Since 1992, MD Anderson Cancer Prevention Education: Student Research Experiences has provided short-term research experiences in cancer prevention research and education to students as a means to attract them to careers in cancer prevention research. We recruit undergraduate, graduate, and health professional students from the basic biomedical sciences, biostatistics, epidemiology, genetics, behavioral and social sciences, nursing, medicine, pharmacy, and related public health disciplines for mentored research in cancer prevention and control. Beginning with 10 positions in 1992 and increasing over time, the Program now supports 25 positions annually. To date, all positions have been filled annually. The Advisory Committee reviews and selects the students based on the merit of their academic performance, educational objectives, and research interests.
The Specific Aims are to recruit nationally and train 25 high-performing students for 10- week positions annually, using innovative and effective strategies to attract a demographically diverse student population; to cultivate and support the pool of mentors; to provide a superlative mentored research training experience in a variety of cancer prevention disciplines; to provide career and professional skills development and research ethics; to broaden participation in research careers through development of students' identity as scientists; and to rigorously evaluate the Program's value and effectiveness, tracking long-term career development of students. Around the Program's centerpiece of mentored research in cancer prevention designed by faculty with student learning objectives, we currently provide a structured curriculum covering topics in cancer prevention and control, and application of these principles in practice; procedures for conducting research; exposure to multiple career paths into the field, training in methods for career exploration and decision-making; and other professional development activities with strong emphasis on scientific communication skills development. Building upon this long-term success and other innovative educational activities already implemented by the Program over time, we propose to integrate several new activities to help students increase self-awareness and strengthen defense strategies against negative conditions detrimental to learning, personal well-being, and achieving career goals (e.g., imposter phenomenon). Other new activities will help students link personal values and themes in research and cancer prevention accumulated over the 10-week experience with the value of pursuing careers in research and cancer/cancer prevention as a strategy to extend and intensify their interests in such careers after the end of the Program. All components of the Program will be evaluated according to a specified plan. Overall, the Program's success takes many forms, from recruitment of a highly diverse student population, to students' development of research products suitable for publication, and to the growing number of program alumni who have gone on to higher levels in cancer prevention research from graduate school to eventual faculty positions.

Public Health Relevance

This competitive renewal application for years 26 to 30 of an R25 award at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Cancer Prevention Education: Student Research Experiences, requests support for 25 students in 10-week educational experiences each year for 5 years in multidisciplinary mentored cancer prevention research and career development. The Program recruits graduate and undergraduate students from the basic biomedical sciences, biostatistics, epidemiology, genetics, behavioral and social sciences, nursing, medicine, pharmacy, and related public health disciplines. The overall educational objective is to provide short-term research experiences in cancer prevention research to students as a means of preparing them for careers in cancer prevention research.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Education Projects (R25)
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Subcommittee I - Transistion to Independence (NCI)
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Korczak, Jeannette F
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University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
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United States
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