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Diversity Career Development Program

NCI is committed to excellence in science and to fostering a diverse and inclusive workforce. The Diversity Career Development Program (DCDP) seeks to empower talented intramural postdoctoral trainees, including but not limited to those from underrepresented groups in biomedical research, to achieve their full potential at NCI.

The DCDP is supported by the NCI Center for Cancer Training, Intramural Diversity Workforce Branch, and its main goal is to provide NCI postdoctoral trainees with the tools necessary to develop as leaders in academic independent research careers. Nominations from underrepresented groups* and individuals with disabilities are highly encouraged.  

Sessions will provide a variety of resources to help participants:

  • Identify and celebrate the fellows’ unique talents.
  • Define priorities in developing independent research careers and in their lives.
  • Build confidence as scientists, leaders, and individuals.
  • Confront their inner dialogue and limiting beliefs.
  • Set a vision and goals for an independent research career.
  • Envision and build strong relationships and networks.
  • Learn how to have difficult conversations to generate results.

NCI Director Dr. Ned Sharpless meets with the 2022 NCI Diversity Career Development Program participants.

How to apply 

The application cycle is CLOSED.

Note: The DCDP requires a significant time commitment to ensure participants receive the full benefit from the program.  Interested postdoctoral fellows (NCI intramural fellows only) should talk to their supervisors about the program, discussing the requirements, and their willingness to participate. 

Start/End Dates December - October
Announcement Posted October 19, 2022
Application Due Date November 9, 2022
Letters of support due date November 11, 2022

Selection is a two-step process:

Step 1- Application

  • Nominees must complete the application and submit a personal statement (not to exceed one page) detailing interest with goals/expectations for the program, and an updated CV.

Step 2 - Letter of Support 

  • Once nominees submit their application, the supervisor will be automatically emailed with instructions on how to submit the Letter of Support on the nominees' behalf.  Not only should the Letter of Support acknowledge the program’s time commitment, but also a statement on how the DCDP would benefit the applicant.  Note, applications will not be accepted without the supervisor’s Letter of Support.

Nominations will be carefully evaluated by an NCI intramural selection committee and up to 12 individuals will be invited to participate in the program.

DCDP 2023 Agenda

Please access the tentative agenda here. Note: These dates may be subject to change.

2019 NCI Diversity Career Development Program participants, visiting with Acting NCI Director Dr. Douglas Lowy.


NCI Director Dr. Norman E. Sharpless meets with the 2018 NCI Diversity Career Development Program participants.


NCI then-Acting Director Doug Lowy, M.D. (center), meets with the 2017 Diversity Career Development Program trainees.

*Underrepresented individuals are defined by NIH as individuals shown to be underrepresented in biomedical research: African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders

  • Updated: