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Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2013 Nov;22(11):2138-42. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-13-0807.

Transitioning to independence and maintaining research careers in a new funding climate: american society of preventive oncology junior members interest group report.

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Authors' Affiliations: Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program, Division of Cancer Prevention; Process of Care Research Branch, Behavioral Research Program, Health Behaviors Research Branch, Behavioral Research Program, Behavioral Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, Rockville, Maryland; Department of Psychology, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah; Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York, New York; Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut; Group Health Research Institute; and Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.


The American Society of Preventive Oncology (ASPO) is a professional society for multi-disciplinary investigators in cancer prevention and control. The ASPO Junior Members Interest Group promotes the interests of predoctoral, postdoctoral, and junior faculty members within the Society, and provides them with career development and training opportunities. To this end, as part of the 37th ASPO Annual Meeting held in Memphis, Tennessee in March 2013, the Junior Members Interest Group organized a session designed to address issues faced by early-career investigators as they navigate the transition to become an independent, well-funded scientist with a sustainable program of research in the current climate of reduced and limited resources. Four speakers were invited to provide their complementary but distinct perspectives on this topic based on their personal experiences in academic, research-intensive positions and in federal funding agencies. This report summarizes the main themes that emerged from the speakers' presentations and audience questions related to mentoring; obtaining grant funding; publishing; developing expertise; navigating appointments, promotion, and tenure; and balancing demands. These lessons can be used by early-career investigators in cancer prevention and control as they transition to independence and build programs of fundable research.

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