Students Classroom

Training and Education

Our educational programs support a diverse population of learners and span the educational spectrum from middle school to continuing medical education.

The MCW Cancer Center is committed to enhancing cancer research training and education and supporting career development for a diverse population of learners at all levels—from middle and high school, undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, graduate, postdoctoral and clinical fellows, faculty, and health professionals.

The Office of Cancer Research Training and Education (CRTEC) offers a wide range of training and educational programs, including externally funded programs for trainees and investigators to pursue academic careers, with a focus on multi-disciplinary team science and cancer disparities. This includes a Research and Community Scholars program that brings together early-career scientists and community scholars to enhance mutual understanding of the research process and community challenges.

Long-established educational programs and initiatives at MCW include a Medical Scientist Training Program, a longstanding American Cancer Society-Institutional Research Grant supporting junior investigators, and wide-ranging educational programming provided by MCW’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute to support cancer research trainees and early-career faculty.

In addition, a range of enrichment opportunities and services are available for early-career investigators, including mentorship, research training programs, and assistance with grant and clinical trial protocol writing. Seminars, retreats, lectures, and workshops are also available to address the ongoing educational needs of faculty and health professionals.

Featured Programs


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American Cancer Society Diversity in Cancer Research

This two-year post-baccalaureate program is funded by the American Cancer Society and is designed to support graduates from underrepresented groups in STEM in gaining admission to and completing graduate or medical school by offering an immersive experience that includes hands-on training in cancer research labs, access to research mentors, participation in community outreach, and career development workshops. Students focus on the molecular mechanisms of cancer and cancer health disparities.\

Learn more and apply. (PDF)

Cancer Disparities Research Summer Program

This program is designed to connect undergraduates to potential mentors and research opportunities, making a future career in biomedical sciences more accessible. College undergraduates participate in a didactic core curriculum and weekly group seminars featuring career development activities, goal setting, and discussion of works in progress. Other experiences include shadowing basic scientists in their labs, participating in community events, and completing a mentored project on a topic related to cancer disparities in Southeast Wisconsin.

GAP/Enrichment Year Clinical Research Experience

The MCW Cancer Center offers funding for 1-2 years of experience for up to eight recent college graduates who wish to delay graduate or professional school to serve as a clinical research professional in the MCW Cancer Center Clinical Trials Office. Students receive comprehensive training through an onboarding program, seminars, workshops, and shadowing experiences to enhance their understanding of cancer and clinical research. 

Student-centered Program to Advance Research in Cancer Careers (SPARCC)

This summer program comprises eight weeks of workshops and hands-on experience in the MCW Cancer Center's Clinical Trials Office and clinical practicums. The program recruits a diverse cohort of undergraduates and prepares them for careers as Clinical Research Professionals to provide financial support through employment as they transition to advanced degrees.  

Learn more about SPARCC.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Fellowship Program

The MCW Cancer Center has partnered with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) Office of Undergraduate Research to develop an exceptional program offering UWM students a longitudinal experience aimed at training the next generation of high-performing, diverse cancer researchers. Beginning with mentor-pairing, students align their interests with a Cancer Center/cancer-focused research mentor and participate in an introductory semester-long, credit-granting undergraduate course that supports the development and writing of a fellowship grant proposal.

Visit UW-Milwaukee's Office of Undergraduate Research for details.

Graduates, Medical Students, Predoctoral and Postdoctoral

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Cancer Careers Symposium

The Cancer Careers Symposium is organized and presented by residents and fellows, who partner with senior faculty to develop presentations and provide case examples that include research components.

These day-long symposiums:

  • Increase awareness and exposure to oncology specialties and research opportunities
  • Promote networking and connect students and trainees with mentors
  • Explore multi-disciplinary teams in research and the clinic
  • Expand educational resources and facilitated hands-on skills
MCW Cancer Center Fellowship Program (Pre-doc)

To better support both pre- and postdoctoral training, the MCW Cancer Center established a program to provide two-year NIH-level stipends for predoctoral and/or postdoctoral fellowships. These awards are open to trainees, regardless of US residency status, in basic, clinical and population science research, including clinical fellows in oncology specialties.  

Medical Scientist Training Program

The MCW Cancer Center participates in the MCW Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) with the mission to support medical and research training culminating in the receipt of both an MD and a PhD degree while helping to reduce costs associated with training. Our trainees have diverse backgrounds with undergraduate majors from physics to psychology. Their experiences and research interests are varied as well, but all share a common goal—to achieve excellence as physician-scientists.

Learn more about MSTP.

Scientific Teams Advancing Research Translation (START)

The MCW Cancer Center partners with MCW’s Scientific Teams Advancing Research Translation (START) program, which applies a team science approach to develop the clinical and translational research skills of graduate students and fellows. It provides a one-year stipend for 8 post- and 2 predoctoral participants yearly to conduct focused research and develop fundamental, quantitative research skills.

Learn more about the START program.

Educational Partnerships

Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI)

The Clinical and Translational Science Institute provides training opportunities that will prepare individuals to function effectively on multidisciplinary research teams with the potential of translating research among basic science, patient-oriented, and community disciplines.

Learn about CTSI

Graduate School Programs

Find a program of interest including Biochemistry, Bioinformatics, Biostatistics, Cell and Developmental Biology, Clinical and Translational Science, Global Health Equity, Microbiology & Immunology, Pharmacology & Toxicology, Physiology, Precision Medicine and more.

Explore graduate school programs

Office of Diversity and Inclusion

The Office of Student Inclusion and Diversity is home to a variety of pathway programs to prepare and inspire talented students, middle school through college, to pursue careers in medicine and in health-related research.

Find a pathway program

Summer Enrichment Programs

The Office of Student Inclusion and Diversity offers Summer Enrichment Programs to encourage people from diverse backgrounds to pursue careers in science, healthcare, and beyond.

Find a summer program



Janet Rader, MD, FACOG

Associate Director, Cancer Research Training and Education Coordination


Kristina Kaljo, PhD

Assistant Director, Cancer Research Training and Education Coordination (CRTEC)


Lisa R. Olson, MBA

Research Program Manager


Yifan Yang, MEd

Research Program Coordinator II