Postdoc Recruitment Event

The Postdoc Recruitment Event (PRE) provides doctoral candidates the opportunity to explore postdoctoral opportunities and determine if the National Cancer Institute (NCI) is an ideal fit for their professional goals. 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 these scholars reflect the diversity of the population we serve. We strongly encourage individuals from underrepresented populations in biomedical research to submit applications. The goals of the PRE (formerly known as the Graduate Student Recruiting Program) are to support doctoral candidates during their career exploration and raise awareness of the rich training environment and unique resources available at NCI. For additional details, please visit our PRE homepage. As part of the program, accepted applicants will:

  1. Network with Principal Investigators and laboratory personnel, current trainees, and Training Directors to learn more about research conducted at NCI;
  2. Discover professional development, career exploration, and funding opportunities that NCI offers to help postdoctoral fellows succeed in their future career paths; and
  3. Visit the NIH/NCI campuses and tour select research facilities.

Travel support, including flight, lodging, and meals are covered for eligible individuals. To be eligible for travel support, individuals must live more than 50 miles away from the NCI's main campus in Bethesda, Maryland.

Jan 23, 2024 PRE Pre-Application Webinar recording

PRE Timeline

  • Application Cycle Opens
    Jan 10, 2024
  • Application Due Date
    Feb 7, 2024
  • Reference Letter Due Date
    Feb 14, 2024
  • Notification of Decision
    Mar 28, 2024
  • PRE Conference
    May 1 - May 2, 2024

Why choose NCI for a Postdoc?

Benefits of a Postdoc
  • Extensive professional and career development opportunities
  • Access to state-of-the-art research and equipment
  • A variety of core facilities to assist with your experimental needs
  • Fellow-led groups that foster community
  • Competitive stipend and benefits

Postdoc fellowships are up to five years, with the option of an additional three years as a senior postdoc/research fellow. The average length is approximately three years but will vary considerably depending on research interests. We offer competitive stipends, starting at $65,000, which increase yearly with each year of postdoc experience. NCI also covers the cost of your health insurance, which includes medical, prescription, vision, and dental insurance.

NCI offers a research environment that is second-to-none in quality of science and mentoring. Our postdocs work side-by-side with some of the world's leading experts in cancer research.

The NCI provides an excellent training environment, with access to a wealth of seminars, courses, and workshops to facilitate both project and career goals. In addition to the opportunities provided by the individual NCI divisions, both the NCI Center for Cancer Training and the NIH Office of Intramural Training and Education offers career and professional development resources.

Within the research environments, you will find that you will meet with your mentor, research group, and branch/division frequently. Many of our postdocs participate in journal clubs, branch meetings, and activities with other NCI divisions. These activities foster collaboration and also provide opportunities to get to know scientists outside of your research group. There are also several fellow-led groups that help build a sense of community and belonging. There are groups based on research interests and career goals, as well as affinity groups to help reduce feelings of isolation.

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

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

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

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