This unique programme is developing leaders of the future who can create collaborations across academia, industry, the NHS and government to drive innovation.
To achieve our strategic challenges for 2017-21 and extend our work developing talented researchers, the FLIER: Future Leaders in Innovation, Enterprise and Research programme has been designed for people working in the life sciences sector and managing projects or teams, who increasingly undertake interdisciplinary working.
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 President, Professor Sir Robert Lechler PMedSci.
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 will take place in the second year and will be 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 currently in the pilot stage, during which we are conducting an evaluation. Therefore, applications are now closed – dates for potential future rounds have not yet been confirmed.
The FLIER Programme is generously supported by the Dennis and Mireille Gillings Foundation and the Government Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy ‘Investment in Research Talent’ fund.
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.
We are currently conducting a pilot with the first two cohorts. During this time we are evaluating the project.
The first cohort is made up of 17 participants and the second cohort has 18.
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 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.
The programme was developed by a cross-sector Task Force of current leaders, and is delivered in partnership with bespoke leadership, talent and engagement specialists Cirrus.
Task Force members:
Professor Martin Humphries FMedSci (Chair), Professor of Biochemistry, University of Manchester
Professor David Adams FMedSci, Professor of Hepatology, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Head of College of Medical and Dental Sciences and Dean of Medicine, Director of NIHR Birmingham Biomedical Research Unit, University of Birmingham
Dr Bruno Holthof, Chief Executive Officer, Oxford University Hospitals
Professor Jackie Hunter FMedSci, Chief Executive, Clinical and Strategic Partnerships, BenevolentAI (
Dr Melanie Lee FMedSci,Chief Executive Officer, LifeArc
Professor Jane Norman FMedSci, Dean for the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Bristol
Dr Duncan Richards, Climax Professor of Clinical Therapeutics, University of Oxford
Dr Christopher Yau, Professor of Artificial Intelligence, University of
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.