Take your research from bench to bedside

Introducing… The Activate Challenge  

Oncology researchers share a common trait – the deep desire to make a difference to people living with cancer. However, the gap between discoveries in the lab and real-world applications can be great. If you want your research to have greater reach and more impact for patients, then why not register for the Activate Challenge? 

Whether you’re looking to develop your career, better understand the drivers of healthcare innovation or give back to society at large, the Activate Challenge can help. 

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 oncology researchers in Northern Ireland, includes bespoke training, 1-2-1 support and networking opportunities. We even have prize packages of £1,000 cash and £2,250 in-kind consultancy to give away to the three most exciting projects!  You don't have to be Cancer Research UK funded to register.

Register now to explore the potential of your research.

cancer uk image.jpeg

3 x prizes

cash & consultancy

3 x days

bespoke training

Who can register?

The Activate Challenge is open to all researchers based in Northern Ireland. 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?

Registration couldn’t be simpler – click the blue button below, download and complete the form and email the completed form to cruk@convergechallenge.com by 12 noon on 5 October.

If successful, you'll be invited to attend our online training programme in early November.

You will then be asked to produce a short Translation Feasibility Study to be assessed by our judging panel to select the winners. See our timeline opposite for full details.

Registration form
  • 9 August 2021
    Registrations open
  • 1 September 2021
    First pre-registration workshop
  • 8 September 2021
    Second pre-registration workshop
  • 5 October 2021
    Registrations close
  • 1-3 November 2021
    Attend virtual training
  • 26 November 2021
    Submit your Translation Feasibility Study
  • 9 December 2021
    Activate Challenge Final

Want to know more?

Find out everything you need to know at one of our workshop information sessions:

The Why and How of Translating Cancer Research - 8 September, 13.00-14.00

This one-hour workshop will cover the value of research translation, the different ways in which research can be translated, and what the pathways to translation can look like. It will also include examples of recent projects translated from cancer and life science research to bring the possibilities to life.

Book now

The Impact of Research Translation - 15 September, 13.00-14.00

In this one-hour workshop, we will look at how the translation of research can extend the reach and significance of research impact into society, industry and the clinic; discuss different type of business structures that put their mission at the heart of their commercial activity; and explain more about the Activate Challenge, powered by Converge and Cancer Research UK, for researchers interested in developing their entrepreneurial skills and exploring the translational and commercial potential of their research.

Book now

Need to get in touch?

Drop an email to Lissa Herron in the Converge Team on lissa.herron@convergechallenge.com

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