Chief People Officer

About ICR

We are one of the world’s most influential cancer research institutes with an outstanding record of achievement dating back more than 100 years. We are world leaders in identifying cancer genes, discovering cancer drugs and developing precision radiotherapy. Together with our hospital partner The Royal Marsden, we are rated in the top four centres for cancer research and treatment worldwide.

As well as being a world-class institute, we are a college of the University of London. We came top in the league table of university research quality compiled from the Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014).

We have charitable status and rely on support from partner organisations, charities, donors and the general public.

We carry out our research on two sites: Chelsea in central London and Sutton, south London.

Today, the ICR is rated as the UK’s leading higher education institution for the quality and impact of our research. We are world leaders in understanding the genetics and fundamental biology of cancer, the discovery and translational development of innovative targeted cancer drugs and biomarkers, and the clinical development of new forms of high-precision radiotherapy and immunotherapy. Our unique and all-important partnership with The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and integrated 'bench to bedside and back again’ approach ensure our research advances rapidly reach patients and places us among the top four centres in the world for cancer research and treatment.

As a college of the University of London, the ICR provides postgraduate higher education of international distinction. The ICR is also a charity, and relies on vital support from research grants, charity donations and royalty income.

The ICR has exciting, ambitious plans to enhance and expand its work at a time when the academic and clinical cancer research environment is evolving rapidly. We are building capability and capacity in many key strategic areas, including cancer biology, cancer evolution and treatment resistance, drug discovery and development, immuno-oncology, data science and AI, and precision radiotherapy and are seeking to forge new collaborations involving fields such as convergence science.

The global pandemic has taught us that our work is needed more than ever to make the discoveries that defeat cancer. Building on our strong financial base, we have work ahead to develop the partnerships and income streams which can ensure our financial sustainability into the longer term.


The ICR has a highly skilled and committed workforce, with a wide variety of roles, each requiring different skills. But whether you work as a researcher, or work as part of our corporate team, your work and behaviour is underpinned by these six values. They are what bring us together as one team - as 'One ICR'.


ICR’s values represent a shared understanding of our desired behaviours, attitudes and culture. They guide how we make decisions and treat each other. They make it clear how each and every one of us work to meet our mission – to make the discoveries that defeat cancer.

Pursuing excellence
We aspire to excellence in everything we do and aim to be leaders in our field.

Acting with integrity
We promote an open and honest environment that gives credit and acknowledges mistakes, so that our actions stand up to scrutiny.

Valuing all our people
We value the contribution of all our people, help them reach their full potential, and treat everyone with kindness and respect.

Working together
We collaborate with colleagues and partners to bring together different skills, resources and perspectives.

Leading innovation
We do things differently in ways that no one else has done before and share the expertise and learning we gain.

Making a difference
We all play our part, doing a little bit more, a little bit better, to help improve the lives of people with cancer.

Our values represent a shared understanding of our desired behaviours, attitudes and culture. They guide how we make decisions and treat each other. They make it clear how each and every one of us work together to meet our mission – to make the discoveries that defeat cancer.”

Professor Paul Workman FRS

Chief Executive

The Role

To further develop and enhance ICR’s People Strategy; recruiting, retaining, motivating and developing staff to realise their full potential to enact or support cancer research of the highest international standards within the context of ICR’s strategic plan.

The Chief People Officer originates and leads Human Resources practices and objectives that will provide an employee-oriented, high-performance culture that emphasises empowerment, quality, productivity and standards, goal attainment, and the recruitment and ongoing development of a superior workforce delivering world leading research, designed to improve outcomes for people with cancer.

The Chief People Officer will ensure, through excellent leadership, that the quality of HR provision is exceptional and delivered in line with processes of continuous improvement. The role is in place to enhance ICR’s ability to deliver a non-limiting and fully inclusive environment for staff and students to achieve their organisational and personal goals and supporting the senior executive team in managing the balance between research and delivery of cancer treatments.

The Individual
  • A proven track record as a senior HR professional, and leader of teams.
  • Proven strategic capability, with the ability to influence senior executives and the Board.
  • Experience of working within HR in research, academia, pharmaceuticals or another relevant sector.
  • Experience of formulating and implementing successful people and organisational development strategies, policies and initiatives
  • Demonstrable success in delivering diversity & inclusion initiatives
  • Expertise in negotiating with representatives of recognised trade unions
  • An aptitude for harnessing technology to improve HR systems and processes.

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