When NCRI published its annual review for 2019-20, I said how proud I was of how the NCRI team had responded to the disruption the pandemic had caused, and I will reiterate this now. NCRI has not only adapted to challenging conditions to continue to advance cancer research but has welcomed the new circumstances using them to its advantage to progress as an organisation.
By embracing virtual events, NCRI has expanded its audience removing previous barriers to engagement. The team has successfully maintained the connection with current audiences as well as connecting with an additional 6000 people who NCRI can work with in the future.
By adopting virtual technology, NCRI is now accelerating the evolution of its Research Groups to become wide networks of researchers which will drive change against strategic priorities.
NCRI is also formally expanding its group of early career researchers, bringing them together as a community and supporting them to realise their aspirations of contributing to cancer research progress. More details of this can be found later in the report.
NCRI has always valued the role of patients, carers and those affected by cancer (Consumers) in the development of research, and this continues to be the case. You will read about some of their work on ensuring the consumer views were regarded in COVID-19 research later in this report. NCRI continues to expand the number of consumers involved in cancer research development and is dedicated to increasing the diversity of this group to include views currently underrepresented.
The new digital environment has also allowed NCRI to form new international partnerships. It has engaged international pathology experts in developing new guidelines for including pathology in clinical trials and we will take advantage of the new virtual world to continue our engagement with the international research community.
As my term as NCRI Chair comes to an end, I would like to thank everyone involved with NCRI including staff, group members and Consumers, and each of the board members I have worked with. I will continue to be involved with NCRI as CEO of NCRI Partner Breast Cancer Now and I am excited for the advances we are going to see as a result of NCRI’s work.
Baroness Delyth Morgan