Welcome

Thank you for expressing an interest in being a Trustee of Cancer Research UK (CRUK).

CRUK is the world’s leading independent charity dedicated to cancer research. Our vision is to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured. We have an annual income of about £650m, although in the past year we, like many other charities, have taken a hit to income as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2019/20 we committed £511m to fund and facilitate research in institutes, hospitals and universities across the UK and beyond.

We contribute to beating cancer through the three key pillars of our purpose: world-leading research and translational impact, sector-leading policy and influencing, and personalised cancer information. We know that we can’t achieve our vision alone, and we work with individuals and organisations across sectors and around the world – our supporters and volunteers, research community, partners, and people affected by cancer – to beat cancer together.

This is a unique opportunity to play a crucial role in setting the future direction of the Charity as a member of a committed and focussed team of Trustees. You will be joining us at a critical time for CRUK and our mission, as we navigate the challenging landscape of the present pandemic while also looking ahead to how we maximise our impact in the longer term and achieve our goal of three in four people surviving cancer for ten years or more by 2034.

Covid-19 is the biggest challenge we’ve faced in recent history. Our ambitions have become harder to achieve and we’re facing a major hit to our income, which is slowing us down. We’ve pulled together as a team this year to support patients, get research back up and running, adjust to remote working, launch virtual fundraising and engagement, and stabilise our finances.

We have recently launched our new three-year Corporate Strategy led by our Chief Executive Officer, Michelle Mitchell, which sets out our objectives for the coming three years, as we work towards long-term recovery.

We are seeing great progress in accelerating the development of new treatments, with new commercial partnerships and a range of biotech start-ups. The innovations these activities create will help us reach our goal of improving survival for people affected by cancer as well as providing a vital stream of income we can use for future discoveries.

The NHS Long-Term Plan has research and innovation as key planks, thanks in part to our influencing work. We will continue to work alongside policymakers and people affected by cancer to make sure the NHS is fit for the future and that people can access the fruits of our discoveries. We will also grow our influence on science and innovation policy – working to ensure that the UK leads the world in oncology and life sciences R&D.

Relationships are key to our strategy, and we are working to improve the quality of the relationships we build with individuals to set us up for long-term success – for example using data and digital technologies to better engage the public at scale, or deepening engagement with philanthropists and drawing them into our mission.

I am proud to work with a group of committed Trustees who have set CRUK the vision of bringing forward the day when all cancers are cured, from the most common types to those that affect just a few people. I encourage you to seek out more information on the CRUK website – and I look forward to receiving your application.

Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz
Chair – Cancer Research UK