National Cancer Institute Research Opportunities

National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Reference Code
How to Apply

Click on Apply below to begin your application. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling-basis, and mentors will select candidates as projects become available. 


The Oak Ridge Institute of Science and Education (ORISE) is seeking applicants for research and training opportunities at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Cancer Institute (NCI). With the support of an assigned mentor, participants will have a hands-on learning/training opportunity that compliments their educational background.  This experience will provide recent college graduates, an avenue to connect them to unique resources and tools available at NIH NCI, while learning along-side of top scientists.  A limited number of spaces will also be available for graduate students to participate during the summer.

What will I be doing?

Selected participants will be involved in a wide variety of research, training, and information dissemination activities supporting cancer research, and will be assigned a research project guided by a mentor. The mentor will determine the research project at the time of selection. Projects may include a broad range of various fields of studies.

Why should I apply?

The research proposed will allow participants to learn and gain independence in designing and carrying out laboratory experiments and generating data for publications and presentations. An additional goal is to prepare the participants for the next step in their careers.

What is the anticipated start date?

Exact start dates will be determined at the time of selection and in coordination with the selected candidates.

What are the benefits?

Participants will receive a competitive stipend. Participants may also be eligible to receive a health insurance allowance and/or reimbursement for professional travel expenses. 

About NCI

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), one of 11 agencies that make up the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). NCI is the federal government's principal agency for cancer research and training. NCI’s mission is to lead, conduct, and support cancer research across the nation to advance scientific knowledge and help all people live longer, healthier lives.

As the leader of the cancer research enterprise, collectively known as the National Cancer Program, and the largest funder of cancer research in the world, NCI manages a broad range of research, training, and information dissemination activities that reach across the entire country, meeting the needs of all demographics—rich and poor, urban and rural, and all racial/ethnic populations.

Nature of the Appointment

This program, administered by Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) through its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to manage the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), was established through an interagency agreement between DOE and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  Participants do not become employees of NIH, NCI, ORAU, ORISE, DOE, or any other agency, and there are no employment-related benefits. Instead, the participant will be affiliated with ORISE for the administration of the appointment through the ORISE appointment letter and Terms of Appointment.

While participants will not enter into an employment relationship, this opportunity will require a suitability/background investigation by NIH. Any offer made is considered tentative, pending favorable outcome of the investigation.


The ideal candidates will be in their early career and currently pursuing or have recently completed their Bachelor's, Master's, or Doctorate degree in a related field within the last 5 years.  If more than five years since receipt of degree, the applicant must have an academic background and experience in a relevant field and must be seeking to gain new knowledge/experience in order to expand career opportunities or to advance professionally.    

The preferred candidate will have superior academic performance, strong analytical, organizational, research and communication (oral and written) skills, and demonstrated capacity for creative thinking and problem-solving skills. Ideal candidates will be a strong team player who performs equally well independently.

A complete application consists of:

  • Complete Zintellect profile

  • Complete Application questions 

  • Current Resume/CV, including academic history, employment history, and relevant experiences

  • Transcripts/Academic Records - Recent unofficial transcripts or copies of the student academic records printed by the applicant or by academic advisors from internal institutional systems may be submitted to complete the application, if a copy of the official transcript is not available at the time of application. Transcripts/Academic Records must include the name of the academic institution, name of the student, completed/in progress coursework and grades.  If you are selected, you will be required to provide a copy of your official transcript before the appointment can start.
  • One (1) Academic or Professional Recommendation - Applicants are required to provide contact information for at least one recommendation in order to submit the application.  Recommenders will be asked to complete a recommendation through the Zintellect system, and must complete it before the application is considered completeApplications without a completed recommendation will not be reviewed.  The recommendation should address a candidate's academic record, scientific capabilities, personal characteristics, and potential for success.  The recommendation must be submitted through the Zintellect application system. Recommendations submitted via email will not be accepted.    

All documents must be submitted via Zintellect, and must be in English or include an official English translation. All application components must be received in the system in order to be considered. Documents must have all social security numbers, student identification numbers, and/or dates of birth removed (blanked out, blackened out, made illegible, etc.) prior to uploading into the application system.  Incomplete applications will not be considered. Supporting materials must be uploaded as PDF files to ensure the document can be searched by Zintellect’s search engine. Documents sent by email, postal mail, or fax will not be considered.  

If you have questions, send an email to Please include the reference code (NIH-NCI-RPP-2024) for this opportunity in the subject or body of your email. 

Connect with ORISE...on the GO! Download the new ORISE GO mobile app in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store to help you stay engaged, connected, and informed during your ORISE experience and beyond!

Eligibility Requirements
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree, Master's Degree, or Doctoral Degree.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Chemistry and Materials Sciences (12 )
    • Communications and Graphics Design (2 )
    • Computer, Information, and Data Sciences (17 )
    • Earth and Geosciences (21 )
    • Engineering (27 )
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (14 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (46 )
    • Mathematics and Statistics (10 )
    • Physics (16 )
    • Science & Engineering-related (1 )
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences (28 )
  • Age: Must be 18 years of age