Translate your research for patient benefit

Introducing… The Activate Challenge  

Cancer researchers share a common goal – the deep desire to make a difference to people affected by cancer.

But there’s often a huge gap between making a discovery and seeing it make clinical impact. This programme is designed to address that gap by giving researchers like you the skills you need to make your research have greater impact on patients – either now or in the future. 

Powered by Cancer Research UK and Converge, two organisations with an extensive track record in helping researchers translate their research from the lab to the clinic, the Activate Challenge will give you the support, networks and bespoke training to navigate the translation process.

The Activate Challenge is now open for registrations

Converge has an extensive track record of helping researchers translate their ideas into reality.

Our programme, tailored for cancer researchers in Northern Ireland, includes bespoke training, 1-2-1 support and networking opportunities. We even have cash and in-kind support for the best projects.  You don't have to be Cancer Research UK funded to register.

Register now to explore the potential of your research.

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bespoke training

online training to develop your skills

build your career

networking and 1-2-1 support

Who's eligible?

The Activate Challenge is open to all researchers based in Northern Ireland, with a particular focus on early-career researchers (PhD students and post docs).  You don't have to be Cancer Research UK funded to register.

Read our full terms and conditions

Registrations are welcomed from all oncology researchers, whether funded by Cancer Research UK or not.

You must be based at a university or Cancer Research UK institute in Northern Ireland to participate in this programme.

What's involved?

To get involved, please complete the short registration form and email to by 12 December. You'll be invited to attend a bespoke online training programme (half days only) in the week of 10 January 2022.

This programme will equip you with the skills to develop a short feasibility study for a translation project.  At the end of the programme you will have the opportunity to present your project to a panel of key stakeholders and to win a package of cash and in-kind support to further your translational journey.

Registration form
  • 12 December 2021
    Registrations close
  • 10 January 2022
    Attend virtual training this week
  • 24 February 2022
    Activate Challenge celebration event (online)

Want to know more?

Need to get in touch?

Drop an email to Lissa Herron in the Converge Team on

To receive updates and news about the Activate Challenge 2021 programme, sign up here:

Badri Aekbote – 2020 CRUK Activate Challenge Runner-up

Case study

“The CRUK Activate Challenge was a great learning experience for me. Coming from a purely academic background many researchers like me have seldom training and knowledge in how a business starts and runs"

View case study


Case study

Dxcover a spin-out from the University of Strathclyde is pioneering a new blood test that can detect brain tumours rapidly, allowing for early diagnosis.

View case study

Video Resources

Check out our video resources on research translation and how to apply for the Activate Challenge:

From Researcher to Entrepreneur: Ishani Malhotra of Carcinotech Ltd Shares her Experiences

How to register for the Activate Challenge