Engage in NCI Activities

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Research advocacy is a vital activity for today’s patient community since patients provide a unique perspective in the research process, working with investigators, companies, and government agencies to accelerate progress against cancer.

Wendy Selig, Former President and CEO, Melanoma Research Alliance

The NCI Office of Advocacy Relations (OAR) uses a variety of methods to engage cancer research advocates in NCI activities. OAR assesses NCI programmatic needs and the skills, interests, and experience of each advocate to connect the right advocate to the right activity so he or she can provide the most effective contributions when working with NCI. At a minimum, an NCI research advocate must have:

  • More than two years of involvement in cancer research-related activities
  • Personal experience with cancer
    • Been diagnosed with cancer
    • Connected to someone who has been diagnosed with cancer (e.g. family member, caregiver, health care professional with direct patient contact, professional staff at advocacy organization, etc.)
  • Ability to demonstrate a collective patient perspective, meaning knowledge of multiple disease experiences and the ability to convey this collective perspective rather than one's own exclusive experience
    • There are occasions when an individual perspective is appropriate
  • Residency in the United States
  • Fluency in English

Inclusion in NCI activities depends on the above criteria as well as current advocate needs and experience.  If you meet the above criteria, please contact us for more information.

Process to Become an Advocate at NCI Inforgraphic
  1. Create: OAR will assist you in creating a profile in our research advocate system.
  2. Select: OAR will contact you when an activity that matches your skills and expertise is available. If you are interested, OAR will share your name and contact information with the requester for consideration.
  3. Prepare: If you choose to participate, OAR and the requester will prepare you for the activity.
  4. Participate: You will participate in the activity by providing the requester with insight that reflects the collective patient perspective.
  5. Evaluate: After the activity is over, OAR will seek your feedback and ask you and the requester to complete an evaluation.