The purpose of the Career Developmental Program (CDP) of the RPCI-UPCI Ovarian Cancer SPORE is to support the career development of junior researchers in translational ovarian cancer research. The target population for the program is outstanding entry-level (i.e. Assistant Professor) scientific and clinical faculty, but in some cases may include senior postdoctoral or clinical fellows with exceptional potential for independent research careers, or established investigators wishing to refocus their careers on translational ovarian cancer research. A secondary goal of the CDP is to promote the diversity of ovarian cancer researchers, by encouraging the recruitment of outstanding individuals from underrepresented groups. The CDP will be supported both by RPCI-UPCI Ovarian Cancer SPORE funds and matching institutional funds from RPCI and UPCI. The CDP serves as a structured mechanism for identifying outstanding candidates through an open and competitive application and review process, and matching the resulting awardees with experienced mentors. The CDP Leaders will convene a NIH format study section and assign NIH R21-type applications to two scientific and one patient advocate reviewers. Review results will be summarized in the Administrative Core and submitted to the Internal Advisory Board for recommendations for funding. Successful applications will be funded at the level of $50,000 per year for of two years (total award $100,000). We anticipate to fund three to five awards per year depending on the funding year. CDP awardees will be provided full access to the RPCI-UPCI Ovarian Cancer SPORE Core resources, including tissue specimens and statistical support. The CDP will directly facilitate career development through: i) a constructive proposal review by the RPCI-UPCI Ovarian Cancer SPORE Executive Committee and Internal Advisory Board, which are composed of talented investigators with expertise in basic, clinical, and population-based research, ii) research training with a mentor chosen from among a diverse faculty with broad expertise in academic career development, and iii) access to development/enrichment programs, including ovarian cancer disease site research group meetings, periodic SPORE meetings, seminar series, and RPCI-UPCI Ovarian Cancer SPORE annual retreats. In summary, the CDP provides a vital mechanism for the development of the next generation of translational ovarian cancer researchers at RPCI and UPCI.
The ultimate long-term objective of CDP is to develop novel ways to reduce the burden of ovarian cancer, through translational, clinical, and population-based research. A prerequisite for achieving this objective is a continual influx of newly independent researchers with interest, experience, and expertise in ovarian cancer. The Career Development Program of the RPCI-UPCI Ovarian Cancer SPORE will support the career development of the next generation of translational ovarian cancer researchers.
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