Graduate Fellowship Application

Application Guidelines | Application Checklist


  • January 15, 2021
    Complete applications and reference letters are due by 5 p.m.
  • March 31, 2021
    Notification of awards.
  • July 1, 2021
    Earliest starting date for Graduate Fellows.

Application Guidelines

  • Applications should be submitted online no later than 5 p.m. on January 15, 2021.
  • Applications should use standard NIH formatting. Failure to adhere to formatting guidelines may negatively impact review or lead to withdrawal of the application.
  • All documents other than the face page should be rolled into a single PDF and uploaded as part of the electronic submission.

Any questions regarding the HCC Fellowship program should be directed to

Application Checklist

  • Face page (completed through online application portal)
  • Responses to Previous Critiques (for resubmissions only): Please provide a 1-page response to reviewer critiques from your prior submission of this proposal.
  • Project Summary (350-word limit): Provide a brief summary of the proposal. Include the overall goal and hypothesis being addressed, methodology to be used, and significance to the field and/or clinic. A description of how your goals and proposed project will impact cancer research and/or treatment should also be included.
  • Specific Aims (1-page limit)
  • Research Strategy (3-page limit, excluding literature cited):
    • Significance: Describe the scientific premise for the proposal, including relevant background and scientific rationale for the project.
    • Impact/Innovation: Briefly describe how your goals and the proposed project will impact cancer research and/or cancer treatment.
    • Approach: Describe how the research will be carried out. Include preliminary data that supports the project, a description of methods and analyses to be used, and discussion of potential pitfalls and alternative strategies.
  • Literature Cited: Select only those references pertinent to the proposed research. This is not included in the page limit.
  • Statistical Plan (1/2-page limit): Identify aspects of the proposal that will require statistical evaluation and briefly explain why. Describe your plan for developing an appropriate analysis. For assistance, consult HCC BSR Biostatisticians (Dr. Hong Li, BSR: or complete the Biostatistics Resource Request form.
  • Proposal Contributions (200 words): Proposals should represent the original work of the student with appropriate but limited guidance from the mentor. Briefly describe the relative contributions made by the student, mentor, and any other individuals to the conceptual design, writing, and revision of this proposal.
  • NIH Biosketch (5-page limit for each): A biosketch is required for the PI and mentor.
  • Required Letters of Support:
    • Two letters of support, one from the current mentor, should be submitted in confidentiality to by 5 p.m. on January 15, 2021. The subject line should contain "Graduate Fellowship: 'Applicant Name' Letter of Support.”
    • The letter from the current mentor should address the following:
      • Mentor’s training record, including the number of previous and current students and fellows trained.
      • A list of previous trainees’ current positions in tabular form (name, pre- or post-doctoral, dates of training period, current position).
      • Specific training plans for the applicant’s development as a cancer scientist.
      • An evaluation of the applicant’s potential as a cancer scientist.
      • The letter from the mentor must include a statement committing $2,000 to cover student health insurance from either the mentor or his/her department.