At University of Illinois Cancer Center, we are committed to strengthening diversity in medicine and cancer research.
We believe it is critical that we increase the number of high school and college students who pursue cancer research as a potential career field. By increasing the diversity of students interested in oncology research, we hope to impact how disparities in cancer are understood.
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.
The Trainee Membership program allows students, trainees, and fellows the opportunity to experience membership at University of Illinois Cancer Center. Trainee members have access to special trainee awards, opportunities for paid employment at our summer education programs, and invitations to Cancer Center events.
Trainee members have exclusive access to:
- Trainee awards
- Poster presentation opportunities at retreats and symposia
- Travel awards to attend mentor-selected conferences
- Funding opportunity announcements
- Paid positions in the UI Cancer Center summer programs:
Trainee members will be invited to attend UI Cancer Center events, including:
- Seminars, retreats, and symposia
- Lunch with seminar speakers
- Grand Rounds and Journal Clubs
- Community engagement opportunities
- Grant Writing
- Skills Development
Trainee members will receive the UI Cancer Center weekly newsletter and announcements. They also have the opportunity to be a part of our online community, where they will be highlighted and recognized as they progress throughout their careers. We will periodically contact trainee members for updates on new accomplishments, honors, and awards, which will be featured in UI Cancer Center publications and on social media.
Membership is open to high school, undergraduate, and graduate students. This includes postdocs, and fellows who are currently engaged in — or have previously engaged in — cancer-related research at the University of Illinois Chicago.
We ask that trainee members keep their contact information current at UI Cancer Center as they progress through their careers.
Grants and Funding Opportunities
University of Illinois Cancer Center offers a range of grants and funding opportunities to support our members’ research, and connects members with external funding.
We also provide pilot funding to stimulate new inter-programmatic research initiatives that will lead to competitive grant applications to external peer-reviewed funding organizations.