T32: Oncology Research Training for Surgeon-Scientists

This T32 grant from the National Cancer Institute (T32 CA160003) is led by B. Mark Evers, PhD (Contact PI) and Kathleen O’Connor, PhD, (Co-PI) and Pamela Hull, PhD, (Co-PI).

About our program

This T32 program provides two years of intensive, interdisciplinary basic science or cancer health disparities research training for qualified individuals who are committed to pursuing a career in academic oncologic surgery. Our training program is designed to focus on the research training of academic surgeons so they will be prepared to become independent scientists and incorporate the new techniques learned during their training period into a successful academic career. Upon completion of our program, trainees will be prepared to be active participants in the type of multidisciplinary teams that treat complex cancer patients.

Our training program represents a collaboration between the Markey Cancer Center and the Department of Surgery and benefits from the experience and collegiality of the program and associate directors who have worked together for many years. The breadth and depth of the basic research available in the cancer center laboratories will allow the trainees to become familiar with state-of-the-art techniques for comprehensive care of the cancer patient.

In addition to an intensive research experience, the trainees will take formal courses and participate in regularly scheduled Cancer Center and Department of Surgery seminars and lectures. All of our trainees will be required to complete coursework for a Master's degree or PhD in Clinical and Translational Science (CTS) and will be mentored in the fine points of preparing abstracts, scientific papers and presentations and writing successful grant proposals.

Training grant faculty

In addition to Drs. Evers and O'Connor, faculty members from diverse departments serve as primary mentors for this program.

Applicant eligibility

Candidates must have an MD or equivalent degree and have completed or be in good standing in a clinical training program that will provide eligibility for certification in Surgery or a surgical subspecialty with research focused in oncology. 

Candidates considered for the training program must be dedicated to the pursuit of an academic career.  Potential applicants will be U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are trainees in good standing at ACGME- and ABS-approved surgery training programs in the US and Canada.

Number of positions

  • 4 Post-doctoral

The Oncology Research Training for Surgeon Scientists T32 supports four residents during a two-year research fellowship. The application and selection process typically occurs during the PGY-2 year for a 2-year training period during PGY-3 and PGY-4. 

Program requirements

  • Engagement in 2 years of full-time research during the appointment period
  • Trainees are expected to complete curricula for a Master’s degree or PhD in Clinical and Translational Science
  • Trainees in this program will participate in the Markey Cancer Center weekly seminar series as well as participate in a variety of seminars, workshops and symposia at UK over the course of their training
  • Candidates must be US citizens or permanent residents

Stipend support

Trainee stipends are fixed by the National Institutes of Health and vary depending on the number of years of experience following doctoral degree. Trainees are also eligible for health insurance, tuition support, and some travel money when appropriate for advancing the training experience. 

How to apply

Please submit the following application materials via email to Erin Oakley.

1. An application letter from the potential trainee (1-2 pages) articulating their previous research experience, commitment to a career academic surgical oncology, and a brief research proposal. The applicant should indicate how their thesis research and/or career will benefit from cross-disciplinary training in oncologic research.

2. A current Curriculum Vitae and transcripts of the applicant.

3. A letter of support from the mentor(s) recommending the candidate and outlining the research plan for the trainee.

4. Names and contact information for two additional references that may be contacted by the Executive Steering Committee.

The Executive Steering Committee will select the top candidates and interview them before making a final decision.  Please contact Erin Oakley at erinjoakley@uky.edu if you have any questions.

NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center - A Cancer Center Designated by the National Cancer Institute

Markey Cancer Center is designated by the National Cancer Institute as a Comprehensive Cancer Center – a distinction that recognizes our commitment to accelerating precision cancer research and care to patients. We are the first and only NCI-Comprehensive Cancer Center in Kentucky, and one of 57 in the nation.