The NCRI Groups are a central part of NCRI activity, acting as a forum to bring the cancer research community together and coordinate activity to develop new research. Each group is comprised of a small group of up to 15 multidisciplinary researchers that are experts and thought leaders in their research area. The group will include patients and carers (consumers) and early career researchers as well as researchers with expertise outside of cancer where it could benefit the group. The group work with the NCRI to develop the priority areas and monitor progress of these priorities over a three-year period. They should be aware of changes in the cancer community and adapt as appropriate making sure to leverage opportunities and avoid duplication.

The NCRI has established 19 networks, matching the NCRI Groups. The overarching aim of the networks is to engage with the wider research community in any given area and avoid the NCRI Groups becoming inward-facing, which would not benefitting cancer patients or outcomes. There are no prerequisites to be part of the network – anyone is welcome to join and members can sign up or leave at any time. Find out more information about our networks and sign up here.

Further aims of the wider network include (but not limited to):

  • Engaging with the wider cancer research community and involving them in NCRI Group activities for example strategy development and proposal guidance meetings, ensuring that research in the disease areas is not managed by a small or “exclusive” group of researchers.
  • Maintaining engagement with members rotating off the group, subgroups and workstreams.
  • Providing a central hub for those who express an interest in being involved in the work of the groups, be that scientific, Consumer, or Early Career Researcher (ECR) members. This may include members who cannot regularly commit the time, or who have been unsuccessful in their application to join the group.
  • More widely promoting the work and achievements of the NCRI and NCRI Groups.
  • Engaging with people who work outside of cancer research field but want to know about progress.

Benefits to members include:

  • Involvement with strategy development process of the NCRI Groups.
  • Receiving targeted communications specific to the group’s work
  • Membership opportunities including joining specific workstreams
  • Participating in peer review or proposal guidance meetings
  • Invited to meetings organised by the NCRI to progress and discuss specific objectives

The NCRI has developed a robust bottom up approach to identify the priority areas for each group. We recognise we cannot do everything, so instead we develop a clear pipeline of priority areas every three years in collaboration with the wider research community. This means we can tackle the most pressing objectives in a timely manner, ensuring tangible and impactful results, before moving on to the next challenge.

Beneath each group sits further smaller groups of researchers to deliver on the group’s priorities. We call these workstreams or working groups. Our workstreams are permanent features of the Upper GI, Children’s, Lymphoma and Haematological Oncology Research Groups. They work as a group to achieve the strategic priorities set in their cancer type, so will work on multiple priorities. All other groups have working groups which focus on one priority each. Working groups are time limited groups dedicated to drive progress and achieve one of the strategic priorities set by the group. When one working group achieves their goal we set up a new working group with the expertise needed to address one of the other strategic priorities identified by the group.

Anybody that is involved in cancer research can join our networks to hear about and be involved in our work. We need to maintain a wide-ranging membership to make sure our work is collaborative and takes into account multiple viewpoints. We are keen to have representation from all cancer disciplines.

We also recognise that cancer research can benefit from collaboration with researchers from different diseases outside of cancer. If you are interested in hearing about our research and think that your expertise might benefit us in one or several of our strategic priorities please join the NCRI Networks.

If you are looking to hear the latest developments from the NCRI Groups and/or get involved in our work – join our networks.

If you are a patient or carer (‘consumer’) looking to get involved in the design and the development of cancer research via the NCRI Groups – complete an expression of interest form here.

If you are an early career researcher looking to get involved with the NCRI Groups and build collaborative networks in your field of interest – complete an expression of interest form here.

  • Network with fellow researchers
  • Be involved in setting the strategic direction for your cancer type in the UK
  • Tackle challenges with other researchers to drive improvements in your cancer type
  • Have your voice heard to share gaps and opportunities in your cancer type for the NCRI to champion and support you in developing solutions to
  • Get advice and support from peers on your research ideas to strengthen your funding application
  • Hear about exciting new research
  • Support early career researchers in your cancer type
  • Be involved in meaningful patient involvement and benefit from patient involvement in your cancer type
  • Present your research through our events

The NCRI Groups have expertise across all cancer types and are keen to support fellow researchers with their trial ideas. You will need to apply to our proposal guidance meetings to receive this advice.

All members of our networks are eligible to attend our strategy setting session at which you can input what you think are the areas the NCRI should prioritise. We want to hear from you, the research areas you deem as important to support you in your research.

Proposal guidance is a term NCRI uses to explain expert guidance and review from peers to provide support to researchers in developing research or trials. Applicants will present to a small panel of specially selected experts that can give them advice to shape and improve their research. The NCRI draws on its multidisciplinary nature to introduce researchers to experts and networks they may not have tapped into otherwise such as methodology, quality of life expertise etc. to enhance their research. The NCRI will support the running of these meetings and they will provide meaningful input for the researchers and allow the impact of the advice to be measured.

Please note we do not provide letters of support for studies but you will be sent feedback following your meeting that you can use if you wish to support your application to funders.

We collect EDI information as standard as part of any application to the network we receive so we can ensure that we have good representation on our network. As part of our strategy setting process, we consider EDI to make sure that any specific questions that need to be answered regarding this are incorporated into the strategic priorities for our groups.

Our work to advance cancer research puts cancer patients and carers at its heart, by inviting patients, carers and others affected by cancer (also known as ‘consumers’) to participate in all aspects of our work. Patients and carers shape actions at the national level as part of the NCRI Groups, and they are also represented on the Strategy Advisory Group and NCRI’s Board of Trustees, contributing to setting NCRI’s strategy and governance. For more information about the NCRI Consumer Forum and/or to express your interest in getting involved, click here.

NCRI is creating a research-ready workforce, strengthening the retention of early career researchers and facilitating the early interaction of clinical and preclinical researchers through the NCRI Early Career Researcher Forum. We invite any early career researcher who is interested in and/or working towards a career in cancer related research to join the ECR Forum (this includes both clinical and non-clinical colleagues based in the UK). The Forum provides opportunities for early career researchers to build collaborative networks in their field of interest whilst enhancing their skills and supporting career development through training, mentoring, networking and research involvement opportunities.

In addition, members of the NCRI Early Career Researcher Forum interested in or working towards becoming independent investigators will have access to opportunities to join NCRI Groups and actively contribute to the acceleration of cancer research within their areas of expertise.