Acres Homes Postdoc Fellowship in Cancer Prevention
Research training opportunities in obesity-related cancer
The NCI U54 research and training program of The MD Anderson Acres Homes Cancer Prevention Collaboration prepares pre- and postdoctoral trainees in 3-year appointments to become leaders addressing obesity-related cancers affecting underserved communities. This fellowship is part of the Cancer Prevention Research Training Program (CPRTP) at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.
With elements tailored to trainee interests and professional needs, our multidisciplinary curriculum prepares predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees in the principles and practice of research on the causes and interception of obesity-related cancers. Training includes mentored research with experts in cancer prevention and experiential learning opportunities in underserved communities with community partners.
The fellowship emphasizes acquiring and applying knowledge of the drivers of persistent poverty and their impact on health, developing skills in research methods used in community settings to design and implement interventions against obesity-related cancers, and fostering professional skills of scientist-advocates for success.
We accept applications on a rolling basis.
Available positions are dependent on the number of positions actively filled.
Read the Application Process & Instructions below before starting an application.
Persistent poverty areas represent an important subgroup of U.S. counties with a higher disease burden, including cancer, where the health consequences of elevated and continuous poverty levels over time have not been fully investigated. We plan to bridge the gap between research and real-world practice through community-engaged approaches to address obesity, the second leading preventable cause of cancer. Obesity is related to an increased risk of 13 types of cancer (endometrial, colorectal, post-menopausal breast, esophageal, liver, kidney, stomach, gall bladder, pancreas, ovarian, and advanced prostate). Obesity-related cancers increased between 1995 and 2014, particularly in adults under 50, indicating that rising obesity rates may be driving cancer increases. Furthermore, physical inactivity and diets low in whole grains, vegetables, and fruit and high in processed and red meat are also associated with increased cancer risk and increasing risk of obesity. People living in persistent poverty face particular environmental, social, and economic challenges to being physically active and eating a high-quality diet, which may partially explain the increased risk of cancers related to diet, activity, and obesity in these areas. More cancer prevention and control efforts, both research and interventions, are urgently needed to reach these communities to reduce the burden of obesity-related cancers.
Deadlines and Important Dates
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed upon receipt. Available slots are dependent on the number of positions actively filled.
Eligible postdoctoral applicants must meet the following requirements:
- This fellowship is available without regard to the applicant’s U.S. citizenship status (i.e., Visa holders, Permanent Residents, and U.S. citizens are welcome to apply).
- Must reside in Texas, USA, at the start of the fellowship.
- Must have a Ph.D. or other equivalent doctoral degree by the start of the fellowship. Graduating doctoral students must provide a letter stating the date of conferral and upload a copy of the letter with the application. The conferral date must be before the start of the postdoctoral fellowship.
- Must have a doctoral degree in public and population sciences, including health promotion/health education, behavioral or social science, epidemiology, biostatistics, economics, health services research/health policy, communication, or other related areas of study.
- Must express a commitment to a career as a cancer and obesity researcher in their personal statement and throughout the application.
Funding Support and Benefits
- Postdoctoral fellows receive stipends starting at $56,484 per year as per the NIH Kirchstein-NRSA stipend postdoctoral levels based on postgraduate years of experience.
- Stipends are subject to required federal taxes.
- Postdoc positions are full-time, 40 hours per week, and paid monthly per MD Anderson payroll.
- Stipends include benefits (e.g., health insurance, paid institutional holidays, and sick leave).
- This postdoctoral fellowship award includes additional funding support for supplies, books, software, professional development, and travel to present research at conferences.
- No funds are available for relocation/housing subsidies.
- The length of fellowship appointments are up to three (3) years, renewed annually pending successful progress towards research and training goals.
- All postdoctoral fellows are appointed as on-campus/hybrid and will be required to check-in with the Office of Research Trainee Progams (RTP) in-person on the first day of employment. The fellow will also be required to return to MD Anderson campus to pick up a leased MD Anderson laptop, complete an offsite agreement, and return the laptop at the conclusion of the fellowship.
Application Process and Instructions
1. Use the link in the box located at the top of this web page to start an application in the Slate system. The application process consists of four parts: 1) Student Inquiry Form, 2) Slate account creation, 3) Slate application., and 4) Unofficial transcript emailed to the review committee.
2. Application Disclosures. After clicking the application link at the top of this web page to begin your application, scroll to the top of the page to read the following three (3) sections before completing the Inquiry Form: 1) Please Read Before You Apply, 2) Additional Documents Required If Selected As A Final Candidate, and 3) Onboarding Contingencies That Require Early Action.
NOTE: The Additional Documents Required If Selected... section includes a statement regarding 'Immigration Documents'. This statement is included in the Slate system for all fellowships at MD Anderson however, this NCI U54 Acres Homes Fellowship is open to U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents only. We regret Visa holders are not eligible to apply.
3. Complete the Inquiry Form and upload the required documents:
3.1 Personal Information (e.g., name, demographics, personal email).
3.2 List the names and emails addresses of two individuals who will provide you with professional recommendations (i.e., letters of recommendation). Please inform the referees in advance that they will be invited to upload their letters directly into the application portal in step 5 below.
3.3 Upload Resume/CV.
3.4 Provide your ORCID ID and eRA Commons ID. Register for an ORCID ID.
3.5 Upload a copy of the Diploma of the doctoral degree (certified translation if not in English).
3.6 (For graduating doctoral students) Provide proof of enrollment in a doctoral degree program AND a letter of recommendation from the doctoral committee chairperson/advisor stating the anticipated date of degree completion and confirming that the student is currently in good standing in the doctoral program and at the university. Proof of enrollment and committee chairperson letters are ONLY REQUIRED for applications from individuals who have not yet completed their doctoral degrees at the time of application submission.
3.7 Provide a Statement of Research Experience and Interest (i.e., personal statement). It is recommended that you draft this statement in Word or another word processing software, using the Word count feature to ensure that you do not exceed the 700-word limit. You can then copy and paste the text into the form field. Please address the following three (3) areas within your statement of interest:
1) Your research interests, experience, and future goals in cancer and obesity research.
2) Your reasons for seeking research training from this program. Please include any life experiences or motivating factors related to your career interest.
3) How the fellowship will contribute to your future career plans in cancer and obesity research.
3.8 Please provide at least one and up to five of the most relevant and impactful manuscripts that have already been published. For each publication, you will be required to enter: 1) authorship position, 2) publication type, 3) journal name, 4) publication title, 5) publication date, and 6) upload a pdf version of the publication. At least one publication is required to apply for a postdoctoral fellowship position.
3.9 Double-check all aforementioned items before clicking the SUBMIT button. The Slate system will not accept revised documents.
4. Create your Slate Account. After clicking the SUBMIT button, you will receive an email from MD Anderson Education & Training (firstname.lastname@example.org), subject line: "Complete your Trainee Position Inquiry Request". Follow the instructions and click the hyperlink in the email to create a Slate account and request your letters of recommendation.
5. Complete the Application:
5.1 Read the Application Instructions in the Slate system.
5.2 Two (2) Letters of Recommendation: In the Recommendations screen, enter the contact information for both individuals who will write your letters of recommendation. Ideally, recommenders should be professors or faculty mentors who know you well. Candidates are encouraged to work with references to ensure that letters are: 1) on institutional letterhead, 2) signed, and 3) recently dated. Note: Please ignore any text in the SLATE system specifying that MD Anderson faculty cannot write letters of recommendation---this is false and hopefully will be corrected soon. After the applicant enters the recommender's information in the Slate system, the recommender will receive an email notification from email@example.com, subject line "Recommendation Request from YOUR NAME for MD Anderson Cancer Center" and a link to upload the letter of recommendation to your account. You will receive an email when the letter has been successfully uploaded.
5.3 Complete any additional forms (e.g., Additional Demographics and Future Plans, Academic Awards and Honors).
6. Email your last unofficial transcript of the qualifying degree to the NCI U54 Acres Homes Review Committee at Apply@CancerPreventionTraining.org. This step is in addition to the upload of the proof of the qualifying degree in step 3.5 (above). Please add your first and last name in the subject line.
Note: There is no submit button in the "Complete the Application" stage. To check the status of your application, log on to your Slate account and select 'Status' from the menu. Your application is complete when all sections are complete and both letters of recommendation have been uploaded to your account.
How to Find a Mentor
Candidates invited for the second phase of applicant review will be contacted to provide short responses to a series of questions and a list of preferred potential mentors selected from a list of Acres Homes mentors comprised of faculty from multiple universities participating in the Acres Homes Cancer Prevention Collaboration.
Program Contact & More
Please include "Acres Homes Trainee Application" in the subject line.
Cancer Prevention Research Training Program
P.O. Box 301439
Houston, Texas 77230-1439, USA
Virtual Business Hours:
Monday through Friday,
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT
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