UK charities team up to empower early-career researchers

Published date:
October 3 2023

Through its Entrepreneurial Programmes, Cancer Research Horizons has joined forces with Wellcome to co-fund the hugely successful Broadening Horizons mentoring programme, which is delivered by Moving Ahead, experts in mentoring initiatives to support diverse talent.

Now in its third year, this pioneering programme is designed to empower and support early-career researchers with a passion for translational research and has already made a significant mark on the academic and research community. Since its inception, Broadening Horizons has provided guidance and support to 200 participants from 45 universities and organisations across various sectors. It does this by matching mentors from industry with mentees from participating universities and institutes, with the team at Moving Ahead guiding the cohort through a nine-month journey of learning, empowerment and development, expertly facilitated from beginning to end. The core aim of Broadening Horizons is to nurture the growth and development of early-career researchers while raising awareness of the critical skills and mindset required to transform groundbreaking discoveries into practical applications that benefit society.

Key programme highlights

  • Cross-sector mentoring: Broadening Horizons bridges the gap between academia and practical application by pairing mentees with experienced mentors from industry, policy, and the third sector. This multi-faceted approach ensures mentees gain a holistic understanding of the translational research landscape.
  • Tools and knowledge: Participants benefit from a wealth of knowledge and resources, equipping them with the necessary skills to navigate the complex journey from lab to application successfully.
  • Exposure and opportunities: The programme offers mentees invaluable exposure to real-world opportunities in translating research, providing them with the tools, knowledge, and guidance necessary for success.
  • Networking opportunities: In addition to mentoring sessions, Broadening Horizons hosts key networking events throughout the year, fostering connections among participants, industry experts, and potential collaborators.

Tony Hickson, Chief Business Officer of Cancer Research Horizons, said: “The Broadening Horizons cross-sector mentoring programme has a proven track record of success, and we are thrilled to be able to offer early-career cancer researchers the opportunity to take part. We are excited to be working in partnership with Wellcome, and delivery partner Moving Ahead, to support Broadening Horizons as part of Cancer Research Horizons' Entrepreneurial Programmes. Broadening Horizons enables us to not only inspire early-career cancer researcher to be the next generation of translational researchers, but to give them the skills and support they need.”

Ben Murton, Head of Early Career and Career Development Researchers, Discovery Research, Wellcome, said: “Discovery Research at Wellcome is delighted to be working in partnership with Cancer Research Horizons and Moving Ahead to continue to deliver Broadening Horizons. We are convinced that early career researchers working on discovery research questions will be empowered to find connections and build knowledge more effectively when they are aware of their place in the wider research and innovation system and developed in the skills needed to advance their careers. This scheme is a proven success, and we are excited to be expanding the diversity of our network of partners and researchers to support the next generation of research leaders.”

The next Broadening Horizons programme launches in January 2024 and all early-career researchers, established professionals, institutions, and organisations are invited to take part. To register your interest and find out more you can email [email protected].


About Cancer Research Horizons

Cancer Research Horizons is the innovation engine of Cancer Research UK – the world's largest charitable funder of cancer research. We bring together world-leading minds, bold ideas and the right partners to bridge the gap between academic research and taking drugs to market. We focus on the tougher, more profound ideas that can lead to true innovation, translating them into effective treatments and diagnostics for cancer patients.

To date, we've played an instrumental role in forming over 60 spin-out companies. We've helped bring 11 cancer drugs to market, borne out of Cancer Research UK's pioneering research. Through these drugs, we have enabled in excess of 6 million courses of treatment for cancer patients across the world.

With access to Cancer Research UK's network of 4,000 exceptional researchers, and £300+ million of annual research spend, we're a powerful partner in the fight to conquer cancer. By uniting our commercial partnerships and therapeutic innovation capabilities, Cancer Research Horizons is uniquely placed to support translational funding, entrepreneurial development, licensing and collaboration, spinout creation, and offer a full spectrum of drug discovery and clinical capabilities.

Every penny we make goes back into funding the next bold steps, to help bring forward the day when all cancers are conquered.

About Wellcome

Wellcome supports science to solve the urgent health challenges facing everyone. We support discovery research into life, health and wellbeing, and we’re taking on three worldwide health challenges: mental health, infectious disease and climate and health.