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Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program

Fellowship Program Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

About the Application...

About the Fellowship...

Miscellaneous


Am I eligible?

To be considered for the Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program (CPFP), you must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  1. Doctoral degree.
    • You must have an MD, PhD, JD or other doctoral degree in a related discipline (e.g., basic science, epidemiology, health services research, medicine, behavioral science, nursing, social science, nutrition, health education/health promotion, law, dentistry, statistics, geography, exercise science, or engineering).
    • Applicants currently enrolled in accredited doctoral degree programs that have not yet fulfilled all degree requirements will be considered for entry into the program, with the understanding that all requirements will be completed before the start of the CPFP. Assurance to this effect must be supplied in writing by the chair of the dissertation committee (e.g., Ph.D. candidates) or the dean of the school (e.g., M.D. candidates).
    • Foreign education must be comparable to that received in the United States.
  2. Prior postdoctoral experience.
    • You must have less than five years of relevant postdoctoral experience at the time of appointment.
  3. Citizenship.
    • You must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States at the time of application OR
    • You must be applying through the Ireland-Northern Ireland-NCI Cancer Consortium. See additional eligibility requirements.

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How do I apply?

You must apply through our online application process. When applying, you will be asked to:

  1. Complete and submit your online application. This includes uploading your unofficial academic transcripts, your Personal Statement of Research Goals (approximately 1,000 words), your Curriculum Vitae, and proof of citizenship (if not a U.S. citizen). You may complete the application at your own pace and in multiple sessions.
  2. Request four current and original letters of reference.
  3. Request a letter assuring that all degree requirements will be completed by June 2017 (Doctoral degree candidates only).
  4. Request proof of employment (Ireland-Northern Ireland-NCI Cancer Consortium applicants only).

All supporting documentation requests and document uploads must be made through your application account. More details will be given once you begin your application.

You are responsible for verifying that your application and supporting documentation have received in time to meet the deadlines. You can log in to your account at any time to see if these materials have been received.

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When is the deadline?

The deadlines for the online application and supporting documentation are listed below.

Item Applies To Deadline
Online Application All Applicants 11:59 PM, August 25, 2016 U.S. Eastern Daylight Time
Letters of Reference All Applicants 11:59 PM, August 31, 2016 U.S. Eastern Daylight Time
Letter of Assurance Doctoral degree candidates only
Proof of Employment Consortium applicants only

Technical Support is now available on Monday - Friday, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm U.S. Eastern Daylight Time.
For support, please contact us at cpfp@imsweb.com.

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What is the Ireland-Northern Ireland-NCI Cancer Consortium?

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has formed a multilateral partnership with Ireland to promote cooperation in all aspects of cancer research, treatment, and prevention. As part of this Ireland-Northern Ireland-NCI Cancer Consortium, the Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program is open to applicants from Ireland. It is intended that individuals applying through the Consortium will pursue careers in cancer prevention in Ireland upon completion of the fellowship.

Please see our catalog for more information about applying through the Consortium.

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Who should write my letters of reference?

Letters of reference should be written by individuals in the scientific/academic community who have knowledge of your scientific accomplishments, motivation, and skills. These individuals may include previous employers, college professors, and peers.

You must request current and original letters of reference from four such individuals. All requests must be made through your application account. If more than four letters are received, only the first four letters will be reviewed.

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Why can't I create an online application?

In order to create an application, you need to enable cookies on your computer. Cookies help us to remember specific information about your session while you are logged in to the website.

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Is my online application secure?

Access to your application account is restricted by registered username and password. Secure Sockets Layer web server and browser technology encrypt all data transfers. This is the same technology that is used by financial institutions and online stores to secure your personal information. Database and web server program files are hidden behind a corporate firewall.

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Do I have to complete the online application in any particular order?

You may complete sections of the online application in any order you desire. For instance, you may complete your contact information on the Personal Information page and then skip forward to the Curriculum Vitae page to upload your curriculum vitae.

In order to jump to a different section of the application, click on the page name in the menu on the left side of the application web page.

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How do I save my online application?

The information you enter on your online application is saved automatically as you move from one page to the next. For instance, if you enter your preferred phone and email on the Personal Information page, this information will be saved once you move to the next page. Likewise, your information will be saved if you choose to go to a different page by clicking on a page name in the menu on the left side of the application web page.

If your application is inactive for more than one hour after logging into your account, you will be automatically logged out of your account. Therefore, if you enter information on the online application, but do not advance to another page or exit the application within one hour, that information will not be saved.

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Can I update my online application from last year?

You may NOT update your application from last year. However, you may log in to your account and create a new online application. You must submit your application and new supporting documentation by the deadlines.

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How do I submit my online application?

After all required information has been provided on your online application, you may submit the application. Just click the "Proceed to Submit Application" button and then click the "Submit Application Now" button.

After you submit your application, you will receive an e-mail confirming that it has been received. Except for updating your contact information, you will NOT be able to make any changes to your application after it has been submitted nor will any changes be accepted via electronic or postal mail.

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How can I verify that my online application has been received?

After submitting your online application, you will receive an e-mail confirming that your application has been received.

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Can I update my online application after I've submitted it?

Except for updating your contact information, you cannot update your online application after it has been submitted nor will any changes be accepted via electronic or postal mail.

After you have submitted your application, you may log into your account to update your mailing address, phone number(s), or email address. You may also verify that your supporting documentation has been received.

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What happens when I request supporting documentation?

When you request supporting documentation (e.g., letters of reference, letters of assurance, proof of employment), several things happen:

  1. An e-mail request is sent to the specified contributor. Please be sure that the e-mail address is up to date and correct to reduce the possibility of problems. Below are samples of the e-mails that are sent for the different types of documentation.
  2. The request is recorded in our system. You can see information about the request and track the status of the request by returning to the corresponding tab from the home page.
  3. Once the contributor uploads the requested document, you will receive an e-mail confirming receipt of the document.

Sample e-mail request for a Letter of Reference:

To: John Smith <j.smith@example.com>
From: Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program <cpfp@imsweb.com>
Subject: Supporting documentation requested for Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program application

Dear John Smith,

Jane Doe has requested that you provide a letter of reference for her application to the NCI Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program. You were chosen by this applicant because of your knowledge of her scientific accomplishments, motivation, and skills.

Please go to https://cpfp.cancer.gov/fellowship/contribute.php?code=XXXXX for further instructions and to upload your letter. Your letter must be uploaded on or before 11:59 PM, August 31, 2016 U.S. Eastern Daylight Time.

If you have any problems with uploading your letter, please contact cpfp@imsweb.com.
Technical Support is available Monday - Friday, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm U.S. Eastern Daylight Time.

Thank you for your assistance.

Sincerely,
Program Coordinator
Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program
National Cancer Institute
Telephone: 240-276-5626
Fax: 240-276-7883
Email: cpfpcoordinator@mail.nih.gov

Sample e-mail request for a Letter of Assurance:

To: John Smith <j.smith@example.com>
From: Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program <cpfp@imsweb.com>
Subject: Supporting documentation requested for Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program application

Dear John Smith,

Jane Doe has requested that you provide a letter of assurance for her application to the NCI Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program. A letter of assurance is required for all applicants who are currently enrolled in an accredited doctoral degree program but have not yet fulfilled all degree requirements. This letter must provide assurance that all doctoral degree requirements will be completed before June 2017.

Please go to https://cpfp.cancer.gov/fellowship/contribute.php?code=XXXXX for further instructions and to upload your letter. Your letter must be uploaded on or before 11:59 PM, August 31, 2016 U.S. Eastern Daylight Time.

If you have any problems with uploading your letter, please contact cpfp@imsweb.com.
Technical Support is available Monday - Friday, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm U.S. Eastern Daylight Time.

Thank you for your assistance.

Sincerely,
Program Coordinator
Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program
National Cancer Institute
Telephone: 240-276-5626
Fax: 240-276-7883
Email: cpfpcoordinator@mail.nih.gov

Sample e-mail request for Proof of Employment:

To: John Smith <j.smith@example.com>
From: Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program <cpfp@imsweb.com>
Subject: Supporting documentation requested for Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program application

Dear John Smith,

Jane Doe has requested that you provide a letter certifying proof of employment for her application to the NCI Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program.

Please go to https://cpfp.cancer.gov/fellowship/contribute.php?code=XXXXX for further instructions and to upload your letter. Your letter must be uploaded on or before 11:59 PM, August 31, 2016 U.S. Eastern Daylight Time.

If you have any problems with uploading your letter, please contact cpfp@imsweb.com.
Technical Support is available Monday - Friday, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm U.S. Eastern Daylight Time.

Thank you for your assistance.

Sincerely,
Program Coordinator
Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program
National Cancer Institute
Telephone: 240-276-5626
Fax: 240-276-7883
Email: cpfpcoordinator@mail.nih.gov

You are responsible for verifying that these materials have been submitted in time to meet the August 31, 2016 deadline for supporting documentation.

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Can I check that my letters of reference and other supporting documentation have been received?

You can log in to your application account at any time to see if your letters of reference and other supporting documentation have been received.

You are responsible for verifying that these materials have been submitted in time to meet the August 31, 2016 deadline for supporting documentation.

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How many applications do you receive?

On average, we receive over 100 applications per year, interview 20 candidates in person, and select 10 fellows to enter the Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program.

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What parts of my application will be reviewed?

Your application and supporting documentation will be reviewed by the members of the Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program Scientific Education Committee. This Committee is comprised of scientists from different Divisions within the NCI, the FDA, and an ad hoc member from outside the NCI with expertise in the field of cancer prevention and control. The following materials will be reviewed by the Scientific Education Committee members:

  1. Application. This includes your personal statement of research goals and your curriculum vitae.
  2. Letters of Reference. Only the first four letters received will be reviewed.
  3. Academic Transcripts.
  4. Letter of Assurance. Applicable only for applicants currently enrolled in accredited doctoral degree programs that have not yet fulfilled all degree requirements.
  5. Citizenship Documentation. Applicable for Permanent Residents and those applying through the Ireland-Northern Ireland-NCI Cancer Consortium.
  6. Employment Documentation. Applicable for those applying through the Ireland-Northern Ireland-NCI Cancer Consortium.

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How will I know if I have been selected?

All complete applications submitted by eligible candidates by the application deadline will be reviewed by members of the CPFP Scientific Education Committee. This Committee is comprised of scientists from different divisions within the NCI, the FDA, and an ad hoc member from outside the NCI with expertise in the field of cancer prevention and control. Those applicants judged to be highly qualified will be notified and invited for a one-day interview. The interviews will be held in Rockville, Maryland. Applicants will be notified of their status shortly thereafter.

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What are the start and end dates for the program?

For individuals entering the CPFP directly (e.g., not pursuing MPH training), the start date is usually in mid-June. For individuals obtaining an MPH or equivalent degree during the first year, the appointment begins with the start of the master's program. All fellows entering the program are expected to attend the CPFP Orientation in Rockville, Maryland, which is held in June.

The initial appointment will be for 1 year and may be renewed on a yearly basis for up to a total of 4 years of support.

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Is this an ongoing fellowship?

Yes. Applications are due each year in late August for entry into the fellowship program for the following summer. However, a new application and accompanying materials must be submitted each year.

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What research opportunities are available?

The major activity for Cancer Prevention Fellows is mentored research. All fellows are expected to develop original scientific projects and to report their findings at scientific meetings and in leading journals. Preceptors who serve to guide and enrich each fellow's experience are selected from skilled investigators across all NCI divisions, participating FDA centers, or local academic institutions. Over one hundred NCI staff members have served as preceptors.

For more about preceptorships, please see our catalog.

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Is this a paid fellowship?

Yes. Each fellow's stipend will be determined by the individual's degree and years of relevant postdoctoral experience. Stipend levels increase with the number of years of postdoctoral experience. Annual increases may be given. Specialty competitive allowances are given for degrees in epidemiology or biostatistics, for JDs or MD/PhDs, and for board-certified MDs engaged in patient care. Stipends are subject to change depending on federal guidelines and funding availability.

For benefits, please see our catalog.

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Where will I get my MPH?

Once accepted into the Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program (CPFP), each fellow is responsible for arranging admission to a university offering an MPH program that can be completed in 12 months or less. It is expected that all MPH requirements will be completed by the start of the NCI Summer Curriculum in Cancer Prevention. Listed below are examples of one year accredited MPH programs (as of November 2010):

For more about the MPH degree, please see our catalog.

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Can I only participate in this program in the Bethesda, Maryland, area?

During the research component of the fellowship, all National Cancer Institute (NCI) preceptorships are in Bethesda, Rockville, or Frederick, Maryland.

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Where are fellows employed after the fellowship?

Program graduates have secured employment at cancer centers, universities, government agencies, research firms, policy organizations, and in clinical practice.

For a more complete listing of post-fellowship employment, please see our catalog.

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Why can't I log in to my account?

In order to log in to your application account, you need to enable cookies on your computer. Cookies help us to remember specific information about your session while you are logged in to the website.

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Why did my session expire prematurely?

Once you have logged in to our web site, you will remain logged in unless you are inactive for more than an hour or specifically log out of the site. However, if you log in and your session expires as soon as you try to go to a new page, this may be because:

If you are still experiencing difficulties, please email cpfp@imsweb.com and explain your problem.

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Why should I log out of my account?

Once you are finished working on your online application, you should exit the application and then click "logout" from the menu at the top of your screen. This is especially important if you are completing your application from a computer in a public library or other public setting. If you do not logout from your account, someone else using the same computer may be able to access your personal information (address, phone, e-mail).

Although you will be automatically logged out of your account after one hour of inactivity, we do not recommend that you allow your session to expire passively. For security reasons, we recommend that you explicitly click on the "logout" button when you are ready to leave your online application.

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What is a cookie?

A cookie is a small file that a web site transfers to your computer's hard disk to allow the server to remember specific information about your session while you are connected. Requests to send cookies are not designed to collect information about you, but only about your browser session. The cookies and the information about your session are automatically destroyed shortly after you close your browser. The information is not permanently stored on your computer. We do not collect personal information without your consent.

In order to access your application account, you need to enable cookies on your computer.

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How do I enable cookies?

In order to enable cookies in your web browser (e.g., Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari), you will need to adjust the privacy/security settings so that your computer will accept cookies. To adjust the privacy/security settings in your browser, we suggest that you search for "cookie", "privacy", or "security" in your web browser's help section. Although you can set your web browser so your computer will accept cookies from all websites, you may wish to only accept cookies from the online application website, https://cpfp.cancer.gov.

If after enabling cookies you are still experiencing difficulties, please email cpfp@imsweb.com and explain your problem.

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