Advanced Workshop on Research Skills in Oncology

Funded by NCI R25 246746 and formerly the NASDC course


Course description

A successful research career requires competencies in managing individuals as a leader, mentor, and collaborator. Additionally, sustaining a career in research demands the ability to manage the stress, disappointment, and competing priorities that are part of even the most successful careers. This NCI-funded intensive 3-day virtual workshop is designed to provide early-career principal investigators a foundation in these critical skills within a short period of time. Beginning with personal assessments, participants will learn how to use their specific strengths to lead more effectively, increase collaborations, and stay resilient in the face of challenges. Expert faculty mainly from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, including multiple award-winning teachers and mentors who are independent investigators and leaders, will teach the workshop using small groups, lectures, and experiential activities. The workshop will have two tracks to allow for more tailored content for clinical and basic science researchers in oncology. The cohort of individuals participating in each offering of the workshop represents another key component of the experience. The number of participants will be kept small to maximize interactions among faculty and other participants. Participants will be selected and placed into small groups based on their areas of research with the goal of creating new connections and collaborations.

Learning objectives

This objective of this workshop is to equip early-career principal investigators with the skills they need to lead research teams, develop meaningful collaborations, and grow their research programs while managing the competing demands and emotional challenges that come with a research career.


The course consists of: Interactive didactics on strengths-based leadership, communication, mentoring, and navigating the social and emotional challenges of a research career Small group sessions for adapting and applying the skills to individual participants Two tracks with sessions on research-specific skills in clinical and basic science research Optional training in using natural language processing software to make research processes more efficient

Course Leadership

William Pirl, MD, MPH and Joseph Greer, PhD will co-chair the workshop with a multidisciplinary team of faculty including: Kathleen Burns, MD, PhD; Areej El-Jawahri, MD; Tamryn Gray, PhD; Jamie Jacobs, PhD; Charlotta Lindvall, MD; Elyse Park, PhD, MPH; Abby Rosenberg, MD, MS, MA; Jennifer Temel, MD; Jane deLima Thomas, MD; Lara Traeger, PhD; James Tulsky, MD; Lisa Wood, PhD; Miryam Yusufov, PhD; and others.

Who should attend?

Early-career principal investigators in all areas of oncology research who have career development awards or other research grants with at least $100,000 in total direct costs over the course of the award. Participants must have a doctoral degree. Researchers from under-represented racial and ethnic minority groups, women, and individuals who identify as sexual and gender minorities are particularly encouraged to apply.

Course dates and location

Wednesday, April 10 - Friday, April 12, 2024 
The course will be offered virtually. 


The workshop is supported by NCI R25 246746 and there is no tuition fee.


To apply, please click on the link below. 

Application Window Closes: December 15, 2023 
Application Decisions Emailed: January 2024 

If you have any questions, please contact us at