This unique programme is developing leaders of the future who can create collaborations across academia, industry, the NHS and government to drive innovation.
The Future Leaders in Innovation, Enterprise and Research (FLIER) programme has been designed for people working in the life sciences sector and managing projects or teams, who undertake interdisciplinary working. This serves to achieve our strategic priority of supporting researchers with innovative funding that builds team and individual capacity.
“This immersive leadership programme is a fantastic opportunity for those who want to bring about change in their sphere of work and have ideas about how to work with others to solve problems in health. FLIER gives participants the time to reflect, helps them learn more about good leadership and introduces them to an exceptional group of talented people who help them achieve their vision,” says Professor Paul Stewart, our Vice-President (Clinical) and Chair of the FLIER Taskforce.
35 FLIERs have been through the two-year, immersive, cross-sector learning experience so far and 19 participants from organisations across the UK life sciences landscape were chosen to join the third round of the highly competitive programme, which started in June 2022. You can find out more about them here.
Professor Stewart says: “We are delighted by the progress of the first two cohorts of FLIER. Participants have gone on to achieve amazing success, for example collaborating on large scale studies, setting up start-ups together and creating a strong peer support group. We cannot wait to see what the new cohort of FLIER participants go on to achieve.”
Dr Rasha Al-Lamee, a previous FLIER participant from cohort 2 and a Clinical Academic Interventional Cardiology Consultant at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, says: “I joined the FLIER programme at a crucial time in my career. I was transitioning from being a member of an established research group to leading my own team. The programme was instrumental in shaping my leadership style and helping me not to feel overwhelmed by my new responsibilities. I have used my new skills to try to ensure that my group is successful and that each individual member enjoys what they do.”
The programme is equipping these emerging leaders with skills to help solve the biggest health challenges we will face, and enabling them to seize opportunities afforded to us by new discoveries in science, technology and medicine. Read about how the FLIER Future Leaders will transform the landscape in a blog from our previous President, Professor Sir Robert Lechler FMedSci.
The two-year programme brings together a cohort of emerging leaders drawn from across academia, industry, the NHS and government/policy organisations and includes:
- Residential and one-day meetings to expose participants to current national and international leaders across the wider scientific and health ecosystem
- Face-to-face and virtual workshops
- Regular tailored coaching sessions from professionals at the forefront of leadership development
- Mentorship from a leader in the life sciences sector
- Bespoke financial management training
- Cross-sector immersion experiences with an array of other organisations
- A cross-sector project. This takes place in the second year and provides an opportunity to apply acquired strategic and higher-level operational skills to a work-based project while being supported by colleagues, a coach and a mentor.
The FLIER Programme is generously supported by the Dennis and Mireille Gillings Foundation and the Government Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT).
FLIER participants are in the middle of their career, established within their own sector, with the seniority to effect organisational change and are already or are keen to undertake a cross-sector project.
All FLIER participants have an emerging vision of how cross-sector working and collaboration can help maximise opportunities and solve the future challenges of research and healthcare. They are looking to explore and shape their vision in dialogue with colleagues across sectors.
Participants’ key characteristics include motivation, vision and potential to make a difference and lead change across the sectors, learning agility, and creative, innovative and radical thinking.
The first two pilot cohorts have finished the programme and we are currently finalising the evaluation of the project.
The Academy is committed to working towards diversity and equality of opportunity. We also find it important to be transparent with our diversity data.
- In cohort 1, the 17 selected participants are drawn from four sectors – there are 9 representing Academia, 3 representing Government/public and charitable sector, 3 representing Industry, and 2 representing the NHS. 8 of the 17 participants are women.
- In cohort 2, the 18 selected participants are drawn from four sectors – there are 12 representing Academia, 2 representing Government/public and charitable sector, 2 representing Industry, and 2 representing the NHS. 11 of the 18 participants are women.
- In cohort 3, the 19 selected participants are drawn from six sectors – there are 12 representing academia, 2 representing the charitable sector, 2 representing industry, 1 from government/public/policy, 1 representing the NHS and 1 representing media/science communications. 13 of the 19 participants are women.
The programme was developed by a cross-sector Taskforce of current leaders, and is delivered in partnership with bespoke leadership, talent and engagement specialists Accenture.
Current members of the FLIER Taskforce are:
- Professor Paul Stewart FMedSci (Interim Chair), Professor of Medicine and Health Policy Adviser to the Vice Chancellor, University of Leeds
- Dr Niina Kolehmainen, Reader in Allied Child Health, Newcastle University
- Dr Melanie Lee FMedSci,Chief Executive Officer, LifeArc
- Professor Lorna Marson, Professor of Transplant Surgery and Honorary Consultant Transplant Surgeon, University of Edinburgh
- Professor Jane Norman FMedSci, Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Nottingham
- Professor Duncan Richards, Climax Professor of Clinical Therapeutics, University of Oxford
- Professor Katherine Sleeman, Laing Galazka Chair in Palliative Care and NIHR Clinician Scientist, King's College London
- Professor Ijeoma Uchegbu FMedSci, Professor of Pharmaceutical Nanoscience, University College London
For further background on why we developed the programme read a blog from our President, Professor Sir Robert Lechler PMedSci 'Why the future needs a new kind of leader'
In June 2018 we were delighted to announce that the programme would be supported by the UK Government’s Investment in Research Talent - read more on the £11.2 million pounds for innovative schemes the Academy will receive through this 'Talent fund'.
We are also delighted to have received a pledge from the Dennis and Mireille Gillings Foundation in September 2018 - read more about their support for leaders in medical science.
The 19 participants joining us for the third round of FLIER (June 2022 – June 2024) are:
- Dr Rubina Ahmed, Director of Research, Policy and Services, Blood Cancer UK
- Dr Alex Casson, Reader (Associate Professor), Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Manchester
- Professor Joan Condell, School of Computing, Engineering and Intelligent Systems, Ulster University
- Professor Bibek Gooptu, Professor of Respiratory Biology, University of Leicester
- Dr Gita Khalili Moghaddam, UKRI Innovation Scholar, University of Cambridge
- Dr Simon Lambden, Head of Medical Science, Inotrem
- Professor Julie-Anne Little, Senior Lecturer in Optometry, Ulster University
- Ms Emma Lowe, Head of Research Policy: Clinical Research and Growth, Department of Health and Social Care
- Professor Charlotte Manisty, Professor of Cardiology, University College London
- Dr Maeva May, Head of Policy, British Heart Foundation
- Dr Jacqueline Maybin, Senior Clinical Research Fellow, MRC Centre for Reproductive Health, University of Edinburgh & Honorary Consultant Gynaecologist, NHS Lothian
- Dr Shivani Misra, Senior Clinical Lecturer in Diabetes & Consultant in Metabolic Medicine, Imperial College London
- Dr Dhruv Parekh, Associate Professor in Critical Care and Respiratory Medicine, University of Birmingham
- Professor Sheena Ramsay, Professor of Public Health & Epidemiology, Newcastle University
- Dr Jenny Rivers, Acting Director of Research & Innovation, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust
- Dr Sarah Stock, Reader & Honorary Consultant in Maternal and Fetal Medicine, University of Edinburgh
- Dr Helen Surana, Associate Editor, BMJ Innovations
- Professor Mike Trenell, Founder, Changing Health & Honorary Professor of Digital Medicine, Newcastle University
- Dr Paul Welsh, Reader, Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, University of Glasgow