The Young Investigator Symposium is a professional mentoring event that takes place at the semiannual ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group meeting in October or November. The symposium, inaugurated in 2001 by the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG), introduces young investigators to ECOG-ACRIN, providing them with the opportunity to give a 10-minute oral presentation of their research project and respond to questions. Through this event, young investigators meet experienced investigators, learn about potential research opportunities early in their career, and furnish the ECOG-ACRIN community with new research approaches.
While at the group meeting, young investigators are invited to observe scientific committee meetings, participate in educational sessions for clinical trial professionals, and network one-on-one with attendees. Like the question and answer session during the symposium itself, these interactions are valuable to young investigators, given that the more senior, long-standing ECOG-ACRIN researchers and investigators have broad experience in clinical research disciplines and translational science.
Awardees do not receive research grant funding; however, ECOG-ACRIN covers travel and lodging costs associated with attendance at the group meeting.
Up to eight young investigators are chosen annually by the Mentoring Program Committee to be a symposium presenter. Criteria used to judge the applications include scientific innovation, significance, and ultimate potential for clinical impact.
Awards of distinctions are given annually to two presenters. Following the symposium, the Mentoring Program Committee meets to evaluate the presentations, taking into consideration the merit of the research, quality of the presentation delivery, command of the research topic, and ability to respond to research-related questions. The two recipients of the awards of distinction are announced and recognized at the group meeting’s General Session, the plenary event of the group meeting when all attendees gather together.
To be eligible for consideration, an individual must meet all of the following criteria:
In clinical research, ECOG-ACRIN encourages applications from individuals working in therapeutic and medical imaging disciplines such as medical, surgical, and radiation oncology; hematology; radiology; nuclear medicine; internal medicine; and preventive medicine. In translational science, it encourages applications from individuals working in disciplines such as laboratory-based pathology, genetics, molecular biology, and experimental imaging. Individuals working in other related disciplines are also encouraged to apply; these include statistics, bioinformatics, clinical psychology, behavioral sciences, epidemiology, and health services.
Interested individuals who meet the eligibility criteria can apply by submitting a completed ECOG-ACRIN Young Investigator Symposium Abstract Submission Form via email. Generally, the submission period opens on or about June 1st each year and closes at the end of August.
The form requires applicants to provide their institutional and cooperative group affiliations, title of the research topic, other authors names and institutions (if applicable), and an abstract briefly describing the research. The research abstract must not exceed 2800 characters (approximately 400 words), including spaces, but not author names or institutions. Supporting materials, such as reference listings and tables and/or figures, may be included in the application.
Submit research abstract forms for and direct inquiries about the Young Investigator Symposium to:
Mentoring Program Administrator
ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group
Recipients from 2001, when the event started, through 2011, are forthcoming.
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