CGH Short Term Scientist Exchange Program (STSEP)

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Quick Facts

  • Promotes collaborative research between established U.S. and foreign scientists from low- and middle-incoming countries (LMICs) and upper-middle income countries by supporting, in part, exchange visits of cancer researchers between U.S. and foreign laboratories
  • Applications are accepted throughout the year
    • Application deadlines are: March 1, June 1, September 1, December 1
    • Candidates are notified of the funding decisions within one month of these deadlines
  • Visits are six months or less and cannot be renewed or extended

General Requirements

  • For U.S. candidates visiting abroad, the Principal Investigator (PI) of the host institution must be an established scientist recognized in the international peer-reviewed literature (a cost-shared subsistence allowance is provided, calculated based on World Health Organization estimates for the host institution country).
  • Non-U.S. candidates applying to work in U.S. laboratories must be from LMICs, as defined by World Bank Income Categories, and be proficient in spoken and written English.
  • Awardees must fulfill the visa requirements of the host country.
    • Awards are limited to visits of six months or less, and cannot be renewed or extended
    • Shorter visits are given preference
    • The STSEP follows NIH fellowship guidelines for subsistence allowance, generally split equally between NCI and either the home or host institution
  • NCI’s scientist exchange programs require that you identify and obtain an invitation from a qualified laboratory which agrees to host the exchange visit.
    • A qualified U.S. host must be an established scientist recognized in the international peer-review literature, as well as either an investigator in the NCI Intramural Program or a Principal Investigator on an NCI research grant (or a grant from another NIH institute for cancer-related research)
    • More information is available on NCI intramural research and the entire NCI Funded Research Portfolio, which includes intramural scientists and extramural grantees


To be eligible for this research program, you must:

  • Have a Ph.D., M.D., or a certified equivalent degree
  • Have a minimum of one-year postdoctoral experience in cancer research
  • Have an invitation from a qualified host

You are not eligible for this program if you hold a U.S. permanent resident status ("green card") or a work visa.

How to Apply

You must send the following to CGH, which can be emailed to

  1. A letter of application including a short curriculum vitae and up to five relevant publications.
  2. A letter from the department chair or director of the home institution stating the approximate salary you will receive from the home institution during the exchange visit and the conditions of employment for the candidate subsequent to the exchange period.
  3. Three letters of reference. These may be provided directly along with other application documents or mailed to the address below and received by the application deadline. Current home or host supervisors, as identified in your application, cannot act in this capacity; their recommendation should be included in the letters from the department chair or director, or the letter of invitation.
  4. A letter of invitation from the prospective host institution.
  5. Either the home or host institution must indicate willingness to share costs with NCI according to the terms described herein.
  6. A one- to four-page description of the collaborative research work to be undertaken in the host laboratory, specifying what is to be accomplished, indicating tentative dates for the visit and describing the added value of the exchange.
  7. Physicians whose proposed work involves incidental patient care need to have passed the Non-U.S. Medical Graduate Examination in the Medical Sciences (FMGEMS).
  8. Copies of degrees in original language and copies of English translations of those degrees.
  9. Your home institution or U.S. host provides travel expenses. You must provide letters from appropriate individuals in the home or host institutions certifying to NCI that the home or host institution agrees to transfer funds to NCI or its contractor covering the home or host institution obligation for the period of the exchange.

If you are a non-U.S. candidate who is accepted into the program, you will receive a letter that you will need to use to apply for a visa at the American Embassy or Consulate in the country of origin. Once an exchange has been approved and an agreement has been reached between you, the home and host institutions, and CGH, any changes of date or other conditions must be approved by all parties including NCI. Change of sponsor will, in general, not be permitted once an award has been made.


Program Coordinator

Center for Global Health
National Cancer Institute
9609 Medical Center Drive, Room 3W566
Rockville, MD 20892-9760

Phone: +1 (240) 276-5810
Fax: +1 (240) 276-5820

  • Posted: June 23, 2014