Postdoctoral and Clinical 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
    Start date for Postdoctoral and Clinical 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 Hollings Cancer Center Fellowship program should be directed to

Application Checklist

  • Face Page (completed through online application portal)
  • Response 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 max.): The project summary should include an abstract summarizing the proposed project, including the overall goal, methodology, and significance. 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 in the event funding is received. 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 both the PI and mentor.
  • Required Letters of Support:
    • Letters should be submitted in confidentiality to by 5 p.m. on January 15, 2021. The subject line should contain "Postdoctoral Fellowship: 'Applicant Name' Letter of Support.”
    • Three letters of support, one from the postdoctoral mentor and two additional, are required. For Postdoctoral Fellow applicants, a letter from the Ph.D. thesis mentor is highly recommended as one of the two additional letters. For Clinical Fellow applicants, a letter from the training program director is required.
    • 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 postdoctoral mentor must include a statement committing $5,000 in matching funds from either the mentor or the department.