Trainee Research Award

The Stephenson Cancer Center (SCC) is pleased to offer the Trainee Research Award program for graduate students, professional students, and other trainees at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC) and University of Oklahoma (OU) main campus. The objective of this award program is to enhance trainee career development opportunities and/or to augment resources towards basic, translational, clinical trial, or community-based cancer projects. Eligible trainees include graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, residents/fellows, junior research faculty (research/non-tenure track only), and faculty enrolled in the MS-CTS or TPIR programs. The SCC intends to fund up to four (4) of these awards annually at $7,500 each; 2 awards for trainees needing additional funding to support research efforts for a grant submission or resubmission (F-, K-, and R-series). Preference will be given to individuals who are revising and resubmitting their grant application (copy of summary statement and response to the statement will need to be included for resubmission applications), 2 additional trainees needing additional funding for their thesis/ dissertation/research project will also be supported.

Application Overview


  • The trainee can be a graduate student, post-doc, resident/fellow, or a junior faculty member (basic or clinical research on non-tenure track).
  • For a junior faculty member we would require that either: (i) their research and salary are primarily supported by resources provided by a more senior SCC member and that they do not have independently allocated lab space or (ii) they are enrolled in a graduate or professional program such as the MS-CTS or TPIR program.
  • The trainee must be in the lab of an SCC member located at the OUHSC (Tulsa or OKC) campus or the OU Norman Campus.
  • Applicants must be working in a cancer-related field of study or working on a cancer-related thesis, practicum, dissertation, or research project.

Examples of Allowable Expenses

  • The award can cover research-related expenses that could benefit the current research project or practicum project of a current trainee.
  • The award could be used to cover registration and other expenses needed to attend a specific technical or educational workshop that could enhance the career development of the trainee. Note: This award is not intended to cover expenses for a research conference as the SCC provides travel awards for that activity).
  • Data gathering equipment, analytical software, modest stipends for subjects, biospecimen collection and processing, hourly pay to hire assistants for such tasks as transcription, translation, collecting or coding data, rating, and similar work, training, travel and accommodations for fieldwork.

Funds cannot cover expenses such as computers, the applicant's personal salary, research conference travel, and housing or living expenses.


  • Applications are due April 16, 2023 at 11:59 pm CST.
  • Review of application will take place in April.
  • Funding decisions will be made with an anticipated start date of May 1.
  • The SCC Education and Faculty Development Committee will select the four award recipients.

Application Requirements:

  • Letter of recommendation: A letter of recommendation from the applicant’s degree program mentor (e.g., Thesis Committee Chair, Dissertation Committee Chair, Practicum Chair, Research Mentor) addressing the importance of the planned research project to the field of cancer research, the rigor and innovation of the proposed methodology, the necessity of the funding request, and how these funds will enhance and further develop the career of the trainee.
  • Applicant’s Biosketch (NIH format – max 5 page)
  • Project Narrative: (how many pages?)
    • Research proposal (3 pages max): a brief summary, including specific aims and hypothesis, of the research project including milestones. The research strategy should also include a statement of the significance and innovation of the project. The specific aims and hypotheses are limited to 1 page (single-spaced, 11 point font, 0.5 inch margins).
    • Career Development (1 page max).: a brief summary of how this award will enhance the career and research project of the trainee
    • Budget and justification (2 pages max): indicate cost and justification for each item requested
  • Supplemental Information if Applicable (no page limit):
    • Letters of support from collaborators (e.g., laboratory director agreeing to per-assay price)
    • Data collection forms and/or survey instruments if relevant
  • Grant Summary Statement and Introduction – Applicants requesting support for resubmission of their grant application will need to include the summary statement and introduction pages with the application.

Online Application

Selection Criteria

Applications will be judged in terms of the following evaluation criteria by the Education and Faculty Development Committee (EFDC) committee:


  • Up to four $7,500 awards will be made annually. Fewer awards may be funded during a given cycle if no qualified applications are received.
  • Funds must be expended within 1 year of the award; no cost extensions are not allowed.
  • Awardees are required to submit a 1 page final progress report to the SCC Education and Faculty Development Committee (EFDC) within 30 days after completion of the funding period. The progress report should include a summary of the status of the research project and a list of any abstracts submitted, presentations delivered, and submitted or published manuscripts resulting from the research project.
  • Awardees are required to complete an outcomes survey for up to 5 years post award.
  • Applications from underrepresented minorities/populations (URM) are encourage. URM categories considered are those defined by NSF.

Funding must be acknowledged in all publications, posters and oral presentations at conferences supported by the award as follows:

Research reported in this publication was supported in part by a Stephenson Cancer Center Pilot Grant funded by the National Cancer Institute Cancer Center Support Grant P30CA225520 awarded to the University of Oklahoma Stephenson Cancer Center. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.”

Contact Information

Education, Training and Career Enhancement Core
OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center