Cancer Research Training Award Fellow Sought for Cancer Surveillance Data Quality


The Surveillance Research Program (SRP) directs the collection and analysis of cancer surveillance data to answer key questions about cancer.  As part of its mission, the SRP manages the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program, an integrated, comprehensive, multiple population-based cancer reporting system that collects data on approximately 450,000 cancer cases annually and represents 34% of the US population.  In addition, SRP provides scientific leadership for the analysis and interpretation of cancer patterns and trends and promotes research using SEER Program data.  Understanding the implications of cancer coding changes and other quality assurance issues and developing tools for the analysis of new data submissions, incomplete datasets, and complex databases are critical for the accurate interpretation of SEER data patterns and trends. 

This fellowship will serve as training in conducting research to support data quality assurance activities and quality control operations for cancer surveillance systems.  In addition, the fellowship will provide training in preparation for certification in tumor registration, certification which is expected to be obtained within the first year of the award. Fellows who had acquired certification before the start of the program are required to maintain the certification.  If all parties agree, conditional to obtaining or maintaining certification, the fellow can remain in SRP for a second year to conduct cancer data quality research.

Position Description

The Cancer Research Training Award (CRTA) fellow will function as an integral member of the Data Quality, Analysis, and Interpretation Branch (DQAIB). He/she will work with staff on projects related to the mission of DQAIB, particularly on improving the quality of cancer data. Day-to-day activities of this full-time position include, but are not limited to:

  • Assisting with planning and implementation of quality improvement activities for the SEER Program;
  • Designing, implementing, analyzing and interpreting data quality investigations using SEER Program data;
  • Disseminating investigation results by original manuscripts, conference presentations and technical reports;
  • Managing quality assurance projects related to SEER Program registries, such as developing or updating of SEER web-based cancer registration resources, or development of new cancer registration tools;
  • Assisting SRP and DQAIB leadership with data quality risk assessment and the development of data quality audit plans;
  • Performing cancer registry operations such as tumor matching, tumor abstracting, coding and consolidation, etc.;
  • Gathering, analyzing, and synthesizing information through literature reviews, surveys, and interviews via written reports and oral presentations;
  • Participating in staff meetings and attend lectures or other training opportunities sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.

CRTA Fellows may have the opportunity to travel for the National Cancer Institute to national conferences. This fellowship provides an excellent opportunity for a recent graduate potentially interested in pursuing a clinical or public-health surveillance career, or population-based cancer research and control.


  • Bachelor’s degree or higher in public health, health sciences, or related field.
  • Knowledge of cancer biology and/or background in health professions (nursing, physician assistant studies, etc.).
  • Demonstrated interest in clinical cancer research and/or population-based cancer control.
  • Experience reviewing, analyzing, and summarizing scientific literature.
  • Excellent attention to detail and interpersonal, organizational, writing, and project management skills.
  • Data management and quantitative analysis skills.

Application Requirements

To be considered for this position, the following materials must be received by the Application Deadline:

  1. Cover Letter - Provide an explanation of your interest in the Fellowship Program. Explain your professional development goals and research interests. Describe your experience or interest in cancer research, cancer control, and quality assurance including coding activities.
  2. Resume or CV.
  3. Two letters of recommendation.
  4. Proof of Citizenship or resident alien status (e.g. Photocopy of Birth Certificate or Passport).
  5. Official Transcripts and/or Proof of Academic Good Standing - Send transcript of highest Degree conferred. If currently enrolled in school, Proof of Academic Good Standing must be sent on official letterhead and signed by graduate program director, advisor, or equivalent.

Note: In order to qualify for the position, the candidate must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien. A candidate with an I-551 stamp in their passport can also qualify since this is temporary verification of permanent residency status pending issuance of the green card. Individuals with "Employment Authorization" documents (EADs) do not meet eligibility criteria.

Application materials may be submitted via email to Trish Murphy. Paper copies and official Transcripts and/or Proof of Academic Good Standing may be sent to:

Trish Murphy
Surveillance Research Program
9609 Medical Center Drive MSC 9765 Room 4E516
Bethesda, MD 20892 (U.S. Mail)
Rockville, MD 20850 (Courier Service)
Tel. 240-276-6903
Fax: 240-276-7908

The National Cancer Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Application Deadline

February 1, 2019 (or until filled)

Approximate Start Date

As soon as possible.

Stipend and Benefits

The stipends for CRTA Fellows are adjusted yearly, and are commensurate with academic achievement and relevant experience. More information is available online at: Benefits include health insurance at no cost and a wide range of career development and social activities. The office is located in commuter-friendly Rockville, Maryland, close to the bustling metropolis of Bethesda, and near downtown DC.


The Fellowship Mentor for this position will be:

Serban Negoita, MD, DrPH
Chief, Data Quality, Analysis, and Interpretation Branch
Surveillance Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences
National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health
9609 Medical Center Drive MSC 9765
Bethesda, MD 20892 (U.S. Mail)
Rockville, MD 20850 (Courier Service)