ANNOUNCEMENT: May 19, 2021 - The CPRIT Oversight committee announced today that our research training grant, “The Future of Cancer Research: Training Program for Basic and Translational Scientists” has been renewed for an additional 5 years. We are also very proud to report that our grant was the top ranked grant (with an impact score of 1.4) of the 8 training grants that were funded by the oversight committee.
Since first awarded in 2010, we are grateful to have received three renewals from CPRIT, which have enabled us to train 447 undergraduates, 52 Ph.D. graduate students and 36 postdoctoral trainees. We are excited to receive this renewal grant and the opportunity to continue our impactful training program at MD Anderson. We also sincerely appreciate the institutional support and our many dedicated faculty mentors, which have contributed significantly to our program’s success.
Students on all tracks of our training program have excelled in their STEM education and careers. For instance, seven students who participated in the 2020 CPRIT CURE summer undergraduate program were awarded the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship. One of our graduate scholars received a Fulbright Fellowship in 2019, and several have high tier first author publications in journals such as Cell and Nature Communications. Our post-doctoral trainees also continue to amass first-author publications in top journals such as Cancer Discovery and Cancer Cell and secure independent research support including NIH K00, F32 and R01 Diversity Supplement awards. Moreover, our program outcomes importantly indicate similar successes for minority and non-minority students, suggesting our program helps to remove barriers to advancement in the cancer research field. As part of our renewal, we will continue to grow our program, recruiting top talent to train and conduct research alongside our esteemed faculty mentors.
This summer, 80 undergraduate students from across the country will arrive in Houston to take part in the 10th annual CPRIT CURE summer research program. We have no doubt these students will infuse the institution with their energy and deep interest in cancer research, and will be part of advancing our critical work to the next generation. We are thankful to all of the faculty mentors who have graciously agreed to accept students into their labs to take part in a hands-on research experience this summer. Through the NIH R25 grant that our team was also awarded this past year, we were able to expand our summer cohort and provide additional research training opportunities to underrepresented minorities in science. We have also established a collaboration with Dr. Hannah Wingate, NSF awardee, to provide training opportunities to undergraduate students at Houston Baptist University.
In closing, we would like to thank Dr. Pisters and Dr. Draetta for their continued support and investment in our CPRIT research training program, as well as its new initiatives, and Dr. Bodurka for her support of our summer undergraduate program. We are especially grateful to our mentoring faculty who have devoted much time and effort into providing outstanding training and guidance to our trainees over the last 10 years, and their commitment to our ongoing and future efforts to train the next generation of cancer researchers. We are thankful for the opportunity to continue to make a lasting impact on the professional and academic careers of research trainees with the help of CPRIT, NIH and the institution.
Khandan, Stephanie, Kara and Brittney
The MD Anderson Cancer Center CPRIT Research Training Program provides fundamental, interdisciplinary, and innovative training in cancer research at MD Anderson. This program is the continuation of a highly successful and comprehensive training program supported by the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas. The program includes three tracks: the CPRIT TRIUMPH (Translational Research in Multidisciplinary Programs) post-doctoral, CPRIT Graduate Scholar, and CPRIT Summer Undergraduate Research Programs.
The CPRIT Graduate Scholar Program is designed for post-candidacy graduate students attending the MD Anderson UTHealth Graduate School under the direct mentorship of MD Anderson Cancer Center appointed faculty. Awarded annually, this competitive award provides tuition, stipend, and fringe benefits to recipients as well as a modest travel allowance. CPRIT Graduate Scholars also receive additional training and support through the program.
The 2021-2022 application cycle is currently closed. Please continue to monitor our website for updates.
The MD Anderson CPRIT Research Training Program will support nine CPRIT Graduate Scholars per year. The funds will cover graduate student tuition, stipends, fringe benefits, and provide a modest travel allowance. CPRIT Graduate Scholars will be appointed for one year with competitive renewal option for up to three years. Renewals will be dependent upon successful academic and research progress, participation in activities related to the CPRIT Graduate Scholar Training Program (e.g., an annual CPRIT Symposium, journal club meetings), and competition with new applicants.
All post-candidacy graduate students from the MD Anderson UTHealth Graduate School who are directly supervised by MD Anderson Cancer Center appointed faculty mentors are eligible to apply for this award. Successful candidates will have a competitive cancer research-based project and be directly supervised or co-mentored by a CPRIT Graduate Scholar Faculty Mentor. Applications are limited to one per faculty mentor laboratory for each funding announcement cycle.
MD Anderson students who are directly supervised by CPRIT Graduate Scholar faculty mentors have the option to choose a co-mentor from the training grant faculty. MD Anderson students who are supervised by other faculty have equal opportunity to receive a CPRIT Graduate Scholar Award. In these cases, a co-mentor should be selected from the CPRIT Graduate Scholar Training Faculty to serve as a member of his/her supervisory committee.
Submission: Required documents should be compiled into a single PDF file in the order listed under "required documents" and submitted via email to Dr. Kara Lewis (email@example.com) or Brittney Edwards (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please include "Graduate Scholars Award Application" in the subject line. A confirmation email will be sent upon receipt.
Formatting: Please use Arial or Helvetica, 12 point font and format pages with 1 inch margins on all sides.
Submitted by Applicant:
- A 2-page research proposal written by the CPRIT Graduate Scholar Candidate. This should include the significance of the project and its relevance to cancer, theoretical aspects guiding the study (e.g., hypothesis), goals of the project, and expected outcomes. A two page limit is enforced but references may be included in additional pages (text and figures on the additional pages will not be considered).
- A current curriculum vitae for the applicant
- Applicants are required to submit their undergraduate transcripts (unofficial is sufficient), a GSBS status report, and all advisory committee reports to date to demonstrate academic achievements and progress. Please contact Ms. Bunny Perez at Lourdes.V.Perez@uth.tmc.edu for GSBS reports.
- A statement of commitment by the CPRIT Graduate Scholar candidate and dissertation mentor that indicates intent to participate in all required activities of the CPRIT Graduate Scholar Training Program, including monthly journal clubs and the CPRIT symposium. (1 page limit)
- A training plan written by the applicant's dissertation mentor, including plans for scientific oversight of the project, mentoring of the candidate, how the project is expected to facilitate the trainee's career goals in cancer research, career development opportunities that will be encouraged/supported, and the mentor's overall research goals. In addition, the mentor must affirm that only one application per lab will be submitted per award announcement cycle. (1 page limit)
- A statement from the CPRIT Faculty Mentor or Co-Mentor indicating willingness to serve as a member of the CPRIT Graduate Scholar's supervisory committee.
- A letter of recommendation from the primary graduate mentor. This recommendation may be combined with the training plan if desired, but will not increase the 1 page limit for the training plan. Alternatively, a separate letter may be provided with no page limitations.
Submitted by Recommenders:
- Two additional letters of recommendation should be submitted in support of the CPRIT Graduate Scholar's application. Recommendation letters should be sent in PDF format from the referee's institutional email address to Dr. Kara Lewis (email@example.com) or Brittney Edwards (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please include the applicant's name and CPRIT Graduate Scholar in the subject line. Letters of support should be received on or before the day the application closes.
*A CPRIT Faculty Co-Mentor may combine their letter of recommendation with their statement of willingness to serve as co-mentor. In this case, a letter of recommendation from the primary graduate mentor, the CPRIT Graduate Scholar Co-Mentor, and one additional faculty are required.
Please see full RFA for additional information.
Professor, Department of Immunology
PI and Director of Graduate Scholar Program, CPRIT Research Training Grant
Professor, Experimental Radiation Oncology
PI and Co-Director of CPRIT Graduate Scholar Program, CPRIT Research Training Grant
Thank you to all of our current (above) and past reviewers for the CPRIT Graduate Scholar Program. These also include: Dr. Swathi Arur (Genetics), Dr. Pierre McCrea (Genetics), and Dr. Junjie Chen (Experimental Radiation Oncology).
Program Contact Information
Please reach out to Dr. Kara Lewis (email@example.com) or Brittney Edwards (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions. You may also contact Dr. Stephanie Watowich (photo: right), Program Director for the CPRIT Graduate Scholar Program at MD Anderson with any scientific/programmatic questions.
Stephanie Watowich, Ph.D.