Training Programs

Research for Behavioral Oncology and Cancer Control

Purpose and Objectives

The primary purpose of the NCI-funded T32 Interdisciplinary Training in Behavioral Oncology program is to train the next generation of behavioral oncology scientists to conduct interdisciplinary cancer prevention and control research spanning the continuum of prevention, early detection, treatment and survivorship. The program will be flexible enough to address the educational needs of individuals from different academic home disciplines, but formalized enough to ensure that participants achieve high levels of content knowledge and acquire intensive research experience by the time they complete their studies. Pre-doctoral fellows are allowed a maximum of three years of support and post-doctoral fellows two years of support. The T32 Program is only open to United States Citizens or US Permanent Residents.

Applications are currently being accepted for post-doctoral and pre-doctoral fellows, with a start date of August 2016. Applications will be accepted through 2020.

Core Requirements

Mentees meet weekly with their primary mentor and monthly with their secondary mentors.  Individual mentoring is supplemented by a strong curriculum built specifically for training in behavioral oncology.  Structured training experiences are developed in modules that are scheduled for three hours each week led by the program director. Additional research experiences include weekly review and writing sessions and lectures from outstanding faculty. A key component of training for all fellows is writing and critiquing grant applications and publications. The four core requirements are:

  • Core curriculum
  • Training modules
  • Other didactic experiences
  • Mentored research experiences
Core Curriculum

All fellows need a basic understanding of cancer prevention and control research across the continuum from prevention to end-of-life care. This knowledge is provided through a required didactic and seminar series containing six sessions and with three total hours per week (two hours of didactic content and one hour of interactive discussion). Fellows will be required to take two (three credit hours each) courses that address topics not currently covered by existing coursework at the participating schools / departments. Fellows will be required to take a (three credit hour) Research Ethics Course. Post-doctoral students will take classes that support their training needs as determined in consultation with their mentors and the Internal Advisory Committee.

Training Modules

Specialized T32 training modules are required of all trainees while in the program. Trainees will meet weekly for three hours with specific content structured into modules. Year one training modules include understanding expectations of training, cancer and aging, knowledge about networking at professional conferences, writing abstracts, presentation of poster or paper sessions, critiquing skills, health disparities and translation of research into the community. Year two training modules focus on writing a grant proposal and participating in mock reviews and information on career planning and translation.

Other Didactic Experiences

The program will also provide opportunities to acquire scientific knowledge and professional development outside of formal coursework through a variety of activities. Examples of these experiences may include the following:

  • Monthly IU Simon Cancer Center cancer control seminars
  • IU Simon Cancer Center grand rounds
  • Indiana Cancer Consortium meetings
  • IU Simon Cancer Center Cancer Research Day
  • IUPUI Research Day
  • CTSI Behavioral & Population Sciences PDT meetings
Mentored Research Experiences

Students will be required to begin engaging in mentored research as soon as they are admitted to the program and to devote the bulk of their research activities to issues relevant to cancer control. Research must be performed in conjunction with two mentors, at least one of whom must possess primary status as defined by the program.

Program Goals

The purpose of this training program is to:

1) Train interdisciplinary pre- and post-doctoral fellows with the requisite knowledge and skills to become successful independent investigators in the field of behavioral oncology

2) Develop a cadre of senior interdisciplinary researchers who serve as mentors for our trainees through an interdisciplinary research network at the IU Simon Cancer Center

3) Strengthen and implement a structured training program based on science in behavioral oncology, with new and innovative training experiences that will increase the outcome competencies of our graduates               

For more information, contact:

Liza Sumpter
Program Manager
IU School of Nursing
600 Barnhill Drive, NU 317B
Indianapolis, IN 46202
(317) 274-7563
Fax: (317) 278-2021