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Clinical Research Support
Training and Education
YES for CURE Program
CURE - Summer Only Program
Frequently Asked Questions
What is DF/HCC?
Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC) is a comprehensive cancer center designated by the National Cancer Institute and is the first collaborative effort to bring together the intellectual resources of its seven partner institutions to focus on one mission—the eradication of cancer. These institutions are: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brigham and Women's Hospital,
Children's Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Massachusetts General Hospital.
DF/HCC is NOT Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, although the Institute is a partner institution of DF/HCC.
The CURE program is housed within
DF/HCC’s Initiative to Eliminate Cancer Disparities
. The Initiative uses an integrative approach to focus on disparities reduction throughout all aspects of DF/HCC structure and activities through facilitation of clinical trials recruitment efforts, original research focused on new discoveries related to understanding the causes of and solutions to cancer disparities, as well as development of increased faculty and trainee diversity. The CURE program is designed to introduce students to the exciting world of cancer research. Students will be placed with a mentor who conducts cancer-related research at one of our seven partner institutions.
Program and Logistics
How are presenters chosen for the weekly seminars?
Most of the presenters are Harvard faculty and have indicated an interest in engaging with students participating in the program. In addition, we seek input from our current and past student participants to determine topics of interest.
Is there a stipend, and, if so, how much?
The amount of the stipend is determined at the start of each program year. The stipend is determined by DF/HCC funding sources, which vary from year to year.
A stipend is provided on a weekly basis. We are unable to pay overtime to students.
In 2017, undergraduates received $12/hr and high school students received $11/hr.
Will there be housing accommodations for students from outside Boston? If not, is there assistance in arranging housing?
Housing is not provided for students—it is the student’s responsibility to acquire his or her own housing.
Are there networking opportunities?
There are ample networking opportunities for students—as part of the research internship, students must attend weekly seminars given by prominent researchers and physicians. Students are also highly encouraged to network within their own department and seek out opportunities for themselves—former students have shadowed doctors, observed surgeries, etc. in the past because of the networks they built over the summer. There will also be opportunities to network with students from other research programs in the Greater Boston area.
What are the start/end dates for the training programs?
Start dates vary depending on the program, check program specific pages
Research Environment and Mentoring
What is this program about? Is it just for students interested in cancer or any kind of disease?
Students applying to DF/HCC training programs need not have had any prior research experience. You are not required to demonstrate prior interest in cancer research either or any one particular disease; instead, this is an opportunity to be involved in new types of research conducted at DF/HCC partner institutions.
At which institutions will I be able to work?
Our partner institutions include Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Massachusetts General Hospital, and University of Massachusetts - Boston.
Will I be working on a project that I want to develop or will it be one that is assigned?
Most projects are a subset of a larger project already underway in your assigned research environment, or are related in some other way to a larger project. They are usually specially designed and developed for you by your mentors.
What are the potential areas of research where I will be working?
This is an opportunity to be involved in cancer-related research conducted at DF/HCC partner institutions. Check DF/HCC's list of research programs for details.
Students can be assigned to a variety of oncology-related environments across the basic, clinical and population science research spectrum. We also offer nursing research environments.
Basic science research
This includes the fields of genetics, molecular biology, cell and developmental biology. Basic science research looks for the answers to problems at the fundamental level. It is done in laboratories using beakers and test tubes, not people. Basic science researchers look at the micro level (the cellular and molecular level) to better understand larger issues, such as diseases and disorders.
Clinical science research
This is patient-oriented research (conducted with human subjects or on material of human origin, such as tissue or other specimens). It includes research that determines the safety and effectiveness of medications, devices, diagnostic products, and treatment regimens intended for human use.
Population science research
This includes epidemiological and behavioral studies as well as research that looks at health disparities and other community-based outcomes.
This type of research focuses on nursing practice as it pertains to health promotion, disease prevention, quality of life and end of life care.
Students should be as specific as possible when listing areas of research interest in their application. These may range from cancer genomics to breast cancer to cancer health disparities to prostate cancer.
How are mentors paired with students? Can students request to work in particular departments?
Every attempt is made to match students and mentors who have similar research interests. We will also consider special requests to work in particular cancer-related departments; however, all participating mentors must be DF/HCC members. It is helpful for the student to be as specific as possible when listing areas of research interest in their application. Check Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center's web site for details on the various cancer-related research being conducted and the scientists (your potential mentors) who are conducting the research. If you identify particular people or an area you would like to work in, please list those on your application.
Is my research project supposed to be completed by the end of the program?
DF/HCC training program students are required to present their research findings, whether complete or incomplete, to colleagues and researchers at the end of the summer in a formal presentation. Due to the program length, some students may not obtain definitive results before the summer ends. Students may follow up with their mentors to get updates regarding the research they conducted.
Do all students have the same research project?
Students are paired individually with different mentors. Research may sometimes be similar but students typically do not work in the same research environment together since DF/HCC training programs focus on developing an individual research experience.
What have DF/HCC training program alumni done after graduating from the program?
Please see the
for further information.
Does DF/HCC aid student participants in submitting abstracts and projects to different symposiums?
Yes—please contact us at
for more information.
My question is not listed here. How can I find out more information?
Contact us at