Search for future leaders in biomedical and health research

The Academy of Medical Sciences is opening applications for the second round of our innovative, cross-sector leadership programme, FLIER: Future Leaders in Innovation, Enterprise and Research.

The FLIER Programme offers a unique opportunity for people who are mid-career and working in academia, industry, the NHS or policy organisations to form cross sector networks and develop collaborative leadership skills. The deadline for applications is Thursday 19 September 2019.

FLIER will equip these emerging leaders with skills to help solve the biggest health challenges we will face, and enable them to seize opportunities afforded to us by new discoveries in science, technology and medicine.

The Academy is committed to working towards diversity and equality of opportunity and we actively encourage applications from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) candidates and candidates with disabilities.

We would like to see applications from people spanning the whole medical science ecosystem, including the pharmaceutical industry, biotech, regulation, policy, law, as well as basic and translational researchers.

The Academy is calling for Fellows, grant awardees and collaborators to think broadly about encouraging talented emerging leaders with a vision for collaboration across the sector to apply. Read more about the FLIER participants in Round 1.

Chelsea Roche, a lawyer from LifeArc and current FLIER participant said:

“FLIER stood out to me straight away. I’d got to a point in my career where I wanted to identify ways to work collaboratively across different sectors to address shared health challenges. I’ve got an immense amount out of the programme already and I’m really enjoying it.”

The programme will run from January 2020 to December 2021 and requires 14 days at events with fellow FLIER participants in the first year. It includes workshops on collaborative leadership, one-to-one coaching, networking opportunities, mentoring and immersion experiences at other organisations across the sector.

In the second year participants will undertake a cross-sector, work-based project in the second year to apply their acquired knowledge. Visit the FLIER Programme page to find out more about each element of the programme.

Dr Niina Kolehmainen, Newcastle University, a current FLIER Participant said:

“I was talking with a facilitator recently and I honestly think it was a career-changing conversation. There are a lot of conversations like that on the FLIER Programme.”

Professor Sir Robert Lechler PMedSci, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences, said:

“FLIER is a unique leadership programme, we don’t know of anything else like it anywhere in the world.

“The first group of FLIER future leaders are all from very different backgrounds, including industry, NHS, academia, policy and law. It has been a joy to watch these emerging leaders come together to form a supportive network that has the potential to break down traditional barriers and form collaborations to tackle some of the biggest health issues we face.

“Now we are opening the scheme again, we are particularly welcoming Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) candidates and candidates with disabilities. We also want to see applications from all parts of the life sciences sector – so whether you work in biotech, the pharmaceutical sector, the NHS, academia, patient engagement, in policy or government we want to hear from you.”

The FLIER Programme is generously supported by the Dennis and Mireille Gillings Foundation and the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy ‘Investment in Research Talent’ fund. We request an employers’ contribution of £5000 +VAT per participant; a small number of bursaries are available.

Dr Mireille Gillings Hon DSc, neuroscientist, business entrepreneur and founder of HUYA Bioscience International, said:

“I am confident that the FLIER programme will give expertise in what I call the 3M’s - management, money and medicine. Skills across the 3M’s will help get new drugs to patients faster. We are delighted to contribute to this new programme that will help fill this gap.”

Dr Dennis Gillings CBE FMedSci said:

“As a proud Honorary Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, statistician and philanthropist, I can see how vital it is to champion the next generation. We need new leaders in the health research sector that can seize opportunities and overcome hurdles to work across sectors.”

For enquiries about the programme please contact

The deadline for applications is 5pm Thursday 19 September 2019.

Visit the FLIER Programme page to apply.

To find out more about the way the Academy supports biomedical and health researchers at critical times it their career, visit our grants and programmes page.

To support the work of the Academy visit our dedicated Support Us page.

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