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NCI Center for Global Health

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Center for Global Health Short-Term Scientist Exchange Program

The Center for Global Health (CGH) Short-Term Scientist Exchange Program (STSEP) promotes collaborative research between established U.S. and foreign scientists from low, middle, and upper-middle income countries by supporting, in part, exchange visits of cancer researchers between U.S. and foreign laboratories.The visits vary in duration. Applications are accepted throughout the year, with application deadlines of June 1, September 1, December 1, and March 1. Candidates are notified of the funding decision within one month of these deadlines. 

General Conditions

Candidates must have a Ph.D., M.D., or a certified equivalent degree, a minimum of one year postdoctoral experience in cancer research, and an invitation from a qualified host. Persons holding U.S. permanent resident status ("green card") or a work visa are not eligible for this program. 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.

Eligibility Requirements

The STSEP is open to researchers meeting the requirements set forth below:

Non-U.S. Candidates Visiting U.S. Laboratories

  • Non-U.S. candidates applying to work in the U.S. must be from LMICs, as defined by World Bank Income Categories.
  • U.S. host laboratory must receive funding from the NCI.
  • Candidate must be proficient in spoken and written English.

U.S. Candidates Visiting Abroad

  • Candidates must be applying to work in the U.S. must be from LMICs, as defined by World Bank Income Categories.
  • 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, and is calculated based on World Health Organization estimates for the host institution country.

Application Procedure

The applicant must submit the following:

  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 the candidate 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. Candidate’s home institution or U.S. host provides travel expenses. The candidate 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.

Application materials can be emailed to

Non-U.S. candidates who have been accepted into the program will receive a letter with which 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 the candidate, the home and host institutions, and the Center for Global Health, 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.


Identifying a Sponsor for CGH Scientist Exchange Programs

Scientist exchange programs of the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) require that the applicant identify and obtain an invitation from a qualified laboratory which agrees to host the exchange visit. A qualified U.S. host must be either (a) an investigator in the NCI Intramural Program, or (b) a Principal Investigator on an NCI research grant (or a grant from another NIH institute for cancer-related research). A qualified non-U.S. host must be an established scientist recognized in the international peer-reviewed literature.

Information on research of NCI intramural scientists is available at, and information on the entire NCI Research Portfolio (intramural scientists and extramural grantees) is available at

For additional information contact:

Center for Global Health
National Cancer Institute
9609 Medical Center Drive, Rm 3W566
Bethesda, MD 20892-9760
Telephone: +1 (240) 276-5810
Fax: +1 (240) 276-5820