The Trainee Membership program allows students, trainees, and fellows to experience membership at the University of Illinois Cancer Center (Cancer Center).
The program’s objective is to provide access to training and education resources essential for students in the health sciences to enhance their careers in becoming leaders in cancer-related research and health care professions. The program provides:
- Learning opportunities such as educational workshops, seminars, and activities
- Environment to engage with cancer research experts and the Cancer Center community
- Awards for travel, project funding, and milestone recognition
- Development support, e.g., grant applications preparation and career development consultations
- Experiences in cancer research pipeline programs (e.g., training and summer programs)
- Resources available through the Cancer Center Shared Resources and partnerships
Membership is open to high school, undergraduate, and graduate students, postdoctoral, and clinical fellows who are currently engaged in — or have previously engaged in — cancer-related research at the University of Illinois Chicago.
- Trainee Associate Member – High school to postdoctoral or clinical fellows
- Trainee Emeritus Member – Early career faculty or other careers
Enrollment and Expectation
Trainees who meet the eligibility criteria can complete the online form. Trainee members will complete an initial survey once enrolled and an annual follow-up survey. We ask that trainee members keep their contact information current at Cancer Center as they progress through their careers.
Trainee members will receive the weekly Cancer Center newsletter and a monthly Education and Training Hub newsletter to gain firsthand knowledge of cancer research announcements. Trainee members will be part of the Cancer Center online community to highlight and recognize progress and accolades throughout their careers. We will periodically contact trainee members for updates on new accomplishments, honors, and awards to feature them in Cancer Center publications and social media. Trainee members have access to special trainee awards, internships, paid employment at our summer education programs, and invitations to Cancer Center events. The program creates career development opportunities such as presentations and career talks during the summer program and Cancer Center-sponsored events. The program fosters a multidisciplinary environment for trainees to collaborate with other trainees and cancer experts to broaden their network and research interests.
Exclusive access to:
- Cancer Center newsletters and announcements
- Presentation opportunities at retreats and symposia (e.g., Dr. Gary Kruh and Dr. Tapas Gupta Research Symposia)
- Travel awards to attend mentor-selected conferences
- Funding opportunity announcements such as seed and small project grants
- Grant preparation support
- Career development and mentor-making consultation
- Paid positions, internships, and peer mentoring opportunities in the Cancer Center summer programs
Summer Programs include:
The ChicagoCHEC (Chicago Cancer Health Equity Collaborative) Research Fellows program is a comprehensive summer learning experience for undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students that focuses on the development of academic, technical, and professional skills in preparation for careers in social, behavioral, and biomedical research, as well as healthcare.
ChicagoCHEC is for undergraduate and post baccalaureate students from Northeastern Illinois University, University of Illinois at Chicago, Northwestern University, the City Colleges of Chicago, and other community colleges in the Chicago metropolitan area who are planning to apply to graduate or medical school.
ChicagoCHEC Research Fellows will spend the summer in seminars and research rotations learning from leading researchers. Following the intensive summer program, ChicagoCHEC Research Fellows may have an opportunity to volunteer or work with a research mentor on a research project (depending on mentor and project availability) during the academic year.
Through the researcHStart program, we introduce high-school students to cancer research and promote career opportunities in the field, helping students gain knowledge in biophysics, biochemistry, immunology, and pharmacology.
After the researcHStart program:
- 95% of students felt more confident in their ability as researchers
- 95% of students said the experience increased their interest in cancer-related careers
- 100% of students said they were more knowledgeable about to pursuing cancer-related careers
The majority of recent researcHStart participants intend to pursue majors in biology-related fields such as pre-medicine, biomedical engineering, biochemistry, and health sciences. Others are already working toward degrees in science and technology.
For updates about the program, including information about the 2021 admissions cycle, please sign up for the researcHStart mailing list.
Cancer Health Equity Summer Scholars (CHESS)
CHESS is a collaboration between the Urban Health Program and the University of Illinois Cancer Center. The CHESS program is a summer program that trains and mentors underrepresented minority high school students interested in careers focusing on cancer research and other health professions. The students learn about cancer health disparities from researchers by attending lecture series and journal clubs, conducting research mentored by senior researchers, participating in career development and skill-building workshops, and developing scientific writing and presentation skills.
Exclusive invitation to attend Cancer Center events:
- Scientific symposia, retreats, workgroup meetings
- Network events with Cancer Center Community and Ask the Cancer Expert (ACE) Sessions with distinguished event speakers
- Grand Rounds and Journal Clubs
- Community engagement opportunities
- Skill-building workshops and webinars
- Grant preparation
- Professional skills development
To learn more or have questions, contact the University of Illinois Cancer Center, Cancer Research Career Enhancement and Education (CRCEE)