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We want people affected by ovarian cancer to shape our medical research programme

Being a research advocate enables women living with ovarian cancer, and their friends and family, to influence and promote ovarian cancer research:

  • helping us review research grant applications
  • visiting our researchers
  • reviewing our Research Strategy regularly
  • reviewing external requests for help
  • promoting the vital role of research

Working alongside our expert Scientific Advisory Board, our 'lay reviewers' are instrumental in helping us allocate our medical research grants each year. This level of involvement is virtually unique in cancer research charities, and sets a precedent for the wider ovarian cancer research sector - not just Target Ovarian Cancer's work.

Meet our research advocates

A big thank you to all our research advocates: Sundra Singam, Sarah Unwin, Charlotte Kenten, Deirdre Delorme, Esther Matthews, Freddie Reynolds, Hilary Morrison, Jan Brownfoot, Justin Champagne, Karen Hirst, Lynn Jones, Lynn Hill, Margaret Cullum, Tarlochan Boparai, Amanda Cawthorn, Anne Ainsworth, Val Balding and Alicia Lirola.

Several of our advocates have shared their stories of diagnosis and treatment and inspiration for becoming a research advocate with us

  • Amanda Cawthorn shared her story with us and wrote a blog after attending training course at Warwick University
  • Hilary Morrison is a retired GP who is also a patient representative on the GP advisory board. She has shared her story and written two blogs, one explaining her role on the GP advisory board and another telling of her experience using a cold cap during chemotherapy
  • Sarah Unwin has shared her story with us and wrote a series of three blogs of her experience of treatment and the support she received after, Finding my way through it, When so much happens, it changes you and It was so incredibly important to discover that I wasn’t on my own
  • Justin wrote a blog about what's inolved in being a research advocate
  • Lynne has shared her story with us
  • As well as a research advocate, Margaret is a keen fundraiser. She wrote a blog about what motivates her to volunteer her time

Meet Esther, a research advocate



"I felt valued as a lay reviewer on the panel for the research awards. I was able to use my own experiences of ovarian cancer to shape the future for others like me."

Esther has been involved with our medical research programme since its launch.

Esther was one of our four lay reviewers for our first ever grants round, reading all applications for our translational award and leading the review on four of them at our Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) meeting. The applications were scored by Esther, the other research advocates and the SAB, before their joint recommendations for funding were reviewed by our Trustees to approve the funding.

Esther is also one of five research advocates who have seen our researchers at work and heard about how our funding is making difference in their search for new treatments.

Esther also attended an awards ceremony where our Clinical Trials Information Centre won best contribution from a small charity. 

Find out more