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Cystic Fibrosis Trust

Research Innovation Workshops

A key element in our long-term strategy is being alert to new developments, horizon scanning so that we are ready to respond quickly and efficiently.

Research Innovation Workshops (previously described as Research Sandpits) stimulate new thinking and innovation, and are particularly effective in promoting the interdisciplinary approaches to solving complex biomedical problems.

These workshops are a useful way of creating an environment, for experts outside of CF and established CF researchers, to explore ways of working together to crack a major problem. Previously we’ve run workshops on understanding gut-related complications of CF and on clinical trials respectively.

Cancer and cystic fibrosis workshop

The next workshop will be taking place from 26–27 November 2018 and looking at cancer and cystic fibrosis.

We are inviting multidisciplinary experts from a range of areas to apply to attend. Applications must be submitted to us by Monday 1 October. Keep reading to find out more, or download the full briefing document.

Help us explore the links between CF and cancer

There is emerging evidence that suggests people with CF may be at greater risk of developing some types of cancers, particularly those of the gastrointestinal tract, when compared to the general population.

Several studies show that the risk of colorectal cancer in adults with CF is more than five times greater compared to the general population and occurs at a significantly earlier age. Organ transplantation, with the use of immune modifiers, increases this risk even more.

The workshop

To better understand the risk of cancer in people with cystic fibrosis, we are gathering a multidisciplinary group of experts for a two-day Research Innovation Workshop on 26–27 November at The Oxford Belfry, Oxford. The aim is to stimulate novel thinking and innovative approaches to understanding more about the overlap of these two conditions.

We would like to gather 25–30 experts from a diverse range of backgrounds such as, but not limited to:

  • adult CF physicians
  • gastroenterologists
  • oncologists
  • cancer biologists
  • experts in novel diagnostics
  • experts in the gut microbiome
  • patient experts

The workshop will be facilitated by The Collective and will be led by a director, aided by subject experts.

Competitive funding will be awarded post-workshop to support the development of applications for our Strategic Research Centre programme.

The objectives

The objectives of the Research Innovation Workshop are:

  • To determine whether cancer is a potential problem for people with cystic fibrosis
  • To explore the possible links between CFTR/cystic fibrosis modifier genes/other ion channels such as TMEM16/ANO1 and cancer
  • To explore potential interventions such as novel, less invasive detection methods

How to apply


The workshop is specifically aimed at generating fresh, innovative thinking in the area of cancer and cystic fibrosis. We encourage applications from a wide variety of different disciplines. Applications from private, public and third sector organisations are welcome. We regret that on this occasion, PhD students are not eligible to apply.  


Applicants can apply for the workshop by completing a short application form. Standard class travel (UK only), accommodation and subsistence costs will be met by the organisers.

The Research Innovation Workshop is an intensive, interactive, residential event and participants must attend the entire event.

The selection criteria will be based on the potential to:

  • Develop creative and exciting approaches to research in this area
  • Work collaboratively in a multi-disciplinary environment, communicating and engaging effectively
  • Demonstrate relevant research expertise and experience

Competitive pump priming funding will be available post-workshop to support the development of applications for our SRC programme.

Complete the application form


1 October 2018: Deadline for submission of application forms

8 October 2018: Applications notified of outcome

26–27 November 2018: Research Innovation Workshop event (The Oxford Belfry, Oxfordshire)

Previous sandpits 

Digesting CF – 8 Feb 2016
To facilitate fresh, new thinking to generate innovative ideas in the area of the GI tract in cystic fibrosis. 

Clinical Trials Forum - 15 May 2014
To identify the issues that hamper running clinical trials in this country, and to see how the Trust can help break down those barriers.

Research we're funding

The Trust is committed to funding and supporting cutting-edge research to find new and better treatments for cystic fibrosis. Take a look at some of that work and the progress that is being made.

Discover more

What is cystic fibrosis?

Find out more about cystic fibrosis, its diagnosis and how it is treated, as well as useful links to our publications and other organisations who can help.

Read on

More information

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