WU Oncology StARR Training Program

Cross-Disciplinary Oncology Clinician-Scientist Training

The over-arching goal of the Washington University (WU) Stimulating Access to Research in Residency (StARR) Program in Cross-Disciplinary Oncology Clinician Scientist Training is to IDENTIFY, RECRUIT, TRAIN, RETAIN, and ADVANCE outstanding physicians in oncology-focused graduate medical education (GME) training (i.e. “residency”) for careers as clinician investigators. We have proposed training clinician resident-investigators from diverse, oncology-focused disciplines and residency training programs

This research training program is funded by a R38 award from the National Cancer Institute. The R38 StARR program will support resident-investigators from the following participating departments at Washington University School of Medicine:

  • Dermatology
  • Internal Medicine
  • Neurosurgery
  • Pathology
  • Radiation Oncology
  • Surgery

Each resident-investigator will engage in 1-2 years of 80% dedicated, protected research time, free from all clinical responsibilities. They will craft a research plan commensurate with their interests and prior experiences that may involve further training, coursework, workshops, and career development.


Ryan Fields


Ryan Fields, MD

Program Director, R38 PI
Kim and Tim Eberlein Distinguished Professor of Surgery (Surgical Oncology)
Chief, Section of Surgical Oncology


Trainees may be in any year of their residency training, but must have approval of their program director.

All trainees must be:

  • Residents participating in GME-approved residency training program
  • Able to commit at least 80% protected time (free from clinical responsibilities) for 1-2 years of continuous research
  • An MD or MD/PhD and must not have had more than one year of previous postdoctoral support from another NIH institutional training grant or individual NIH fellowship award.
  • Citizens or permanent residents of the United States
    • Physicians on a temporary or student visas are not eligible


Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Your application will require:

  1. Completion of the Online Form
  2. A brief (approximately 300-500 words) description of the research project that you would like to complete during this two-year program.
  3. One PDF with the following components:
    1. Applicant’s Biosketch
    2. Letter from your program director indicating your eligibility for the R38 training program
    3. Prior Research Experience
    4. Research Proposal (6 pages; NIH Style, Include Competencies and Milestones, Budget)
    5. Career Development Plan (Similar to F32 Application; 2 pages)
    6. Two Additional Letters of Support Other than the Mentors (e.g. Department Chair; Division Chief; Other)


The R38 Supports four trainee position per year; the typical training program is two years.

Trainees are expected to:

  • Attend regularly scheduled seminars and journal clubs.
  • Complete training in Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR).
  • Provide annual progress reports during and after the period of support.
  • Complete a Community Outreach and Engagement project.

Support Provided

  • Stipend: Postdoctoral stipend levels are set by the NIH each year, and commensurate with the number of years of postgraduate training.
  • Health insurance
  • Trainee-related expenses, and tuition (as needed)


For questions about the program and application information, please reach out to Alissa Hanten, Senior Project Manager, at [email protected].