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The Appraisal – Can we create a nation of entrepreneurial life scientists?

by Phil Prime | Podcast

28 November 2023

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In this new podcast series, Executive Director of Research & Innovation at Cancer Research UK and CEO of Cancer Research Horizons, Dr Iain Foulkes brings you crisp insight and analysis from the sharp end of research leadership.

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series The Appraisal with Dr Iain Foulkes


Cancer Research UK’s newly launched Manifesto for Cancer Research and Care – a vision for how the next UK Government can transform cancer research and care – has a number of policy recommendations, one of which revolves around building commercial innovation into reward systems. As translation of research into patient benefit is CRUK’s ultimate aim, it’s clear we have skin the game here, and a real interest in figuring out the best way to do this.

So, what is the problem with the way researchers are recognised and rewarded now? Is there still a cultural divide  between academic research and more commercially based science? And can we change this?

Time to get some big-picture thinking on all this from Iain Foulkes…

Some useful links:

Read CRUK’s Manifesto for Cancer Research and Care.

Read CRUK’s article summarising our Manifesto asks aimed at improving the UK’s research environment.

Holden Thorp Editor-in-Chief, Science journals and long-time academic and university administrator, writes in Science suggesting that endeavours to change the way research is rewarded are nothing new… and he is not hopeful that things will ever change. 

Episode of our sister podcast, Cancer Research Matters, with Simon Boulton. Simon is a Principle Group Leader at the Crick Institute, and also holds the Assistant Research Director of Translation Position, he suggests that one roadblock for academics dipping their toe into translation is the lack of a real framework for recognising scientific achievement in a translational setting. The relevant comments in this episode  start around 16.30mins.