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FLIER - leadership programme

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).

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