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Focusing on Cancer Disparities Heading link


The Cancer Education and Career Development Program (CECDP) at the University of Illinois at Chicago has prepared promising pre- and post-doctoral scholars for successful careers in cancer research for more than two decades. Our program is widely known as one of the best programs in the country for its focus on cancer disparities.

Great progress has been made over the last four decades in reducing cancer incidence and increasing survivorship in the United States, but this progress has not reached everyone equally. Many population groups across the United States and around the world suffer disproportionately from cancer and its after-effects. Overcoming disparities in cancer incidence, treatment and survivorship is one of the best opportunities we have for lessening the burden of cancer. Our program supports the development of new investigators who seek careers identifying and studying the influences that contribute to cancer disparities and developing and disseminating culturally appropriate interventions.

Besides training scientists in this important area of research, we also promote diversity in the scientific research community. We seek and retain a very diverse group of fellows in our program.

Focusing on the Fellow’s Career Goals Heading link

In our program, fellows…

  • Pursue personal research interests and establish goals with the support and feedback of a respected cancer researcher in a one-on-one mentoring relationship.
  • Develop an understanding of the behavioral, biological, social, and policy issues relevant to cancer control and prevention, particularly those influencing racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in cancer.
  • Acquire rich, in-depth knowledge of a specific area of cancer control and prevention research by participating as a full member of a multidisciplinary research team.
  • Build professional networks with mentored guidance and present at national scientific conferences with travel support.
  • Develop competency in research methods and design through actual research practice.
  • Hone scientific writing skills in workshops and with detailed feedback from senior investigators, leading to the publication of journal articles and the development of an independent, multidisciplinary research proposal.

Upon successful completion of the program, postdoctoral fellows have designed a compelling research study and written a polished grant proposal ready for submission to the NIH or other funding agency. Fellows completing the program also have published several publications from their dissertation and research they conducted during the program.