Looking to make your research count?

Introducing….The Activate Challenge  

Oncology researchers share a common trait – the deep desire to make a difference to people suffering from 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 CRUK 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 CRUK 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 - both CRUK and non-CRUK funded - includes bespoke training, 1-2-1 support and networks. We even have prize packages of £1k cash and £3k in-kind consultancy to give away to the three most exciting projects! 

Register now to explore the potential of your research.

cancer uk image.jpeg

3 x prizes

cash & consultancy

3 x days

bespoke training

Who's eligible?

The Activate Challenge is open to all CRUK funded and non-CRUK funded researchers based in Northern Ireland.

Read our full terms and conditions

Regisrations are welcomed from both CRUK-funded and non-CRUK funded oncology researchers.

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

What's involved?

Registration couldn’t be simpler – just click the blue button below, complete the form and email 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 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
  • 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

Any Questions?

We are running a series of workshops to explain the opportunity. 

1 September 2021 - 13.00 - 14.00:  The how and the why of translating cancer research - Book here

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.

8 September 2021 - 13.00 - 14.00: The impact of research translation - Book here

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 Cancer Research Activate Challenge, powered by Converge, for researchers interested in developing their entrepreneurial skills and exploring the translational and commercial potential of their research.

If you have any other questions about the Activate Challenge, please feel free to contact 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

Our video series about research translation and how to apply for the Activate Challenge is now available to view on-demand:

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

The Why and the How of Translating Cancer Research

The Impact of Research Translation

How to apply for the Activate Challenge