General Overview of the Visiting Scholars Program

This unique Program offers mid-career researchers a year-long, funded, part-time opportunity to generate and contribute evidence that addresses cancer care challenges across the continuum of care by conducting research and participating in related activities at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Rockville, MD. This Program also serves the purpose training researchers to understand NCI and utilize federal resources and data. The selected Visiting Scholar(s) collaborates closely with NCI staff and are given access to AcademyHealth programmatic activities to broaden or strengthen their professional networks.

As the preeminent professional society for health services researchers and health policy analysts, AcademyHealth collaborates with the health services research community and other key stakeholders to support, facilitate, and assist in the development of health services researchers. The expertise of AcademyHealth’s members encompasses the fields of health services, medical effectiveness, and health policy research. This extensive membership provides AcademyHealth with the unique ability to reach the health services research community through organizational and personal memberships.

The Visiting Scholar(s) is housed in NCI’s Healthcare Delivery Research Program (HDRP). HDRP’s mission is to advance innovative research to improve the delivery of cancer-related care. To learn more about HDRP, click here to watch a video and visit this website.

The Visiting Scholar(s) is expected to lead a project of their own design and to collaborate with NCI staff on at least one other project. The Visiting Scholar(s)’s primary responsibility will be to lead an activity with the ultimate goal of improving healthcare delivery in at least one area of the cancer continuum (i.e., prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment, survivorship, or end-of-life care).

Click here to learn more about previous Visiting Scholars and their specific projects.

What are the benefits of becoming a Visiting Scholar?

In addition to working closely with NCI Healthcare Delivery Research Program staff and the AH professional network, benefits of becoming a Visiting Scholar are below:

Who is eligible to apply?

The Program is geared toward mid-career researchers who seek to enhance their expertise in cancer care, work with NCI mentors, and develop peer-reviewed publications and presentations.

Applicants must have a doctoral degree (e.g., Ph.D., Sc.D., D.N.P., Dr.P.H., PharmD, or a clinical degree with a research masters in a relevant area such as economics, epidemiology, health services, or another public health or social science (e.g., M.S.W., M.H.s, M.P.H.)). Applicants must demonstrated track record of independent research in their fields of study and a publication record of first or senior authored publications relevant to health care delivery research, including peer-reviewed publications, book chapters, and gray literature.

Additionally, applicants are required be employed at a U.S.-based institution and be able to commit 20-35% full-time equivalent over the one-year fellowship.

If you believe you meet these requirements, we encourage you to apply!

Is a specific academic rank or title required?

No. Qualified applicants will possess a record of progressively responsible research experience, documented by service as a Principal Investigator, Site Principal Investigator, or lead of a major sub-project funded through a large, multi-year contract or grant (R01 or comparable) from an organization such as NIH, AHRQ, NSF, PCORI, ACS, or RWJF; or other equivalent (excluding career awards and pilot projects). Typical applicants are Associate Professors (or equivalent).  However, we will also accept applications from Assistant Professors (or equivalent) who meet the other criteria for independent research experience.

Is research experience in cancer care required?

No. While research experience should be relevant to health care delivery, access, and outcomes, a focus on cancer is not required. For investigators with relevant research experience whose work has not focused on cancer, the Program is an opportunity to build knowledge and skills in the study of cancer care delivery, access, and outcomes.

What materials are required to apply?

Applications must include:

  • A completed Application Form, including:
    • Curriculum Vitae. (Not to exceed 20 pages, single-sided) Include publications and major presentations; previous fellowships, scholarships, honors and awards; and previous and current grant funding of the applicant.
    • Work Plan. (Not to exceed two pages, single-sided) Provide a description of the project that the Scholar proposes to lead during the one-year program.
    • Outline of Career Goals. (Not to exceed one page, single sided) Statement about how serving as a Scholar will advance the applicant’s career goals.
  • Supporting documentation, including:
    • Two letters of recommendation. Applicants must indicate referee information as part of the application. All letters must be:
      • On official letterhead 
      • Signed by the reference

Applicants should include their full name on all supporting application materials.

What are the selection criteria for the program?

Applications will be reviewed with respect to the following criteria:

  • Relevance and potential contribution of the proposed activity to address an important healthcare delivery question or gap in the cancer continuum;
  • Clarity of the description of proposed activity;
  • Feasibility of completing the activity in a one-year timeframe;
  • Relevance of long term career goals to the healthcare delivery research field;
  • Prior research productivity, including funding and published manuscripts; and
  • Written and oral communication skills, interpersonal skills, and ability to collaborate with peers.

What is the expected timeline?

Applications are due by 5 p.m. ET on March 22, 2021. We anticipate that the process to recruit and select the fellow will be completed no later than July 2021. The Visiting Scholar(s) will begin their appointment in September 2021 and finish in August 2022.

Are there any additional benefits to being selected as a Visiting Scholar?

Yes. Scholars will receive:

Do I need to relocate during the program?

No. In previous cycles, the Visiting Scholar(s) has periodically visited NCI to work onsite in Rockville, MD throughout the duration of the one-year program. Due to COVID-19, NCI and the Visiting Scholar will discuss the safest and most feasible way for the Visiting Scholar to spend time and interact with NCI staff.

Do you sponsor work visas?


Do I need to be a United States citizen to apply?

Yes, all applicants must be US citizens.

Is this a paid opportunity?

Yes. The Visiting Scholar(s) will be provided with salary and benefits through an agreement with their institution to cover their full-time commitment, as well as mentorship throughout the program.

Can individuals from a non-US institution apply?

No, due to program requirements, individuals from non-U.S. institutions are not eligible to apply.

Are permanent residents eligible to apply?


Additional questions? Contact us at