cancer research for the benefit of patients.
This year, NCRI celebrated its 20th anniversary after being established in 2001 following the publication of the first NHS Cancer Plan. While much has changed in these 20 years, NCRI continues to evolve and adapt to advance cancer research for the benefit of all those affected by cancer.
It has been another busy year for the NCRI Consumer Forum. We have expanded our membership, bringing in new views and experiences, strengthening our reach within the UK and beyond, and adding depth to our diversity and representation.
The NCRI Early Career Researcher Forum was launched in June 2021 to enable early career researchers to build collaborative networks in their field of interest, enhance their skills and support their career development. Early career researchers embody the future health and prosperity of our research community, and their career development opportunities have been particularly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic
The NCRI Networks were launched in November 2021 and now have over 1500 members. The establishment of the NCRI Networks will allow the NCRI Groups to benefit from a multidisciplinary pool of skills and expertise to deliver focused activities against key priorities with specific tangible outcomes.
A crucial way in which NCRI advances the development of cancer research is by providing guidance on research proposals. Researchers apply to attend Proposal Guidance meetings where they are matched with relevant experts from the NCRI Networks who provide feedback on their research to improve the quality of the ideas before they are submitted for funding.
The prevention and early diagnosis of cancer is a priority not just for the cancer research community but the UK as a whole. NHS England has prioritised cancer early diagnosis in its Long-Term Plan and in a speech on World Cancer Day, Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid emphasised the importance of both prevention and early diagnosis of cancer.
The research developed by the NCRI Groups and funded by NCRI Partners often involves the use of health data. The effective use of health data can accelerate cancer research and improve patient outcomes.
NCRI is working in partnership with the British Society for Immunology (BSI) to bring the immunology and cancer research communities together. The partnership aims to drive collaborations and address challenges in cancer immunology and immunotherapy through a series of joint initiatives.
By 2030 four million people in the UK will be living with the long-term consequences of cancer, but currently, there is very little research on the problems they face and how these can be tackled. To help them live better lives, more focused research is needed.
To keep the community connected and provide an opportunity for researchers to share knowledge and foster collaboration, NCRI provides regular events on the hottest topics in cancer research with UK and international expert speakers.
NCRI is committed to being an anti-discriminatory organisation, and we have made several changes to our organisation to reflect this stance. We have drafted an EDI strategy to tie in with our new NCRI strategy which will be launched later in the year. We are reviewing all our internal policies to ensure the values of equality, diversity and inclusion are embedded into our policies and day to day working practices.
Read about NCRI’s priorities for 2022-23