Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program

Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program

I am a cancer prevention fellow at the National
Cancer Institute. We get the opportunity to drive our own research and to ask the questions
that are important to us as well as to public health. There’s a real sense of camaraderie
between both the fellows and the staff. I love it, yes, the fellowship is amazing. I
actually really enjoy all the different projects that I’m doing and how diverse they are.
It has given me fantastic connections with people that I am really excited to keep working
with. Our leadership has been able to provide the resources that we need to progress in
our careers, and I have very supportive colleagues and collaborators. I had great mentorship
in the program, someone who guided me in not only my research, but connected me with the
right people who may be able to facilitate different areas of the research. There are
fellows who specialize in epidemiology, biostatistics, health communication, physical activity and
when you bring all of those different areas of science and sort of prevention research
together, you get an opportunity to really influence the direction and also the impact
of your research. The Cancer Prevention Fellowship is housed in the Division of Cancer Prevention.
We’re very proud of that, because that is where we hope to train the next generation
of prevention scientists. It’s important to train a cadre of scientists who have a full
understanding of population sciences and are asking questions that are crafted ultimately
to help the full population. In our program, the fellows have the autonomy to choose who
they want to work with and what projects they work on and they can also work in more than
one area. We provide support for fellows for up to four years. For those fellows who haven’t
had training in epidemiology and statistics, we will support them for a one year Master’s
degree in public health at an accredited university. If people already have that training, they
can start right into our program. They have at their beck and call the resources of all
of the NIH. We also stress highly the leadership aspect of our program. So our program deals
with both research and leadership, and opportunity for them to learn the leadership skills, teamwork
that are necessary for today’s scientists to be successful in their careers. Team science
is certainly where things are right now and by being in our program, fellows for example,
if they were a behavioral scientist learn what’s going on in laboratory research these
days in a way that if they were just to work with another behavioral scientist in their
area in another institution, they would not be exposed to it to the same level that they
can here at the National Cancer Institute. Some of the disciplines that I’ve been exposed
to within the cancer prevention fellowship range dramatically from applied epidemiology
to environmental health science, to health policy, all of these things spanning across
the cancer prevention and control continuum which then allows me to have a better perspective
of my research and how it ties in along that continuum. It really gave me the training
that I didn’t have currently which was in epidemiology and biostatistics and really
apply that to the bench research that I was doing as part of my doctoral work, and as
well as the research that I did in the fellowship, and really apply that to more of a larger
public health area. I’ve had the opportunity to get involved in a number of different professional
development training courses, which has been really fantastic. And I’ve also had the
opportunity to work in a number of different research settings, so this has been very good
in getting exposure in different areas, for instance grants management. The experience
is very well rounded, so not only do I get research training but I got training in in
effective speaking. I got training in grand writing and also, I’m not a bench scientists
so there was some exposure to molecular preventions in a molecular prevention course. So I thought
that the the the total experience was awesome. Being at NCI you have access to really large
datasets. Also, being able to reach out to experts and, you know, understand more in
depth about your specific questions has been a really big bonus of being a Cancer Prevention
Fellow. The goal of the Cancer Prevention Fellowship is to really tackle cancer from
many different perspectives. That really summarizes the fellowship for me, it’s very interdisciplinary
and they really allow you to grow under your own direction. It gives you an opportunity
to not just learn how to do research, but also figure out how to be a good leader and
a good manager and a good mentor. If you’re thinking about applying definitely do it.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

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