American Cancer Society Diversity in Cancer Research Postbaccalaureate Program

As a student in the two-year Diversity in Cancer Research Postbaccalaureate Program, you will benefit from a paid research experience, access to Case Western Reserve’s School of Medicine and its allied hospitals, and connections to faculty, staff, and dynamic laboratory settings that provide you with well-rounded training in cancer biology while building skills to bolster PhD and MD/PhD applications.

the american cancer society's logo

The program, designed for underrepresented college graduates, is offered jointly by the American Cancer Society (ACS) and Case Comprehensive Cancer Center (Case CCC)—a unique partnership with Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), Cleveland Clinic, and University Hospitals that aims to discover the causes and progression of cancer and develop treatments that reduce the likelihood that our population will develop cancer and suffer from its consequences.

Appointed scholars will be employees of CWRU, receiving an annual wage of $35,000 plus employee benefits (tuition waiver and health insurance). The program also provides funds for a personal laptop, research supplies, standardized test preparation, travel to national conferences, and relocation costs.

Program Components

  • A sustained and impactful research project
  • Shadowing/mentoring by cancer physicians
  • Graduate-level coursework
  • Weekly program meetings 
  • Seminars, symposia, and retreats
  • Travel to and participation in national cancer research conferences
  • Written and oral communication training
  • Networking and interview coaching
  • Preparation for standardized examinations (MCAT/TOEFL)
  • The potential to fast-track your education in CWRU’s PhD or MD/PhD programs

View Program Requirements and Coursework

Application Information

Applications are closed.

Applicant Eligibility

  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Belong to an underrepresented minority, disabled, or disadvantaged group as defined by the National Institutes of Health
  • Be a senior about to graduate with a baccalaureate degree in biology, chemistry, or a related field, or have attained such a degree 24 months prior to the application submission date
  • Have a strong desire and commitment to pursue a PhD or MD/PhD program
  • Have some, but perhaps limited, research experience

Information Needed to Complete Application

  • Contact information and demographics
  • Two letters of recommendation sent via email to Damian Junk at
  • Test scores (optional)
  • Description of prior research experiences
  • Description of awards, honors, or scholarships
  • Personal statement (two-page limit) that addresses the following questions:
    • Please tell us about yourself: Why did you decide to apply to this program? What are your long-term goals? Why are you interested in going to graduate school?
    • What are your career goals? Are you interested in becoming a professor or faculty member at a university?
    • How do you think the ACS-Postbaccalaureate Program will help with your career goals?
    • Many students have faced personal, economic, or other challenges in pursuing their academic and career goals. Have you had any challenges that you have had overcome in your life?
  • Current resume or CV
  • Recent copy of transcripts after high school (may be unofficial copies, but an official copy will be requested prior to appointment to the program)

Finalists will be selected for interviews with members of the admissions committee.


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