There is growing concern that the number of oncologists engaged in clinical translational prevention research in the United States is inadequate and scarce attention has been paid to future workforce needs in the area of cancer prevention, as opposed to treatment. This observation comes at a time when the need for healthcare providers and researchers with expertise in prevention and control is increasing. ASCO’s Cancer Prevention Committee (CaPC) has identified increasing the prevention researcher workforce as an issue of high priority.  In 2013, the CaPC established a work group charged with identifying how ASCO can help ensure an adequate number of oncologists remain in the field of cancer prevention.  A survey of fellows and training program directors was conducted to inform this work, and a set of recommendations was published in late 2015. 

Cancer Prevention Research Toolkit for Training Program Directors

The cancer prevention research community is made up of basic science researchers, epidemiologists, behavioral scientists, and to a lesser extent, clinician/scientists/educators.  There is a paucity of prevention researchers who are also well versed in the clinical oncology, leading to an overall diminished focus on cancer prevention research in the broader academic oncology community, and therefore to a lack of opportunities and mentorship for early career oncologists and trainees with an interest in cancer prevention.  Oncologists need to be engaged in this type of research to provide knowledge and expertise as trials are designed to ensure outcomes can be clinically implemented and appropriate knowledge translation resources developed. However, fellows and early career professionals do not see cancer prevention research as a viable career pathway. CLICK HERE for a downloadable version of the list of resources detailed below. 

Training Opportunities

In Person Training Programs:

  • National Cancer Institute Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program – Summer Curriculum (5 weeks)
    The Summer Curriculum offers two free, in-person course options designed to provide an interactive training experience to allow participants to develop a thorough knowledge about cancer prevention and control.
  • MD Anderson CPRTP Summer Research Experience (10 weeks)
    The Cancer Prevention Research Training Program (CPRTP) Summer Research Experience is a paid internship designed to provide research experience and mentoring for undergraduate, graduate and health profession students interested in cancer prevention research. Students will learn about current and innovative topics in cancer prevention at seminars, explore the possibility of a career in science, and get to know other MD Anderson summer students with similar interests.  Under the guidance of a matched faculty mentor, summer trainees will collaborate full-time on an independent research project and receive additional mentoring by a research staff of graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, research assistants and laboratory technicians.
  • AACR-ASCO Methods in Clinical Cancer Research
    An intensive workshop in the essentials of effective clinical trial designs of therapeutic interventions in the treatment of cancer for clinical fellow and junior faculty clinical researchers in all oncology subspecialties, including radiation and surgical oncology and radiology.
  • City of Hope Cancer Genetics Career Development Program (Funding Pending)
    This rigorous two-year program melds broad-spectrum mentored didactic and research training with graduate coursework in clinical cancer genetics, oncology, biostatistics, epidemiology, research methodology, clinical training and a research project , which may be in basic science or translational and clinical investigation.
  • NIH/NCI:  Joint Training Opportunity in Oncology and Cancer Prevention
    The ACGME-accredited NIH Hematology Oncology Fellowship and the NCI Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program (CPFP,) have created a joint training opportunity for oncologists with research interests related to cancer prevention and control.This 3-4 year training program will provide (a) clinical training leading to board-eligibility, (b) a Master’s in Public Health (MPH) degree sponsored by NCI, and (c) mentored research and professional development opportunities through the CPFP.This opportunity is particularly suited for individuals interested in pursuing academic medicine.Applications are accepted annually through the NIH Hematology Oncology Fellowship via the ERAS system.

Online Workshops/Courses/Training Materials on Cancer Prevention Topics:

Research Fellowships specific to cancer prevention

  • National Cancer Institute Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program (fellowship training on-site at NCI)
    The Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program (CPFP) is a multidisciplinary, postdoctoral, research training program that aims to develop future leaders in the field of cancer prevention and control.  The centerpiece of the program is mentored research with experienced NCI investigators.  Formal training in scientific, professional, leadership, and interpersonal skills are also an integral component of the CPFP, as is individualized career development mentoring. The CPFP also provides the opportunity to obtain a Master’s in Public Health (MPH) degree sponsored by NCI.  Stipend support is provided for up to 4 years.
  • The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
    The Cancer Prevention Research Training Program at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center prepares scientists and clinicians to achieve leadership roles as research investigators in the field of cancer prevention and control. Trainees are immersed in the type of cross-disciplinary research environment typical of cancer prevention and control research, with the objective of launching the trainee in the scientific research role of principal investigator relatively early in his or her career. The program is designed to expand the perspective of the trainees by moving them from their base of strength in a particular specialty and to equip them with additional knowledge of the other cancer prevention and control disciplines.
  • Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Cancer Prevention Fellowship
    This program draws on the teaching, scientific research, and field activities of Harvard Chan, the clinical resources of the DFCI, and the shared laboratory and scientific facilities of both institutions to form the basis for a comprehensive education program in cancer prevention and control. The National Cancer Institute funds this programTo be eligible, applicants must be a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident.
  • Prevent Cancer Foundation Grants & Fellowships
    For over 30 years, the Prevent Cancer Foundation has been funding grants and fellowships that demonstrates potential for impact on cancer prevention/early detection. The goal of the Research Program is to provide funding for innovative projects expected to lead to future funding from other peer-reviewed sources. The grants and fellowships selection process utilizes a research proposal review system similar to that of the National Institutes of Health.
  • NCI T32 Postdoctoral Fellowships Oriented to Prevention
    NCI Center for Cancer Training administers the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) T32 training grant. NCI’s T32 grant is awarded to domestic institutions to develop or enhance cancer research training opportunities. At least 75% of the supported fellows at awardee institutions are postdoctoral fellows. Eligible postdoctoral fellows can receive up to three years of support from the T32.  NCI-funded T32 grants can support any type of cancer research, and some PIs include clear cancer prevention and control aims for their T32’s.

    ​The list of currently funded T32 grants can be found entering %T32% as the Project Number/Application ID, selecting NCI as the Agency/Institute/Center, and then clicking on Submit Query.  An additional Text Search Term of “prevention” will help identify the list of T32’s with some cancer prevention orientation.

    • Click Here for information on the program available at the University of Buffalo and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center  
  • American Cancer Society Preventive Medicine Residency Training in Cancer Prevention and Control
    This two-year residency position program involves the completion of the Master of Public Health degree, as well as intensive practicum experience involving the development of clinical, research, teaching, and public health skills relevant to a career that includes cancer prevention and control. Successful completion of the training qualifies residents to apply for specialty board certification by the American Board of Preventive Medicine. Qualified applicants must have successfully completed at least 12 months of clinical education in a residency program accredited by the ACGME, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, or the College of Family Physicians of Canada. Positions are available at seven residency programs in the U.S.
  • The Ambrose Monell Cancer Genomic Medicine Clinical Fellowship at Cleveland Clinic
    The Cleveland Clinic Cancer Genomic Medicine Fellowship is designed to train MDs and MD/PhDs to incorporate genomic medicine into their clinical and research activities.
  • The Cancer Genetic Epidemiology Research Training Program at Mayo Clinic
    The Cancer Genetic Epidemiology Research Training Program at Mayo Clinic is designed to produce investigators capable of developing independent careers in cancer research that transects the disciplines of genomics, epidemiology, statistical genetics, bioinformatics and clinical informatics. The multidisciplinary training offered by the program integrates omic technologies and methods into epidemiology studies to stimulate improvements in cancer detection, prevention and treatment.

Funding Opportunities

  • Conquer Cancer: The ASCO Foundation
    The Global Oncology Young Investigator Award and Young Investigator Award provide funding to early career investigators; prevention research is an eligible area of research for these awards. Learn more.


Mentorship Opportunities

  • ASCO Virtual Mentors Program
    The ASCO Virtual Mentoring Program is a yearling program designed to support oncologists with unmet mentoring needs.  It pairs oncologists with a mentor outside of their institution through virtual technology. This program is designed to support the individual learning, growth, and professional development of each mentee.