NCI Graduate Student Recruiting Program

Tips for Applying

General Information

  1. Talk to your graduate advisor to make sure you meet the eligibility requirement of degree completion of December 31st, 2021. Dates after December 31st will result in rejection of the application.
  2. Please list the email address that you wish to get updates about your application status. If there are any issues with your application, we will contact you via email regarding your application and a lack of response may prevent your application from being reviewed.
  3. After you submit your application, please add to your contact list, so that you will receive the updates regarding your application status.
  4. Additionally, check your spam folder for emails.

Personal Statement

Please answer the following prompts (300-500 words per prompt)

  • Describe your interest in a research career. Please provide evidence of motivation, excitement, and drive for research.
  • Why do you want to complete your postdoctoral fellowship at the National Cancer Institute? How will training here help you achieve your career goal(s)?
  • Describe at least one instance where you had to overcome a challenge or obstacle during your career.

Please Note

  1. You do not have to have a cancer research background to apply. However, you may want to describe how your research background is relevant to the cancer field.
  2. Download the Personal Statement template to your device. You may then complete it and resave it as many times as needed. You will be able to upload the completed document to your application.
  3. Make sure your document is void of all spelling and grammatical errors.
  4. Have a colleague or friend proofread and edit your work to make sure you provide complete answers to the prompts and there is a logical flow. If English is not your first language, also have a native English speaker review your document.
  5. Do NOT exceed 1500 words.

Curriculum Vitae

Use the format provided. CV Format.

  1. Make sure all your information is up to date on your CV.
  2. The document should be a concise summary of your educational and professional history. Be prudent about the information that you provide, sticking to experiences that are most relevant to your scientific and leadership experience.
  3. You may wish to list the skills you acquired during your scientific training experiences and any mentoring/supervising you were asked to provide.
  4. Use formatting or spacing to make your CV easy to read.


Document containing the abstract of poster to be presented at NCI

  1. Your abstract will be added to an abstract book for the Poster Session portion of the program.
  2. It should be no more than ONE page. Do NOT shrink the font to make the text fit on one page.
  3. Please list your abstract title, author's names and affiliations on the page.
  4. Abstracts will not be edited. Be sure NOT to use special characters. (ex. dashes, single quotes, double quotes and Greek characters/symbols)

Recommendation Letters

  1. Secure your referees (one of them being your dissertation advisor) as soon as possible, inform them of the deadlines, and let them know to expect an email from to upload the document into the system. They will receive the email when you submit your application.
  2. Be sure to ask someone who knows both you and your work well and will write a supportive letter of recommendation. Applications to GSRP are very competitive, and what often sets them apart are the recommendation letters.