Author(s): Chang S, Hursting SD, Perkins SN, Dores GM, Weed DL
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Abstract Preparing junior scientists for careers in the health sciences has become an immense challenge for many reasons, including the emerging demand for multidisciplinary approaches to solving problems in the health sciences. For those choosing careers in hybrid and interdisciplinary fields, the "traditional" postdoctoral training model may not perform well, particularly in light of other problems that plague postdoctoral success. New approaches are required. Using the interdisciplinary field of cancer prevention as an example, the authors describe the Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program (CPFP) of the National Cancer Institute, a three-year postdoctoral program of which the goal is to provide its fellows with a strong foundation in cancer prevention through education, mentored research, and structured professional development training activities that emphasize multidisciplinary approaches and leadership skills. Over time, the CPFP has incorporated the best aspects of the traditional postdoctoral training model with newer training approaches in an effort to overcome existing problems in postdoctoral training and to address the additional complexities inherent in training those who seek careers in interdisciplinary science. Many aspects of the CPFP, including an efficient infrastructure, a dedicated staff, a capacity to provide educational activities, and the provision of rich research opportunities, may translate well to other postdoctoral programs that face similar issues.
This article was published in Acad Med
and referenced in Journal of Analytical & Bioanalytical Techniques