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FDA-AACR Oncology Educational Fellowship

Application for 2023-2024 fda oce fellowship is closed.


Purpose: This fellowship is designed to promote scientific progress through exchange of scientific knowledge in oncology education, collaborative learning, and research. Through targeted educational activities and interactions with experts from the AACR and the FDA Oncology Center of Excellence, FDA-AACR Oncology Educational Fellows will increase their familiarity and experience with oncology drug development and the regulatory review process.

Activities: Over the course of one year, fellows will participate in virtual educational events on topics to include: INDs, NDAs/BLAs, expedited pathways, animal studies, clinical pharmacology, statistics, clinical trial design, companion diagnostics, biomarkers, and precision oncology. The sessions will be a mix of didactic content and group discussions. Fellows will be expected to complete assignments relevant to lesson content between meetings.

Fellows will be provided with travel and lodging assistance to attend the AACR Annual Meeting in San Diego, California, April 5-10, 2024. Additionally, the fellowship capstone, Project ODAC Odyssey, will involve fellows developing and leading an in-person mock meeting of the Oncology Drug Advisory Committee in late spring/early summer 2024.

Additional mentoring and networking opportunities will be offered through the AACR throughout the year.

Duration: One year.

Attendance is required at all sessions in full, barring emergencies.



The FDA-AACR Oncology Educational Fellowship is open to current hematology/oncology fellows and early-career cancer investigators with advanced degrees (DO, MD, MD/PhD, or PhD). Current or pending AACR membership is a requirement for applying. Applicants must be within five years of starting their current academic position. Strong candidates will have excellent English writing skills and a demonstrated interest in oncology drug development and the regulatory review process. We welcome applications globally, but meeting visa travel requirements for in-person portions are the responsibility of the fellow.


Interested candidates must complete the application process on or before the application deadline (August 14, 2023, 11:59 pm local time).

Application Process:

  • Online Application. The online application form will be available in June 2023. Applications should include a short bio (max 250 words) and curriculum vitae (4-page maximum). The CV should include the applicant’s education, professional accomplishments, publications, and any honors and awards. The NIH Biographical Sketch Format Page will not be accepted.
  • Letters of Recommendation. Applicants should submit two letters of recommendation (two-page maximum for each) in the online application portal. However, if letters are not ready when filling out the application, they may be submitted via a single email to [email protected] by the application deadline, please include your name and “FDA-AACR Oncology Educational Fellowship” in the subject line. These letters should address the applicant’s professional/scientific competence and what makes them a good candidate for the FDA-AACR Oncology Educational Fellowship. Both references should be able to speak to your scientific and/or clinical experiences from a supervisory or mentoring perspective.

Recommendation letters should be sent to [email protected] with the subject line “(Applicant name) 2024 FDA-AACR Oncology Educational Fellowship.”


  • June 1, 2023: Application period opens
  • August 14, 2023: All application materials must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. (local time)
  • October 2, 2023: Selected fellows notified
  • October 2023: Hold first virtual fellowship activity (Date TBD)


Nicholas Warren, PhD
Assistant Director, Regulatory Affairs


What qualifies as “early-career?”
For the purposes of this fellowship, “early-career” individuals have received their terminal degree and are currently working fulltime in academia in research/teaching. Eligible positions could include postdoctoral fellows, staff scientists, assistant professors, clinical fellows, and medical residents. Undergraduates, graduate students, and individuals working in industry are NOT eligible for the FDA-AACR Oncology Educational Fellowship. Please contact Jon Retzlaff if you are unsure if your current position qualifies for the fellowship.

What counts as an “advanced degree?”
For the purposes of this fellowship, only individuals with a PhD, MD, DO, or MD/PhD are eligible to apply. If you have questions about your specific degree and circumstances, contact Jon Retzlaff to discuss.

Do I need to be a member of the AACR to apply?
AACR membership is required. Membership in the AACR confers useful benefits. Applicants must have applied to become members of the AACR before submitting their fellowship application, however only proof of application is required to submit an application.

Can I submit application materials as I complete them, or should I submit everything together?
We would prefer to receive all materials in the application survey.

We would prefer to receive all materials as PDF attachments in one email. However, if you have everything except the reference letters completed, you may submit those documents and follow up with a second email containing your letters of recommendation, as long as all materials are received by August 14, 2023. Please make sure all emails have “(Applicant name) 2024 FDA-AACR Oncology Educational Fellowship” as the subject line.

Should I submit my letters of recommendation myself or have my reference-writers send them on their own?
You should submit all your application materials, including the letters of recommendation. You are responsible for ensuring all materials are submitted prior to the August 14, 2023. deadline. The FDA and AACR will not consider applications for which there are missing or incomplete materials.  

How many fellows will be selected for the FDA-AACR Oncology Educational Fellowship?
We have previously accepted approximately 20 fellows in each class and expect to continue accepting similar numbers.

What will the selection process be like?
Applications will first be reviewed for completeness; incomplete applications will not be considered. A selection committee comprising FDA staff and AACR members with experience in the drug development and review process will select fellows based on strength of qualifications and references.  

Is this a full-time fellowship, or something done in addition to current clinic and/or research commitments?
The FDA-AACR Oncology Educational Fellowship is an additional learning opportunity for early-career scientists on top of their current responsibilities. We anticipate the time commitment is roughly 5 hours per month, including one 3 hour-long monthly virtual meeting starting in October. Fellows are also expected to attend the AACR Annual Meeting, which lasts approximately 5 days in April and an additional in-person capstone project in late spring/early summer.

Is U.S. citizenship a requirement?
No, U.S. citizenship is not required to apply for or become a fellow.

Can I apply for the fellowship if I am located outside of the U.S.?
Yes, the fellowship welcomes interested applicants globally. Meeting visa travel requirements for in-person events are the responsibility of the fellow. International fellows are encouraged to start the visa application process soon after being notified of acceptance into the program.

Will there be a stipend?
No, there is no stipend.