In This Section

Professional Advancement Opportunities

In support of its mission to promote the education and training of cancer scientists and clinicians, and to cultivate a highly skilled and diverse cancer research workforce, the AACR provides AACR Annual Meeting attendees at all career stages—from high school and undergraduate students to senior investigators—with opportunities to advance their careers.

AACR Cancer and Biomedical Research Career Fair

The AACR Cancer and Biomedical Research Career Fair took place at the AACR Annual Meeting in San Diego, California on April 6, 2024. This event connected employers and job seekers.

Professional Advancement Session Series

Exclusive Member Benefit

The Professional Advancement Series of sessions has long been an integral part of the AACR Annual Meeting experience and is dedicated to the education, training, and career advancement of cancer research investigators at all stages of their careers. A collaborative effort each year by the AACR Science Education and Career Advancement Committee, Minorities in Cancer Research (MICR) Council, Women in Cancer Research (WICR) Council, Associate Member Council (AMC), and the Publications Committee, these sessions provide several interactive and engaging professional development and career advancement opportunities to investigators at all levels, including students, early-career scientists, and early-stage investigators. For more information about any of the professional development opportunities that follow, visit

All Professional Advancement Sessions are free and exclusive to AACR members. There is no cost to join the AACR as an Associate Member (graduate students, medical students and residents, and clinical and postdoctoral fellows who are enrolled in education or training programs that could lead to a career in cancer research) or Student Member (undergraduate and high school students). If you are not an AACR member, you are strongly encouraged to join the AACR and take advantage of the opportunity to attend these sessions and receive the many other benefits of membership, including the privilege of sponsoring abstracts, significantly reduced member registration rates, and more. Visit Membership to apply today!

Productive Peer Review: Improving Science while Avoiding Common Pitfalls

Moderated by Editors of AACR scientific journals, this interactive session focused on how to become a proficient reviewer and how to effectively respond to reviewers’ comments.

Grant Writing Workshop

This session aimed to provide new investigators (postdoctoral fellows and new faculty) with practical tools to write competitive grants. The focus was on how to write well for grants, how to structure an aims page to help the reviewer “get” all the information you want them to, and how to write an aims page that makes a reviewer excited about your grant. The session addressed different types of grants from NIH (Rs, Ks, Fs etc.) as well as grants from other countries. We also discussed Summary Statements (“pink sheets”) and had a roundtable where participants could network and ask experienced scientists questions about the grants they are working on.

Personalized Career Conversations

This session provided a unique opportunity for early-career AACR Associate members to participate in 15-minute one-on-one conversations with distinguished cancer researchers from across various sectors—including academia, government, and industry. Distinguished session chairs moderated informal discussions on important topics in the general session while one-on-one discussions were underway, and participants had an opportunity to informally network with peers and members of the organizing groups to gain additional perspectives about various career topics.

How to Design a Successful Career Path in Cancer Research: The Do’s and Don’ts for Early-stage Investigators

This session was intended for early-stage investigators to acquire skills and develop key strategies in order to avoid “pitfalls” and develop “alternative” tactics to enhance the probability of success in their first independent leadership position. This session was designed specifically for those who have already made the transition from trainee to the next career stage inside and outside of academia.

Navigating the Path to a Successful Career in Cancer Research

This exciting and interactive session and networking reception provided a forum in which students, early-career researchers, and early-stage investigators could discuss critical career development topics and survival skills during informal mentored roundtable discussions. Tables with predetermined professional development topics were facilitated by established scientists from a variety of sectors, including academia, government, and industry.

Building an Effective Mentorship Team: Essential Strategies at Every Stage in Your Career

Navigating a successful career in cancer research, whether in academia, industry, or government, can be daunting. Establishing a team of mentors to guide you along the way is an essential step as you begin your journey. In this highly interactive session, cancer researchers with a strong commitment to mentoring and supporting the professional development of cancer research investigators, shared their knowledge and experience leading mentoring teams. Attendees heard their stories and learned how to build and take full advantage of an effective mentoring team, whether you are a trainee, an early-stage investigator, or a later stage investigator considering a career change.

Additional Professional Development Opportunities

Professional Development Workshop: Women and Power—Advancing and Securing Your Career in Science
Sponsored by The Victoria’s Secret Global Fund for Women’s Cancers, in partnership with Pelotonia and AACR-Women in Cancer Research

This highly interactive, professional development workshop focused on leadership training for women in science, at all stages of their careers. The four-hour workshop consisted of a plenary session and small group exercises where attendees honed their ability to recognize their sources of power, understand and leverage their circles of influence to achieve audacious goals, and deepen their connections with female colleagues. The workshop was led by hfp consulting, a globally-recognized firm that specializes in career development and leadership training exclusively for scientists. Visit for session updates and to preregister. Email [email protected] with questions.

19th Annual Undergraduate Student Caucus and Poster Competition

With more than 250 undergraduate student participants every year, the AACR Undergraduate Student Caucus and Poster Competition continues to be the premier event for undergraduate students attending the AACR Annual Meeting. Now in its 19th year, this program provided undergraduate students with the opportunity to learn more about current research in the cancer field, hear from investigators about educational pathways and career development, explore career options in the cancer field, and compete for the Margaret Foti Foundation Undergraduate Prizes for Cancer Research while presenting research. Undergraduates at all levels participated in this highly anticipated program at no cost. To learn more about this exciting opportunity, please visit or send an email to [email protected].

Abstract Submission Deadline (presenting): February 29, 2024.
Registration Deadline (nonpresenting): March 15, 2024.

AACR Special Program for High School Students: The Conquest of Cancer and the Next Generation of Cancer Researchers

The Special Program for High School Students promotes interactions between senior cancer scientists and promising students in order to facilitate the contributions of these students to scientific research and the conquest of cancer. The program provided a wonderful opportunity to learn about cancer research and careers in biomedical research and medicine. Learn more at

Registration Deadline: March 15, 2024.

AACR’s is a year-round career development resource center. The Center provides an unparalleled opportunity for cancer and biomedical research scientists, at all professional levels, and for clinicians who are seeking to advance their scientific careers to be provided with career development resources. Employers who are seeking to recruit highly qualified scientists are offered the opportunity to utilize the resources available to them on as a premier recruiting tool. For more information, visit or email [email protected]. Hub

The AACR provided Career and Professional Development opportunities to scientists at all career levels at the Hub. The AACR hosted several Career Development and recruiting events at the AACR Annual Meeting 2024 from April 7-10 in the San Diego Convention Center.

Create your free jobseeker profile account to search for positions, post your CV/resume, create Job Alerts, and take advantage of other features. For more information, visit or email [email protected].

Networking Hubs

On April 7, the AACR hosted a night of fun and informal networking at our Networking Hubs. Attendees had the opportunity to talk one-on-one with colleagues and potential collaborators at four Hubs focused on rapidly advancing areas of research, and a special Hub on careers away from the bench. Junior investigators were especially encouraged to take advantage of this unique opportunity to mingle with respected senior investigators and meet fellow junior investigators.


  • Cancercareers: Scientific Careers Resource Center
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Data Science in Cancer Research
  • Incorporating New Technologies into Clinical Trials
  • Novel Targets Enabled by Chemistry Advances

NextGen Stars

The AACR Annual Meeting 2024 marked the 10th anniversary of the prestigious and competitive AACR NextGen Stars program. Early-career scientists applied to give a presentation in a Major Symposium or Advances Session at the AACR Annual Meeting 2024. Speaking slots were limited and were only available to AACR Associate Members and to AACR Active Members who are not above the level of assistant professor or equivalent. The NextGen Stars program provided an exciting opportunity to increase the visibility of early-career and early-stage scientists at the AACR Annual Meeting and to support their professional development and advancement.

The deadline to submit applications was October 3, 2023.

View the 2024 AACR NextGen Stars