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FAQs: ACS DICR Training Post-Baccalaureate (PB) Fellows Program 

The goal of the American Cancer Society (ACS) Diversity in Cancer Research (DICR) Post-Baccalaureate (PB) Fellows Program is to prepare recent college graduates for careers in cancer research and health professions. The program provides mentored cancer research training paired with an Individualized Professional Development Plan (IDP) to facilitate preparation for doctoral-level graduate and professional education.

Yes. Specific populations are underrepresented in science, including for receiving grant funding. These groups are collectively called populations underrepresented in science:

  • Certain racial and ethnic groups
  • People with disabilities
  • First-generation college graduates
  • People from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds 

For more information, see Get the Facts | Diversity in Extramural Programs.

To be eligible for funding, applicants for Principal Investigator/Program Director must:

  • Be a full-time faculty member and have attained the rank of Associate or Full Professor (or equivalent) at an eligible academic institution in the United States or an eligible nonprofit.
  • Have a track record of extramural funding, mentoring junior investigators, publications in peer-reviewed journals, and administrative/leadership experience (such as deputy director or director of a program, center, or department). 

No. ACS funds a single institution and single PI. Although we do not allow multiple PIs, institutions may have other doctoral-level faculty help lead the program. Only one application is allowed from a single institution.

To apply and be eligible for funding, institutions must:

  • Be in the US and have undergraduate degree- and graduate degree-granting programs (such as Master's and Doctorate) and health professional degree-granting programs (such as MD, Nursing, and PharmD).
  • Be an NCI-designated cancer center or equivalent nonprofit institution. 
  • Have an established cancer research program and experience with pathway programs such as ACS IRG, DICR internships, NCI R25, or T32.

No. Admission to the ACS DICR PB Fellows Program requires an application to an institution with an active PB program funded by the ACS. See a list of current ACS DICR PB institutions.

Institutions may apply through ProposalCentral under the American Cancer Society's Grant Opportunities.

ACS DICR PB institutions may request support for 4 PB Fellows for the project period.

PB Fellows’ eligibility is guided by the NIH definition of underrepresented minorities in science. 

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must:

  • Have a Bachelor’s degree in any STEM discipline (science, technology, engineering, or mathematics) or health profession
  • Agree to participate in the post-baccalaureate program full-time and cannot be simultaneously enrolled full-time in a graduate degree program
  • Demonstrate a passion for cancer research and commit to the 2-year program

Institutions are awarded $660,000 which includes 10% allowable indirect costs for a 3-year project period. The award includes:

  • Expenses for program oversight
  • Fellow compensation and benefits
  • Support for implementing a 2-year cancer research training certificate program for 4 Fellows 

Upon completion of the 2-year program, Fellows will receive a certificate of completion for the ACS DICR PB Fellows Program from the institution where they trained.

Yes. The funds will be disbursed each year in one lump sum of $220,000. This includes $200,000 direct costs and $20,000 indirect costs.

No. Please plan to budget $220K for each year of the project period.

Yes. Institutions may carry over unspent funds except for the last year. For a no-cost extension, institutions must submit a no-cost extension request, and ACS must approve it.

Yes. The project period is 3 years for the PI leading the grant to implement a 2-year cancer research experience and Individualized Professional Development Plan (IDP) for each trainee as well as career-developing and networking activities for the cohort of Fellows.

Commitment to and participation in the Fellows program is 2 years. The grant project period for the institution is 3 years to allow time to carry out all activities required for the program. 

Yes. ACS DICR PB Fellows can take up to 2 courses a semester.


Each institution sets a start date for their PB Fellows. We anticipate that funded institutions typically start their program between June and August.

  • New application deadline: April 1 (Spring cycle)
  • Renewal application deadline: October 15 (Fall cycle) 

The review of the ACS DICR Post-Baccalaureate institutional applications is managed by the ACS Center for Diversity in Cancer Research Training.

April applicants receive notice of funding decisions in July. The start date for the project period is January 1. 

October applicants receive notice of funding decisions in April. The start date for the project period is July 1.

ACS will monitor the program on an ongoing basis. Institutions will use surveys to collect baseline and longitudinal data. 

The de-identified, aggregated collected data will help us identify the successes and need for potential modifications of the program, including but not limited to participants’:

  • Sustained involvement in research and career development activities
  • Academic progression (diploma/certificate/degree attained, college/graduate school admission and major)
  • Employment
  • Engagement with ACS
  • Professional presentations and publications
  • Program satisfaction  


For more information about the ACS DICR PB Fellows Program: