Training the Twenty-First Century Cancer Epidemiologist
To assess and advance training of twenty-first century cancer epidemiologists, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) sought to obtain a snapshot of the cancer epidemiology training landscape by conducting a survey across academic institutions and cancer centers, focusing on four key training areas driving current cancer epidemiology research (“drivers”): (1) collaboration, (2) novel methods/technologies, (3) multilevel analysis, and (4) knowledge integration. Complementary to the survey, we conducted a portfolio analysis of active NCI-funded training grants. In the present report, we provide our findings from this effort and contribute to the on-going conversation regarding the training of next-generation cancer epidemiologists. Analyses and insights gained from conversations with leaders/educators across 24 academic institutions/cancer centers and the portfolio analysis of training grants echoed contemporaneous conversation that cancer epidemiology training must adapt to meet the needs of the changing research environment. Currently, with the exception of novel methods/technologies, cancer epidemiology trainees receive the majority of their training in collaboration, multilevel approaches, and knowledge integration/translation either informally, ad hoc, or not at all; exposure to these identified drivers varied considerably by institution, mentor, and other external as well as internal factors.
KeywordsCancer epidemiology Training Education
We are grateful for the dedication, thoughtfulness, and time that each surveyed educator/faculty member devoted to answering the survey questions. We are appreciative of their generosity and the insights they have shared during our conversation with them. We would like to acknowledge Dr. Margaret Spitz’s for her insights and time spent reviewing the materials.
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