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  1. Scientific Internships, Fellowships / Trainees and Non-U.S. Citizens

OCE Summer Scholars Program

The FDA Oncology Center of Excellence Summer Scholars Program is designed to introduce high school students with an interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, or medicine) to the cancer drug development process and career opportunities in government, regulatory medicine, and cancer advocacy.

The three-week virtual program, July 12-30, 2021, offers students exposure to the drug development pathway, including:

  • Comprehensive introduction to the cancer drug development process, including pre-clinical research, clinical trials, drug manufacturing, FDA review, and drug marketing and utilization.
  • Discussions with pivotal stakeholders and advocacy groups.
  • Introduction to principles of translational and clinical research.
  • Introduction to clinical data analysis.
  • Communications techniques for future scientists and health professionals.
  • End-of-program student presentation on a topic of interest.


  • U.S. Citizen, non-citizen national, or legal permanent resident.
  • 16 years of age or older by April 15 of the current year.
  • Currently enrolled in high school junior or senior year.
  • Minimum overall GPA of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale), although exceptions may be granted.

Applicants must also meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Come from a group of persons underrepresented in science and engineering (S&E). Women, persons with disabilities, and three racial and ethnic groups—blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, and American Indians or Alaska Natives—are underrepresented in S&E. That means their representation in S&E education and S&E employment is smaller than their representation in the U.S. population (Source: National Science Foundation).
  • Have been diagnosed with cancer or be a sibling or a child of a cancer survivor.

Students will be enrolled through FDA’s Summer Volunteer Student Program, an unpaid position. District of Columbia Public Schools students have the opportunity for compensation through the DCPS Career Initiatives Summer Internship Program.

Students will be assigned an FDA employee mentor at the beginning of the program. Mentors will meet regularly with students and assist with their end-of-program presentation.

Application Process and Required Documents

All required documents listed below must be filled out and signed by the student and/or parent/guardian where indicated and sent as attachments by email to FDAOncology@fda.hhs.gov by April 19. 

Do not send links to Google documents or other cloud sharing platforms.

  • One-page Personal Statement describing why the student would like to participate in the program and how they became interested in oncology or drug development.
  • Student resume or CV containing at least the student’s date of birth, U.S. citizenship status, name of high school, GPA, email address, home address, and phone number.
  • Student Volunteer Program Agreement
  • Confidential Information Form for Students
  • Photo-Video Release

Download the complete application package here.

Application Deadline Extended to April 30

Program Location: This program will be entirely virtual via FDA Zoom.

Sample Curriculum for Three-Week Program 

Students are expected to attend virtual sessions four days a week, usually M-Th. Mornings generally have scheduled lectures and discussions. Afternoons may be used for individual reading, meeting with an FDA mentor, and working individually or in small groups on the final program presentation.

Week 1:

  • FDA orientation
  • Basics of drug development and oncology lectures
  • Introduction to Effective Presentation Skills 
  • Case Series Discussion on scientific issues

Week 2:

  • FDA basics lectures continued
  • Introduction to FDA mentors
  • Drug Development Sessions 
  • Virtual discussion: NIH Clinical Center–research laboratories and hospital
  • Virtual Field trip: Howard University – Labs, Oncology Clinic, and Tumor Board
  • Virtual Field trips: Advocacy groups – Kids v Cancer

Week 3:

  • Meet with groups and mentors
  • Final presentation preparation
  • Friday, July 31: Final Presentation at OCE Rounds

Additional Information:

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