GENERAL EXPECTATION OF AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR
ALL TRAINEES SUPPORTED BY
THE CANCER PREVENTION AND CONTROL TRAINING PROGRAM
The National Cancer Institute, which funds the CPCTP, requires that all training provided by the CPCTP be interdisciplinary in nature. The following criteria are used to comply with this requirement.
- Mentors. All CPCTP trainees must identify two mentors, one from their primary discipline and one from a second discipline that relates to their research. Mentors should be identified as early as possible in the trainees’ studies.
- Elective courses. CPCTP trainees must choose elective courses that provide interdisciplinary didactic exposure and exploration of the literature of cancer prevention and control.
- Experiences. Projects (e.g., laboratory, field, clinical), workshops, and conferences that trainees participate in or attend should be selected with a view toward interdisciplinary experiences and exposure.
- Research. The research undertaken by all trainees must be interdisciplinary and conducted under the direction of their dual mentors.
CPCTP seminars and scientific meetings
All trainees are expected to:
· Attend the monthly CPCTP Seminars, which provide opportunities to interact with other trainees and to hear updates on the CPCTP. At these the Directors update trainees on Program and NCI developments, announce national meetings of interest, lead informal discussions to monitor the Program’s progress, and introduce new trainees. Trainees also update each other on their progress and interests. Trainees are expected to make at least one presentation in this seminar, usually toward the end of their training. One of these seminars each year is devoted to the CPCTP annual evaluation.
· Attend the annual Comprehensive Cancer Center Research Retreat (each October) and submit abstracts for poster presentations when appropriate.
· Attend other appropriate on-campus seminars (with email notification provided by Program Directors). Examples include periodic seminars offered by the Comprehensive Cancer Center, Clinical Nutrition Research Center, Center for Outcomes Effectiveness Research and Education, other centers, and the trainees’ respective departments. When speakers for some of these (such as the Clinical Nutrition Research Center seminar series) come from other institutions, informal lunches are often scheduled for trainees.
· Funds are available to allow attendance at a national or regional conference or scientific meeting each year.
Other didactic experiences and training opportunities
Mentoring standards. Some trainees come to the CPCTP with a mentor or probable mentor already identified. The Program Directors and Advisory Committee members will assist trainees who have not identified mentors to do so. Mentors must be appropriate to the trainee’s area of research interest, available for consistent mentoring, and provide interdisciplinary exposure.
The first duty of mentors is to help their trainees to select courses that are appropriate for their academic programs and are consistent with CPCTP requirements. Most importantly, they are heavily involved in the trainees’ development of their research projects. In order to be approved by the CPCTP, mentors must be committed to meeting regularly with their trainees, preferably each week, to discuss the trainees’ progress on coursework and research, and must be available between the regular meetings.
An additional important role of mentors is to assist trainees in identifying and accessing academic and research resources within and outside of UAB. This includes intra- and extramural research collaborations, IRB procedures, access to relevant study populations or specimens, funding opportunities, and recommendations for postdoctoral training and/or career opportunities.
IRB and HIPAA training. All CPCTP trainees are expected to complete training for compliance with Institutional Review Board (IRB) for Human Use requirements and may need to complete the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA) training depending on their school.
Career development opportunities. UAB Graduate School’s Professional Development Program offers courses and workshops designed to improve the academic and professional communication skills of graduate and postgraduate trainees and to help prepare them for independent careers. Topics include elements of effective teaching; writing grant applications; locating funding sources; preparing manuscripts for publication; finding and securing professional positions; appropriate negotiating skills; interpersonal/communication skills to develop and maintain effective relationships with students, colleagues, and supervisors; and preparing and managing a research and/or educational budget. Detailed information about the Graduate School Professional Development Program courses & workshops is available at http://main.uab.edu/show.asp?durki=37524.
Under the direction of their dual mentors, CPCTP trainees either develop novel research projects or engage in ongoing cancer prevention and control research projects of their degree programs and/or the Clinical Nutrition Research Center (www.uab.edu/cnrc) or Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCC, www.ccc.uab.edu). To satisfy CPCTP requirements, trainees’ projects must be interdisciplinary and focus on areas that are relevant to cancer prevention and control. Many research projects involve cancer patients, some focus on populations or individuals who are at high risk for cancer due to occupational, environmental, or lifestyle factors (such as smoking, poor diet, obesity, or physical inactivity), and others are more basic in nature, using molecular techniques, microarrays, proteomics, and intermediate endpoint biomarkers. Trainees are expected to submit their research results to peer-reviewed journals for publication.
Center for Outcomes and Effectiveness Research and Education. The UAB Center for Outcomes and Effectiveness Research and Education (www.dopm.uab.edu/coere) offers excellent opportunities for trainees who are interested in developing expertise in outcomes and effectiveness research.
Supplementary grant and/or contract support
We use 3 criteria to evaluate whether supplementary grant or contract support received by CPCTP trainees requires adjustments to their CPCTP stipends or changes in their status as CPCTP trainees. If you and/or your mentor(s) receive a grant or contract that:
1. Is not from a federal source (this is forbidden for trainees by NIH),
2. No more than matches the amount of your CPCTP stipend (thus, no more than doubles your gross stipend), and
3. Is programmatically consistent with your professional development, your trainee research project, and the CPCTP’s goals and objectives,
then you are allowed to receive salary support from the grant or contract in addition to your CPCTP stipend.
The CPCTP Advisory Committee is comprised of CPCTP mentors and other UAB faculty that bring important areas of expertise and liaisons to the Program.
Evaluation and follow-up
All trainees must agree to complete follow-up evaluations 3 and 5 years after leaving the program.