Dragons’ Den - Involving Patients and Carers in Cancer Research


The Patient Voice in Cancer Research in conjunction with the National Cancer Research Institute (UK) presents a workshop to bring those with a lived experience of cancer together with academic researchers working on cancer projects. 

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Is this event for me?

Have you a lived experience of cancer? Are you a patient, family member, carer or patient advocate? If so, we invite you to become a ’Friendly Dragon’ at this event.

What is the aim of this workshop?

The aim of this workshop is for researchers to get input from those with a lived experience of cancer on specific questions or challenges that they are faced with in their cancer research projects.  

What will I be asked to do?

Before the event, you can choose from one of 10 proposed topics to be discussed on the day that sparks your interest. On the day, you will sit with other ’Friendly Dragons’ at a table hosted by a researcher. This researcher will explain their specific question or challenge and ask for your opinion, advice or feedback. This might be a research idea, a draft patient survey, a poster to recruit patients onto a study or whether their plain English explanation of their work is clear.

What will I get out of being involved?

  • Your input will give valuable and unique insight to cancer researchers.
  • Your input will help to improve ongoing and future cancer research projects.


16.00 Registration and refreshments
16.30 Welcome address by Professor Amanda McCann, UCD & Chair, The Patient Voice in Cancer Research (PVCR)
16.35 Precision Oncology Ireland (POI) – Introducing a new National Cancer Research Initiative
16.45 National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) UK -  Overview and explanation of the Dragons Den initiative in cancer research.
16.50 Dragons' Den workshop: Richard Stevens and Margaret Grayson will introduce and facilitate the workshop session (1 hr)
17.55 Refreshments
18.10 Facilitated feedback from each of the tables
18.45 Closing remarks

More information about this workshop

A key objective of this workshop is to bring academic researchers and those with a direct or indirect lived experience of cancer together. The wealth of expertise surrounding each unique cancer journey will be shared with researchers to help them design more meaningful research and will give them an invaluable insight into the lives of the people they are trying to help through their research.
The Patient Voice in Cancer Research is delighted to partner with the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) UK to engage with patients and the public to reach our goal of helping cancer patients and cancer researchers collaborate.

I am a cancer researcher. How do I apply to host a table at the Dragons' Den?

To host a table at the PVCR/NCRI Dragons’ Den, you must complete a short application form, which can be obtained by emailing the NCRI Research Involvement Officer, Liane Hazell (liane.hazell@ncri.org.uk). You are welcome to present any aspect of your work that would benefit from patient representative input e.g. an idea, a proposal or existing research. For more information, contact patientvoicecancer@ucd.ie or liane.hazell@ncri.org.uk.

About us

The Patient Voice in Cancer Research (PVCR) is an initiative to actively engage cancer patients, cancer researchers and other interested parties (patient advocates, families, carers, healthcare professionals, policy-makers and those with an interest in cancer research), in discussions and decision-making processes, which positively impact on cancer research and outcomes for patients. The Patient Voice in Cancer Research is supported by Irish Cancer Society research grant PVCR19MCC

The National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) is a UK-wide partnership of research funders, working together to maximise the value and benefits of cancer research for patients and the public. We capitalise on opportunities and address challenges in research to improve the lives of people affected by cancer. A key strength of the NCRI is our broad membership, with representation across charity and Government funders as well as all four nations in the United Kingdom. NCRI involves patients, carers and others affected by cancer (also known as ‘consumers’) at all stages of its activities, including developing clinical trials and high-quality studies. Dragons' Den is an initiative of the NCRI Consumer Forum.