Cancer Research Postbac Program

The Cancer Research Postbac Program (CRP) provides recent college graduates the opportunity to complete a paid postbaccalaureate fellowship within the NCI intramural research program or select offices within the NCI extramural program. Within the NCI divisions, candidates will have the ability to explore opportunities in basic and clinical research, cancer epidemiology and genetics research, cancer control science, as well as global health.

NCI is committed to training the next generation of scientific leaders, and it is crucial that this reflects the diversity of the population we serve. We strongly encourage individuals from underrepresented populations in biomedical research to submit applications. The Cancer Research Postbac Program (CRP; formerly known as the Introduction to Cancer Research Careers) contributes to this mission by following a cohort model, providing additional professional development resources, and networking to support a future career in the biomedical sciences.

Dec 11, 2023 CRI SP Pre-Application Webinar recording

Why choose NCI CRP for a Postbac?

A postbaccalaureate fellowship is an opportunity to spend up to two years conducting full-time research at the NCI. NCI offers competitive stipends, starting at $41,700, which increases annually with each year of experience. The cost of health insurance, which includes medical, prescription, vision, and dental insurance, is also provided at no cost. This fellowship is an excellent choice for a recent undergraduate looking to conduct research during a gap year. During your postbac training, you are encouraged to participate in professional and career development activities that will prepare you for medical school, graduate school, or the biomedical workforce.

NCI offers a research environment that is second-to-none in quality of science and mentoring. Our postbacs are given their own research project and are mentored by some of the world's leading experts in cancer research. NCI is a highly collaborative environment, with collaborations amongst the NCI divisions, the country, and even internationally. Within the research environments, you will find that you will meet with your mentor, research group and branch/division frequently. Many of our postbacs participate in journal clubs, branch meetings, and present at NIH Postbac Poster Day.

CRP Timeline

  • Application Cycle Opens
    Dec 4, 2023
  • Application Due Date
    Jan 19, 2024
  • Reference Letter Due Date
    Jan 24, 2024
  • Selection for Interviews
    Mar 18, 2024
  • Program Interviews
    Late-Mar to Late-Apr, 2024
  • Acceptance Deadline
    Apr 30, 2024
  • Onboarding Final Date
    Aug 1, 2024
Benefits of a CRP Fellow
  • Sense of community with CRP cohort
  • Receive a travel award to encourage presentation of your work at a national meeting
  • Professional and career development opportunities to prepare you for medical school or graduate school
  • Access to additional training, courses, and workshops to facilitate your project goals

Learn more about the research

The NCI is comprised of two components: intramural and extramural. The Intramural Research Program (IRP) supports projects conducted by scientists located at NCI whereas extramural refers to grants and contracts provided to other institutions. The majority of training opportunities can be found within the IRP, which includes the Center for Cancer Research (CCR) and the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG). Additional opportunities can be found in select extramural divisions, including but not limited to the Division of Cancer Control and Population Science (DCCPS) and the Center for Global Health (CGH).

The Center for Cancer Research (CCR) is home to more than 250 scientists and clinicians leading intramural research at NCI. CCR is organized into over 50 branches and laboratories, each one grouping scientists with complementary interests. CCR's investigators are basic, clinical, and translational scientists who work together to advance our knowledge of cancer and AIDS and to develop new therapies against these diseases. CCR investigators collaborate with scientists at the more than 20 other Institutes and Centers of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), as well as with extramural scientists in academia and industry.

CCR is committed to supporting and training the next generation of cancer researchers, helping launch careers in basic/translational and clinical cancer research. The CCR and NCI offer a research environment that is second-to-none in quality of science and quality of life. All fellowships are intended to increase the number of scientists and physicians who specialize in basic, translational, or clinical biomedical research. Fellows will receive strong mentoring, work with multidisciplinary teams, and have access to world class technology, as well as over 40 cores and other resources.

Investigators within CCR are located on the Bethesda or the Frederick campuses. For additional information about research at CCR, please visit https://ccr.cancer.gov/staff-directory/principal-investigators/research-areas.

The Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG) conducts population and multidisciplinary research to discover the genetic and environmental determinants of cancer and new approaches to cancer prevention.

DCEG's multidisciplinary research covers most types of cancer and many exposures in a variety of populations. Our cadre of in-house scientists - epidemiologists, geneticists, biostatisticians, and clinicians - form interdisciplinary teams to study complex questions. DCEG forms collaborative partnerships within the NIH/NCI intramural research program and with scientists at academic and medical institutions around the world, which enables it to carry out its research. Fellows will receive world-class training in epidemiological methods, statistical analysis, study design, genetic susceptibility, functional studies, etiology, exposure assessment, and more.

Investigators within DCEG are located at the Shady Grove (Rockville) campus. For additional information about research at DCEG, please visit https://dceg.cancer.gov/research/what-we-study

The Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS) aims to reduce risk, incidence, and deaths from cancer as well as enhance the quality of life for cancer survivors. The division conducts and supports an integrated program of the highest quality genetic, epidemiological, behavioral, social, applied, and surveillance cancer research. DCCPS-funded research aims to understand the causes and distribution of cancer in populations, support the development and delivery of effective interventions, and monitor and explain cancer trends in all segments of the population. Central to these activities is the process of synthesis and decision making that aids in evaluating what has been learned, identifying new priorities and strategies, and effectively applying research discoveries to reduce the cancer burden. Fellows will work with a mentor on research projects, literature reviews, data analyses, presentations, and/or manuscript preparation.

Scientists within DCCPS are located at the Shady Grove (Rockville) campus. For additional information about DCCPS, please visit https://cancercontrol.cancer.gov/.

The Center for Global Health (CGH) supports the NCI mission by advancing global cancer research and coordinating NCI engagement in global cancer control. CGH implements and advances programs that strengthen NCI's existing global research portfolio, coordinates and develops research and training initiatives, and establishes and facilitates international research networks and partnerships to decrease the global burden of cancer. Fellows will support in programmatic aspects of CGH's programs, which includes but is not limited to topics such as technology and mHealth for cancer control in low- and middle-income countries, dissemination and implementation science, and behavioral research for cancer prevention.

Scientists within CGH are located at the Shady Grove (Rockville) campus. For additional information about CGH, please visit www.cancer.gov/about-nci/organization/cgh.