Application cycle opens
Reference letter deadline
March 31, 2020
All applicants are notified of their status
June 2, 2020
2020 NCF term begins
The 2020 NCI Communications Fellowship (NCF) term will begin on June 2, 2020. During their one-year fellowship, NCF Fellows will gain work experience in an NCI host office and participate in a wide variety of professional development opportunities. Please visit the tabs to your left for more information on program requirements, pay and benefits, examples of past work assignments, and more!
NCF Fellows are required to attend and engage in the following during their fellowship to successfully graduate from the NCF:
- NCF Orientation
- Brown Bags
- Professional Development Trainings
- One-on-One Check-ins with NCF Program Manager
- Fellowship Project Presentation
More information about the above requirements are discussed during NCF Orientation on June 2, 2020.
Host Office & Work Assignments
All NCF Fellows are placed in an NCI host office. NCI host offices vary each year. Applicants are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the 30 NCI divisions, offices, and centers, many of which have previously hosted NCF Fellows.
All NCF Fellows are assigned a Mentor. The Mentor is the Fellow's day-to-day contact, assigns work and assesses performance, and works with the Fellow to develop the NCF Training Plan and outline projects and goals the Fellow will work on.
Past NCF Fellows have worked on the following:
- Social media management
- Create content for newsletters, blog posts, flyers, and websites
- Web analytics
- Produce videos
- Design interactive graphics
- Develop SOPs
- Data analysis and transfer
- Conference and exhibit management
- Internal communications
- Liaise and benchmark with patients, physicians, and other NIH Institutes
- Create and implement strategic communication plans
An NCF Fellow's assignments and projects will vary based on their host office.
Sabina Braverman relocated to Washington, DC from the Big Apple to begin her position as the NCI Communications Fellow within the Office of Advocacy Relations (OAR) in the Office of the Director. As a fellow at the “front door for advocacy at the NCI,” Sabina supports communications efforts that increase the NCI’s engagement with individual research advocates, as well as larger advocacy organizations.
Sabina’s projects have included analyzing advocate involvement across NCI’s intramural and extramural research programs and synthesizing this information into easily digestible documents to use in communications with a wide variety of audiences. She has also been working to conduct a literature review on the prevalence of advocate involvement in cancer research settings around the world and will be using this research to help OAR strategically facilitate more meaningful engagements at the NCI. Sabina graduated with her B.S. in Psychology from the University of Florida (Go Gators!) in 2016, and her M.P.A. in Health Services Management from the NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service in 2018. She would be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding the fellowship or application process, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maddie Bro is a strategic health communicator with multidisciplinary experience in state and federal government communications, nonprofit fundraising, and market research management. As a Cancer Research Training Award (CRTA) Communications Fellow with the National Cancer Institute Center for Biomedical Informatics and Information Technology (CBIIT), Maddie manages and develops content for the CBIIT public website and intranet, monthly internal newsletter, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts.
Additionally, she supports strategy and promotion for external projects like the Childhood Cancer Data Initiative (CCDI), Data Science Seminar Series, and NCI Cancer Research Data Commons. Maddie graduated Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Iowa, earning a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Journalism & Mass Communication and Gender, Women’s & Sexuality Studies with a certificate in Fundraising & Philanthropy Communication. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Strategic Communication also from the University of Iowa. Maddie is happy to answer questions about the National Cancer Institute Communications Fellowship (NCF) and can be reached at email@example.com.
Patrick Godette Jr. is part of the Communications Team of the Surveillance Research Program (SRP) through the NCI Communications Fellowship (NCF). He supports SRP’s communication and dissemination efforts, including the SEER Did You Know? Video Series. His professional interests include health communication and data analysis.
Patrick spent most of his years living in Virginia, where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Biology from Virginia Commonwealth University. His extracurricular volunteering inspired him to blend community engagement, wellness, and science together by earning his Master of Public Health at the same university.
Prior to joining the NCI, Patrick worked as a Health Equity Intern at the Virginia Department of Health. Tasks he accomplished at this position include creating a health infographic, summarizing the results of a five-year grant, and geoprocessing rehabilitation centers across Virginia. Additionally, Patrick has worked as a Graphic & Web Design Research Assistant for Virginia Commonwealth University’s School, Home, and Internet contexts of Emotional Development (S.H.I.E.L.D) Lab, where he developed their website and created educational materials in the form of engaging comics.
Laurie Hursting, MA, is a Cancer Research Training Award (CRTA) fellow with the Implementation Science team in the Office of the Director in the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences at the National Cancer Institute.
Laurie works on health communication activities that increase the breadth, depth, and quality of dissemination and implementation (D&I) research in cancer control. In particular, she is supporting a new initiative to evaluate the communication platforms developed and hosted by the IS team with the goal of updating and redesigning online resources to better serve the practitioner community.
Laurie previously worked as a research assistant at the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center in the UNC Weight Research Program and the Communication for Health Applications and Interventions Core teams. Her master’s thesis project for the UNC School of Media and Journalism established a set of practical guidelines, informed by theory and perspectives from practice, to facilitate the successful creation of impactful narratives pertaining to health.
She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology, with minor in creative writing, from Austin College, Sherman, TX, and master’s degree in mass communication (interdisciplinary health communication) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Brianna Jacobs is an NCI Communications Fellow in the Outcomes Research Branch (ORB) of the Healthcare Delivery Research Program. Brianna supports the activities of key ORB initiatives and serves as the Communications and Project Manager for the Improving the Management of Symptoms During and Following Cancer Treatment (IMPACT) Research Consortium, an initiative funded by the Cancer Moonshot™.
Brianna also assists in the development, planning and support of scientific activities of ORB related to patient-reported outcomes, symptom management, and cancer care quality. Before joining NCI, Brianna received her Master of Public Health in Health Behavior and Health Education from the University of Michigan School of Public Health, and her Bachelor of Arts in Public Health from the University of South Carolina. She is happy to answer any questions you have about applying or becoming an NCF. Feel free to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sudeepti Kuppa is an NCI Communications Fellow in the Neuro-Oncology Branch (NOB) within Center for Cancer Genomics (CCR) at NCI. NOB has a robust and integrative laboratory and clinical program, with impactful work being done across the branch in diverse areas of research.
Her primary project is to create physician/investigator profiles as well as research program profiles and use these to update the design and content on the NOB website by using web analytics to guide strategic decision-making. She also curates tweets for @NIHBrainTumor, NOB’s Twitter account, interacts with brain tumor patients to create patient stories, and helps promote the research accomplishments of all individuals at NOB. Having just obtained a Ph.D. in oncology studying breast and ovarian cancer from the University of Georgia (Go Dawgs!), she loves being in touch with the technical aspect of scientific research while also getting more experience in developing communications material that ensures the science is effectively relayed to various audiences.
Julia Nummelin is a Communications Fellow at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in the Center for Biomedical Informatics and Information Technology (CBIIT). In this capacity, she assists in the creation and implementation of strategic communications for a wide range of NCI-facing and public-facing campaigns, co-manages social media accounts, creates content for websites, and writes articles for an internal newsletter.
Julia has a Master of Public Health from the University of Minnesota, where she conducted a pilot study called “Finding Your Y: Preventing childhood obesity through building family resilience.” Julia also holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management and Entrepreneurship from the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire. She plans to pursue a career in public health, focusing on functional and integrative approaches to sustainable wellbeing, chronic disease prevention, and health equity. She is happy to speak with prospective NCF Fellows and can be reached via email email@example.com or LinkedIn.
Meghan Watkins is a Health Communications Fellow in the Surveillance Research Program (SRP), within the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS). Her various communications projects include creating graphic and written content for SRP’s Twitter, and writing posts for Toward Precision Cancer Surveillance, SRP’s blog.
She has also taken on various project management roles assisting in Annual Report to the Nation communication planning, organizing SRP’s programming in the NCRA conference, and various SEER Annual Report activities. Meghan received her B.S in Health Sciences from the University of Missouri, as well as an MPH in Health Behavior and Health Education with a specialization in Health Communication from the University of Michigan.
Justine Yu is a science communicator with a background in cancer biology. As a Science Communications Fellow in the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, Justine’s responsibilities include managing and creating website content, translating scientific findings into practical and accessible messages for use in press releases, highlighting research news and events, and developing articles for the quarterly DCEG newsletter Linkage. She also maintains the DCEG Twitter page. Justine is simultaneously completing her Ph.D. in Molecular Medicine at the University of Maryland Baltimore and plans to defend her thesis in Spring 2020.
NCF Fellows are paid a monthly training stipend through a Cancer Research Training Award (CRTA). The amount of your monthly stipend will be based on your undergraduate GPA, your highest earned degree, and your relevant post-degree experience. Stipends are prorated, meaning you will earn exactly 1/12 of your annual stipend rate per month. You can expect to receive between $34,300 and $49,500 per year depending on your education level and experience. Your official stipend will be calculated by your host office and will be communicated to you prior to your arrival at NCI.
You are eligible to receive health insurance at no cost through the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (FAES). NCI will pay your monthly premium. If you already hold a health insurance policy in your own name that you would like to keep, NCI will reimburse you for the cost of your policy up to the amount that NCI would have otherwise paid for your insurance. For more information about health insurance, visit www.faes.org/health_insurance.
Your stipend is taxable even though no taxes will be deducted. You will receive reference materials at orientation which will assist you in filing quarterly estimated tax payments to federal and state taxing authorities. You will owe taxes to the state you live in during your fellowship.
NCF Fellows work full-time (40-hours per week), generally from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm with a lunch break. The tour of duty is determined during your first week. Changes in schedule must be approved by your Mentor. Leave is determined by the host office as Fellows do not accrue vacation or sick leave.
NCF Fellows are responsible for their own housing. The following websites provide information about available and affordable housing. This list does not imply endorsement by NCI or NIH.
NIH Office of Intramural Training and Education (OITE)
OITE has a moving guide available for NIH trainees. In it you will find information on housing and many other relocation resources.
Montgomery County Apartment Finder
County run website offering complete listings of apartment rental communities and search capabilities
Washington Post Apartment Listings
Metro area listings from the classifieds and sponsors, the site offers detailed searching capabilities.
The NCI is located in three locations: the NCI Shady Grove Campus, in Rockville, MD; the NIH Main Campus in Bethesda, MD; and, the NCI Frederick Campus in Frederick, MD. Transportation information for each campus is located here.
Getting around the D.C. metropolitan area is easy using public transportation. Visit www.wmata.com for Metrorail and Metrobus schedules and fare information.
For more information visit https://www.cancer.gov/about-nci/visit
NIH Office of Intramural Training and Education - http://www.training.nih.gov/trainees
OITE's programs complement the training activities of the NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs). While primarily a resource for biomedical research trainees in NIH's Intramural Research Program, OITE offers many career development workshops which are of benefit to the entire trainee community.
CIT Training - http://training.cit.nih.gov/
The CIT Computer Training Program provided by the Center for Information Technology offers a wide variety of courses and seminars that enable users to make efficient and effective use of computers, networks, and information systems in their work at NIH. Examples of courses include: SPSS Basics, Useful Tools and Utilities for Web Developers and Designers, Windows XP Tips and Tricks, and Office 2007 - What's New? The trainings are free and open to NIH employees and to all users of CIT computing facilities.
NIH Office of Human Resources - http://hr.od.nih.gov/
TThis is a public site for the Office of Human Resources (OHR) and is the primary source of Human Resources information for people outside of the NIH (i.e., job-seekers, former employees, public). This site provides OHR information on strategic programs, client services, and workforce relations support to the NIH. In addition, important information is given on OHR news and events, employment, and inclement weather.
NIH Library Training - http://nihlibrary.nih.gov/ResourceTraining/
The NIH Library trains users how to effectively find, appraise and manage information using an array of electronic library resources. Topics include how to search the biomedical literature, access online journals, order and receive articles via email, set up a research update service, and use bibliographic management software to manage a personal library collection and format bibliographies. Trainings are free and restricted to NIH staff.
Graduate School (formerly USDA Graduate School) http://graduateschool.edu/
The Graduate School is an independent, educational, not-for-profit institution headquartered in the nation's capital with additional sites strategically located throughout the U.S. The School engages a diverse student population through innovative, as well as proven, approaches to teaching and learning that take advantage of its locations, its network of public and corporate leaders and practitioners, state-of-the-art technologies and connections with major employers. The School provides a broad array of learning opportunities in formats accessible to adult learners everywhere through affordable training programs, continuing education courses, executive and leadership development programs, and credit offerings at the certificate and associate degree levels. Tuition must be paid at time of registration.
FAES Graduate School at NIH - http://www.faes.org/grad/
FAES offers nearly 200 courses each year at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. FAES courses are certified by the Maryland Higher Education Committee and accepted for credit at most universities. The majority of FAES Graduate School courses are in the biomedical field. Tuition must be paid at time of registration.
The Capitol Net Research - http://www.thecapitol.net/PublicPrograms/
Offers legislative, communication and advocacy training, and media relations focused courses. Media relations courses provide training on how to work with the media as part of ongoing education and advocacy. Communications and advocacy courses show participants how to effectively develop, write, and deliver a message. Examples of media relations and communication and advocacy courses include: Public Affairs and the Internet: Advanced Techniques and Strategies; Strategies for Working with Congress and Its Staff: Communicating Effectively with Capitol Hill; Using Grassroots, Coalitions, and the Media to Get Your Message Heard: Advocacy and Education Campaigns in Washington; and Crisis Communications Training. Tuition must be paid at time of registration.
NIH Office of Extramural Training Opportunities - http://nih-extramural-intranet.od.nih.gov/d/nih/training/step/step.htm
OER links you to myriad NIH and federally-sponsored training programs and opportunities. You may find the Staff Training in Extramural Programs Training Programs (STEP) link on this website of particular interest. These free seminars are open to NIH staff, require no advanced registration, but are on a first come, first serve basis.
Young Government Leaders - http://www.younggovernmentleaders.org
Young Government Leaders (YGL) is a professional organization of young men and women employed by the Federal government. Its mission is to educate, inspire, and transform the current and future leaders of the government. YGL offers seminars on a variety of professional and personal development topics and sponsors monthly social activities.
YGL-Bethesda - http://yglbethesda.org/
This is the Bethesda chapter of YGL; many of this chapter's members are NIH interns
- Paid Federal government holidays
- Flexible work schedules
- Professional development seminars
- Public transportation subsidy
- Housing database
- On-site fitness center
- Recreation and Welfare Association
- Loan deferment for eligible federal loans