As the Conquer Cancer Foundation Grants and Awards Program has grown over the last 30 years, so has its purpose. Not only does the Grants and Awards Program support young researchers, foster mentoring relationships, and improve the quality of cancer care around the world, it also works to increase diversity in the oncology workforce by providing financial support and career development opportunities for doctors in underrepresented populations who are interested in a career in oncology.
“The importance of diversity in oncology cannot be over-emphasized,” said W. Charles Penley, MD, FASCO, Chair of the Conquer Cancer Foundation Board of Directors. “In a field where innovation is paramount, the exchange of ideas and experiences between doctors of diverse backgrounds has the power to inspire new research and improve care for patients.”
Award Opportunities for Underrepresented Populations
The Foundation offers two key diversity award opportunities. The first is the Medical Student Rotation (MSR) for Underrepresented Populations, which provides 8- to 10-week clinical or clinical research oncology rotations for U.S. medical students and pairs students with renowned oncologists for academic and career mentorship. In addition, the Resident Travel Award (RTA) for Underrepresented Populations provides financial support for residents who are undecided on their specialty choice to attend the ASCO Annual Meeting in order to further explore the field of oncology.
“I watched several family members pass away or suffer with cancer,” says 2012 MSR recipient Jacquelyne Gaddy. “I knew coming into medicine that I wanted to do oncology, but after having 8 weeks to really focus on that, I do honestly think it’s shaped my career and ultimately will put me where I need to be. To actually have daily interactions with patients and develop relationships with them…solidified my decision to enter oncology,” said Ms. Gaddy.
Visit ConquerCancerFoundation.org to learn more about these and other funding opportunities, and to make a donation in support of ambitious students like Ms. Gaddy who are eager to make a difference in the lives of people with cancer. Help make the next 30 years of the Grants and Awards Program possible by making a gift today. ■
© 2013. American Society of Clinical Oncology. All rights reserved.