Cancer Research Training Award Fellow Sought for Project Management - Data Quality Analysis and Interpretation


The NCI Surveillance Research Program (SRP) directs the collection and analysis of cancer surveillance data to answer key questions about cancer. As part of its mission, SRP manages the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program, an integrated, comprehensive population-based cancer reporting system. Currently, the SEER Program collects data on approximately 550,000 new cancer cases annually from state and regional cancer registries that represent 34% of the US population. SRP analyzes and reports these data through several types of media to researchers, policy makers, the cancer surveillance community, and the general public. SRP is developing and implementing new and innovative methods and technologies to acquire data and automate data processes.

This position would be within the Data Quality, Analysis, and Interpretation Branch (DQAIB), which aims to provide essential information for tracking the nation’s progress against cancer and lead the analysis and interpretation of patterns and trends in population-based cancer surveillance data. We provide national leadership to the surveillance community in cancer data collection, quality improvement, education, analysis, interpretation, and reporting of cancer burden. DQAIB currently supports several large initiatives, including:

  • Virtual Tissue Repository (VTR). SRP is currently piloting studies to examine feasibility of and to establish best practices for a VTR, which in the future will offer researchers access to data and tissue resources through the SEER registry system.
  • Cancer data quality assessment and control activities such as benchmarking cancer surveillance data items, cancer registry data audits, and focused data quality assessments.
  • Education initiatives and other quality assurance activities. DQAIB has launched an overhaul of the structure and content of the SEER Training Website, which provides educational materials on cancer registration and tumor site-specific modules involving epidemiologic, clinical, and pathologic information.
  • Data usability improvement, such as the development of SEER recodes and the analysis of changes in cancer staging patterns.

This fellowship is an unparalleled opportunity to gain experience at a national level in understanding broad scientific priorities and to contribute meaningfully to cancer surveillance efforts in the United States.

Position Description

The Cancer Research Training Award (CRTA) fellow will function as an integral member of the SRP staff within the Data Quality, Analysis, and Interpretation Branch. He/she will work with staff on projects related to the mission of SRP, particularly in project management of state of the art initiatives.

Day-to-day activities of this full-time position include, but are not limited to:

  • Planning, implementing and supporting a variety of projects
  • Organizing, preparing and managing meetings, teleconferences and in-person workshops
  • Creating agendas and documenting meeting minutes for future reference
  • Working with project leads to develop and track management processes and project lifecycles
  • Communicating and coordinating effectively with a variety of stakeholders internal and external to SRP and the SEER Program, including registry staff, government staff, other fellows, and contractors
  • Coordinating across projects to improve communication and drive results
  • Facilitate communication across teams to enhance project efficiency and build strong team dynamics
  • Analyzing workflow and recommending areas for process improvement
  • Use NCI-developed surveillance analysis software in support of decision analysis
  • Help conduct cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit analyses
  • Writing reports and presenting findings
  • Proactively tracking action items and following up with responsible participants
  • 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 further education towards a management, informatics or research career.


  • Master's degree or Doctoral degree in public health, project management, health administration, health informatics or related field;
  • Excellent attention to detail and organizational, writing, and project management skills;
  • A strong interest in project management of scientific initiatives, preferably related to health informatics, data science or cancer data;
  • Demonstrated experience working with cross functional teams to meet deadlines;
  • Experience and proficiency with project management, scheduling, and collaboration tools and efforts, including meeting support and tracking action items;
  • Ability to work independently and as a team member;
  • Adaptability to respond to changing priorities and timelines;
  • Data management skills preferred, but not required.

Application Requirements

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

  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 project management and cancer surveillance.
  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.

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:

Alison L. Van Dyke, MD, PhD
Co-Director, Virtual Tissue Repository
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)