Interdisciplinary Training in Cancer Research

Interdisciplinary Training

Interdisciplinary Training in Cancer Research

Program Description

The aim of the Interdisciplinary Training in Cancer Research training program is to train young scientists to design and conduct research on significant problems in cancer by combining information and approaches from different scientific disciplines, including basic cellular and molecular biology, epidemiology, clinical trials and studies, and behavioral-social sciences. The program seeks to produce researchers who can excel in the increasingly complex and specialized environments required for future cancer research. Trainee research projects typically transcend the traditional boundaries separating the molecular and cellular, clinical, epidemiologic and social cancer sciences.

  • Trainees are mentored jointly by two mentors who provide distinct, complementary areas of expertise, for example, by studying basic molecular and cellular mechanisms in combination with epidemiological analyses, or by participating in clinical research studies while studying behavioral or environmental factors that influence therapeutic outcomes.  
  • Research projects have cancer relevance. Appropriate topics include studies of molecular and cellular mechanisms; detection and diagnosis; risk and behavioral factors that influence cancer incidence; development and assessment of treatment strategies; and studies of cancer outcomes. Projects with a focus on infectious agents clearly explain the relevance of the proposed studies to the incidence of cancers that are associated with that agent.

Required programmatic activities include but are not limited to monthly trainee meetings, an annual colloquium, and lunch with a program-hosted Current Biology Seminar Series speaker.

The program supports 10 trainees each year: 8 trainees appointed to an NCI training grant and 2 trainees supported directly by Fred Hutch.

Pre- and post-doctoral trainees interested in pursuing interdisciplinary research are encouraged to apply for positions in the program during application season. We welcome applications from underrepresented individuals, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. Only one application is required for consideration for both funding sources. Each funding source is described below. 

Training Grant Positions

A Ruth L. Kirschstein National Service Award (NRSA) Institutional Research Training Grant awarded to the University of Washington by the National Cancer Institute, jointly administered by the University of Washington and Fred Hutch.
  • Initial appointments are 12-24 months in length, and trainees must competitively reapply for further periods of funding. The standard appointment period is December 1 – November 30. 
  • Stipends (Kirstchstein-NRSA) and benefits are UW-based
  • In-state tuition (operating fee, 10 credits F/W/S, 2 credits SU) covered at approximately 60% for predocs
  • Mentors are responsible for covering shortfalls in trainee costs


  • Open to Fred Hutch and UW pre- and post-doctoral trainees.
  • Citizenship: U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or permanent resident possessing an Alien Registration Receipt Card or other verification of legal admission as a permanent resident.
  • Must be eligible for Kirschstein-NRSA support. No individual trainee may receive more than 5 years in aggregate Kirschstein-NRSA support at predoc level, and no more than 3 years in aggregate Kirschstein-NRSA support at postdoc level.
  • Mentors can be based at Fred Hutch, University of Washington, the Institute for Systems Biology, and/or Center for Infectious Disease Research provided both mentors have appointments with the University of Washington.
  • We are not able to appoint trainees on staff assignments to training grants nor can we support out-of-state tuition.

Fred Hutch-funded Positions

Institutional funds that bolster the overall training program and complement the training grant by allowing the program to increase the total number of trainees and support fellows who are not eligible for training grant support.
  • Appointments are usually 12 months in length, and trainees must competitively reapply for further periods of funding. The standard appointment period is December 1 – November 30.
  • Predoctoral salaries equivalent to University of Washington’s School of Medicine rates
  • Postdoctoral salaries covered up to Kirschstein-NRSA postdoctoral stipend level 2
  • Tuition is not covered
  • Mentors are responsible for covering shortfalls in trainee costs.


  • Trainees must be based at Fred Hutch
  • No citizenship requirement
  • Primary mentor must be based at Fred Hutch

Next Steps

Program Contacts

Barry Stoddard, Program Director

Anissa Barker, Administrator