Types of sessions at the NCRI Cancer Conference

Plenary lectures

These feature experts from the UK and overseas, invited by the Scientific Committee to give plenary lectures. All are briefed to give talks that are accessible to a broad audience. Their talks may address a broad area of work, summarise their own research, or discuss an important area of policy relating to cancer. There are plenary lectures on each of the four days of the Conference.


Each symposium comprises three talks from speakers of international standing around a broad theme. These are identified and invited by the Scientific Committee. The aim is to consider one topic from three different angles, with a mix of disciplinary approaches. A symposium may cover basic, translational and clinical research, or it may reach into areas such as social and behavioural studies, as well as approaches to prevention. Symposia should help the audience see their own work within a broader context of studies beyond their own expertise.

Parallel sessions

These are specialised sessions that mainly attract professionals in the areas on which they focus. Parallel sessions cover the full range of themes so there should always be something for everyone during the parallel session time slots. On each day there will be at least one parallel session intended to be accessible to a lay audience, though professionals frequently attend these sessions too.


Workshops are organised on a demand-led basis and vary somewhat in format. Some are educational or commercially-led training sessions, while others debate a hot topic or discuss the availability of research resources such as biosamples or datasets. Workshops are intended to include more audience participation and are essentially discussion forums.