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CRCHD Hosts Career Development and Scientific Workshop

, by CRCHD Staff

Applying for a grant can be a long and grueling process — but it doesn’t have to be.

To support those who are applying for NIH grants, CRCHD conducted a Career Development and Scientific Workshop on July 19th. This workshop focused on two different areas: a Continuing Umbrella of Research Experiences (CURE) session and a session for cancer health disparity investigators interested in translational research funding opportunities.

We were delighted to be able to host this workshop in Philadelphia, PA at the Fox Chase Cancer Center – Temple Health, Lewis Katz School of Medicine. More than 100 people participated in-person and an additional 30 attendees viewed the translational research funding opportunities workshop via WebEx.

CURE Session

The CURE session focused on how to develop a competitive application for either a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (F31) or one of the Career Development Awards to Promote Diversity (K01, K08, K22).

"Attending the workshop allowed me a unique insider's view of the preparation, application development and review process for a K award." —Katherine Y. Tossas-Milligan, MS, CURE Session Participant

The session kicked off with a morning plenary session which included an introduction to NIH and an overview of the CURE program. Participants were then separated into two groups based on their funding opportunity of interest, F31 or K awards. During these sessions, the groups listened to brief presentations focused on a specific component of their respective application, given by CRCHD program directors who manage these funding opportunities.

“I experienced firsthand that the NCI Program Directors were passionate about the success of young trainees aiming to develop into independent investigators. This event, overall, was very encouraging, and left me feeling even more excited about my future as a scientific investigator in my field." —Imade Imasuen-Williams, PhD Candidate, CURE Session Participant

Following these presentations were small discussion groups that included hands-on exercises developed to reinforce the points given during the presentations and provided participants an opportunity to ask questions and network with their peers.

The workshop ended with the groups reconvening for an afternoon plenary session that featured talks about grant writing and career development resources (like GMaP and NRMN), CRCHD’s training navigation initiative, and updates and tips on the NIH grant review process.

CURE Morning Plenary Session

Cancer Health Disparities Translational Research Session

Promoting translational research within the cancer health disparity field is a priority for CRCHD and NCI. The cancer health disparities translational research session provided information and practical guidance tailored for investigators interested in new NCI-sponsored funding opportunities aimed at promoting translational research in the field of cancer health disparities.

While the session reviewed several relevant funding opportunities, the agenda focused on two new programs that are anticipated to be published this fall. The first opportunity will use a U54 grant mechanism and will be an expansion of NCI’s Patient Derived Xenograft Development and Trial Centers Research Network (PDXNet) (RFA-CA-17-003). The other opportunity will be a planning grant mechanism that is related to the NCI Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPOREs) (PAR-14-353). Both new programs will focus on addressing cancer health disparities.

“Seeing interest in these new programs, specifically at this workshop, is very encouraging. We hope these funding opportunities will be valuable in making advancements in understanding and reducing the cancer health disparities.” —Tiffany Wallace, PhD, CRCHD Program Director

Presentations were given by NCI program staff, including NCI’s Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis and Division of Extramural Activities. In addition, Dr. Meenhard Herlyn of The Wistar Institute, and a current NCI SPORE grantee, spoke from his perspective as a successfully-funded investigator. The expertise represented from this diverse group of presenters provided applicants with well-rounded insight into the scientific foundation of these opportunities and tips on submitting successful applications.

Cancer Health Disparities Translational Research Session

“CRCHD takes pride in assisting our trainees and potential trainees. These technical assistance workshops are a prime example of the opportunities we provide to support career development.” —Dr. Peter Ogunbiyi, Branch Chief, CRCHD Diversity Training Branch

Interested in applying for an NIH grant? Visit our Tips & Tools page for more information, and to find out about upcoming CRCHD workshops or events, visit our Meetings & Events page.