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FDA-AACR Oncology Educational Fellowship

Program Overview

Applications for the 2021-2022 FDA-AACR Oncology Educational Fellowship opens June 1, 2021.

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.

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

Duration: One year.

Tentative Session Dates and Times:

October 20, 2021 – 1-3:30pm

November 17, 2021 – 1-3:30pm

December 15, 2021 – 1-3:30pm

January 19, 2022 – 1-3:30pm

February 16, 2022 – 1-3:30pm

March 9, 2022 – 1-3:30pm

April 9-13, 2022 – TBD or

April 20, 2022 – 1-3:30pm

May 4, 2022 – 1-3:30pm

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). Applicants must be within five years of starting their current academic position. Strong candidates will have excellent writing skills and a demonstrated interest in oncology drug development and the regulatory review process. AACR membership is a requirement for fellows.


Interested candidates must provide all of the following documents on or before the application deadline (August 14, 2021, 11:59 pm local time). Materials should be sent to [email protected] with the subject line “(Applicant name) 2022 FDA-AACR Oncology Educational Fellowship.”

Application Materials:

  • Completed Application Form
  • Curriculum Vitae (4-page maximum): Use the CV to detail your education, professional accomplishments, publications, and any honors and awards. The NIH Biographical Sketch Format Page will not be accepted from the applicant.
  • Statement of Interest (maximum 300 words): Include any prior drug development experience such as protocol writing, drug development, grant writing, etc.
  • Two letters of recommendation (two-page maximum for each): These letters should speak to your professional/scientific competence and what makes you a good candidate for the FDA-AACR Oncology Educational Fellowship. At least one letter must be from an active AACR member familiar with your qualifications for this fellowship.

NOTE: When a template or form is provided for application materials, the template MUST be used.


  • June 1, 2021: Application period opens
  • August 14, 2021: All application materials must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. (local time)
  • October 4, 2021: Selected fellows notified
  • October 20, 2021: Hold first virtual fellowship activity

STAFF Contact

Jon Retzlaff, MBA, MPA
Chief Policy Officer
Vice President, Science Policy and Government 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 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, 2021. Please make sure all emails have “(Applicant name) 2022 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, 2021, 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?
The 2020-2021 Inaugural Fellowship Class welcomed 20 fellows. We expect to welcome a similar number of fellows for the 2021-2022 Fellowship Class.

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. For the 2022 class, all events will be conducted virtually. The anticipated time commitment is roughly 5 hours per month, starting in October 2021.

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.

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