Howard University - Center for Cancer Research Cancer Track
The HU-CCR Cancer Track is a partnership between the following Howard University (HU) graduate programs and the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Center for Cancer Research (CCR):
This unique intercampus collaboration allows HU doctoral students to conduct all or part of their dissertation research in NCI CCR’s intramural research program located on the campuses of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda and Frederick, Maryland.
The partnership offers an integrated network of over 250 NCI CCR laboratories to HU graduate students, allowing students to develop a unique research project tailored to their specific interests in cancer research.
Students will have access to research and clinical resources on NCI CCR’s Bethesda and Frederick campuses, including the NIH Clinical Center, the world’s largest dedicated research hospital, as well as state-of-the-art cancer research technologies and personalized mentorship from both HU and NCI CCR scientific leaders.
Students may do one or more rotations at NCI CCR prior to joining an NCI CCR lab to conduct their dissertation research.
While the HU-CCR Cancer Track student is in an NCI CCR lab, stipend, tuition and health insurance costs will be covered by the NCI CCR Principal Investigator (PI) who mentors the student.
- Doctoral candidates admitted to HU Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. programs in Biomedical Sciences, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Biology or Chemistry will be able to perform all or part of their dissertation research in NCI CCR laboratories as collaborative projects or co-mentorships between HU and NCI CCR PIs.
- All HU-CCR Cancer Track students will retain a co-mentor at HU who will provide career advice and help foster the student's thesis work.
- HU-CCR Cancer Track students will perform at least one rotation at NCI CCR during the first two years, typically during the summer following their first year. Rotations during the academic year and the summer before matriculating are also possible. Rotations are typically 6 to 10 weeks.
- Following their rotation/s, upon mutual agreement between the HU student and NCI CCR PI, and with the approval of the student’s HU graduate program Director, HU-CCR Cancer Track students may join an NCI CCR lab for their dissertation research.
How to Participate
Who can participate?
Graduate students admitted to or enrolled in an HU Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. program in:
How do I participate?
- Prospective HU graduate students may indicate their interest in joining the HU-CCR Cancer Track when applying for admission to participating HU Ph.D. and M.D./Ph.D. programs.
- Prospective and admitted students who are considering doing a pre-matriculation rotation via the NIH Summer Internship Program (more information on this under Program Details below) are encouraged to apply via the application website between November 15 and February 16, 2024, even if they have not arranged the rotation. Pre-matriculation rotations must take place from early June to early August.
- Once admitted, students should indicate their interest in the HU-CCR Cancer Track to their graduate program’s Advisory Committee and to the HU-CCR Cancer Track Program Administrator Cynthia Gordon.
- HU students should identify potential NCI CCR mentors by browsing the research profiles of NCI CCR PIs interested in mentoring HU-CCR Cancer Track students, available below.
- HU students may contact NCI CCR PIs directly to discuss a rotation in their lab, and to coordinate a start date and approximate duration for the rotation.
- Once the HU student and NCI CCR PI have agreed to the rotation, the student should complete an HU-CCR Cancer Track Rotation Request form. The HU-CCR Cancer Track Program Administrator Cynthia Gordon will then help arrange the rotation.
Below are NCI CCR PIs who have expressed interest in hosting an HU-CCR Cancer Track student. Please reach out directly to individual PIs to discuss potential research projects and rotation logistics.
What funding support is included?
While the HU-CCR Cancer Track student is conducting dissertation research in an NCI CCR lab, tuition, stipend and health insurance costs will be covered by the NCI CCR PI who mentors the student.
What is required of HU-CCR Cancer Track students?
When can the student start their rotation?
Rotations can be scheduled at any time mutually agreed upon by the student and the NCI CCR PI, but only after the student has been admitted to one of the participating HU Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. programs. Pre-matriculation rotations can be arranged through the NIH Summer Internship Program (SIP), but students must apply by the appropriate deadline of Friday, February 16, 2024.
How do the rotations work?
Pre-matriculation summer rotations
Students who have been accepted at HU may conduct a rotation prior to the start of their first academic year. Such pre-matriculation rotations must be done via the NIH Summer Internship Program (SIP). Students considering doing a pre-matriculation rotation via the SIP are encouraged to apply via the NIH SIP application website between November 15 and February 16, 2024 , even if they have not arranged the rotation. After the rotation has been agreed upon between the student and the NCI CCR PI in whose lab they plan to rotate, students should complete the HU-CCR Cancer Track Rotation Request form and ask the NCI CCR PI to accept the rotation in the SIP system. Please note that applications through the SIP must be submitted between November 15 and February 16, 2024, and the rotation must take place from early June to early August.
Rotations during the academic year or between the first and second year
Students already enrolled in one of the participating HU Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. programs may conduct rotations during the academic year or during the summer between the first and second year. After the rotation has been agreed upon between the student and the CCR PI, the student should complete the HU-CCR Cancer Track Rotation Request form. HU-CCR Cancer Track Program Administrator Cynthia Gordon will arrange the rotation through a special volunteer mechanism. It typically takes six weeks for this mechanism to take effect, so please plan accordingly.
Rotation Summary and Evaluation Forms
Within two weeks following the end of the rotation, the HU student will need to complete an HU-CCR Cancer Track Rotation Summary Form for HU students and the NCI CCR PI will need to complete an HU-CCR Cancer Track Rotation Evaluation Form for CCR PIs. The forms can be obtained from the Program Administrator Cynthia Gordon at the conclusion of the rotation.
Joining an NCI CCR lab for dissertation research
If the HU student and NCI CCR PI agree on the student joining the lab, the student should request the approval of their HU graduate program director. Once approved, the HU student and NCI CCR PI will complete the required documentation.
Please contact the HU-CCR Cancer Track Program Administrator Cynthia Gordon with any questions.