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Diversity Career Development Program

Diverse group of young adults standing in front of wall.

2023 DCDP Fellows meet with former NCI Director Dr. Monica Bertagnolli

The goal of the Diversity Career Development Program (DCDP) is to provide postdoctoral fellows from diverse backgrounds with leadership skills and tools to achieve their full potential at NCI and advance in their research careers. The DCDP aims to advance NCI’s commitment to build a more inclusive and equitable NCI community. Candidates from backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical research (NOT-OD-20-031) are strongly encouraged to apply. 

DCDP provides personal and professional development, executive coaching, career guidance, and peer support in a cohort-based model.  Facilitated sessions will take place from February – June 2024. Please view the full curriculum and the tentative agenda.

Through a series of intensive and engaging workshops, fellows will:

  1. Cultivate leadership skills: develop and enhance core leadership skills including communication, decision-making, and navigating interpersonal relationships;
  2. Build self-confidence: identify personal strengths, increase self-efficacy, and learn how to counter imposter syndrome;
  3. Engage in career planning: develop a vision for your long-term career goals and receive guidance to help you plan your next steps;
  4. Explore bias and microaggressions: explore the role of structural racism and learn strategies for addressing inequitable behaviors in the workplace; and
  5. Build a community of support: engage with your peers and session facilitators in an engaging and supportive environment.

How to apply 

Program Expectations:

DCDP requires a significant time commitment to ensure participants receive the full benefit from the program, including active participation at all sessions and completion of pre-work assignments.  Up to one excused absence may be permitted with prior approval from the Program Director.  Interested NCI postdoctoral fellows should discuss their interest in the program with their supervisors and review the tentative schedule and these expectations before applying.


All current NCI intramural postdoctoral fellows with at least 12 months remaining on your fellowship appointment are eligible to apply. Candidates from backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical research (NOT-OD-20-031) are strongly encouraged to apply. 


  • Applications Open: December 8, 2023
  • Application Due Date: January 17, 2024
  • Decision Notification: February 1, 2024
  • Program Start Date: February 12, 2024

Selection Process: 

Step 1- Application

  • Applicants must complete the application and submit:
    • Personal statement (not to exceed one page) including responses to the following:
      • Why are you interested in participating in DCDP?
      • What are your goals and expectations for the program?
      • How do you plan to use this program to advance your research career?
    • Updated CV

Step 2 - Letter of Support 

  • Once the fellow’s application is submitted, the supervisor will be automatically emailed with instructions on how to submit the Letter of Support. The Letter of Support should acknowledge the program’s time commitment as well as a statement on how DCDP would benefit the applicant.  Note, applications will not be accepted without the supervisor’s Letter of Support.

Step 3 – Review Process

  • Nominations will be carefully evaluated by an NCI selection committee. All applicants will be notified by February 1.  

For Additional Information:

If you have questions about the program, please contact Dr. Joanne D’Silva, at


2023 DCDP Fellows (left to right):

Top row: Geraldine Vilmen, Hana Veler, Alex Kleinpeter, Hawa Camara, Nirupama Kotian, Oscar Florez-Vargas, Jeyshka Reyes González

Front row: Eleanor Watts, Marguerita Correa-Mendez

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


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.

  • Updated: