T32 Training Program in Basic and Translational Pediatric Oncology Research

T32 Training Program/Fellowship in Basic and Translational Pediatric Oncology Research

The overarching goal of the NCI T32-funded training program is to provide postdoctoral (including clinical fellows) and graduate student trainees with the requisite skills and expertise to develop into successful researchers focused on pediatric oncology. The program will accomplish this through rigorous, yet flexible training combined with strong mentoring and evaluation process and a commitment to completing NIH required training.

This is a 2-year training program geared towards graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, including clinical fellows. At the completion of the program, trainees will be well prepared for a career in pediatric cancer laboratory-based research. They will have a deep understanding of the molecular underpinnings of pediatric cancers as gleaned from both the lecture series and their own laboratory experience. They will also have an appreciation of the challenges associated with rigor and reproducibility in science. Finally, through an immersive experience, those who are not clinicians will have an improved understanding of the clinical presentations of pediatric cancers, as well as the impact on patients and families.

What You Need to Know


In brief the training program includes laboratory-based, topic-focused training to develop experimental skills, scientific methodologic skills. Knowledge expansion via core and elective coursework. Career development, including collaboration, communication, and interpersonal relationship skills. Understanding the human impact of pediatric oncology via a Clinical Exposure Plan.

Laboratory research is required under the tutelage of one of the program’s approved mentors, either as the primary mentor or as a co-mentor. Most of the time during the 2-year period will be spent in the laboratory, with some time devoted to attending lectures, seminars, and other T32-sponsored learning activities.

What types of lectures, clubs or seminars are offered?

  • “Biologic Underpinnings and Clinical Presentation of Pediatric Cancer”
  • Any relevant courses may be chosen from the OSU Course Bulletin
  • Complete cycle of the “Scientific Writing and Grantsmanship”
  • Attend 6 tumor board sessions.
  • 3 shadow days during morning rounds.
  • 3 shadow days during physician outpatient clinic.
  • “Enhancing Reproducibility Coffee Talk”

Faculty & Participants

Salary & Benefits

There are a number of benefits that are supported by the T32 award or via Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s institutional support of the training program. These include:

  • Stipend support (per NCI-specific T32 guidelines; NB: the training laboratory and/or fellowship program will cover shortfalls.
  • Partial tuition support for graduate students; support for 1-2 classes per year for postdoctoral.
  • Travel costs per NCI-specific T32 guidelines; additional travel funds may be available from the Center of Childhood Cancer.
  • Training related expenses that may (partially) cover publication costs, supplies, and printed materials for classwork.
  • Programmatic administrative support.
  • Books for “Enhancing Reproducibility” training.
  • $5,000/year in laboratory operating costs per trainee supplied by Nationwide Children’s Hospital.


Research education and training are vital to the mission of Nationwide Children's Hospital and The Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital. As a top-ten free-standing pediatric research center and an academic affiliate of The Ohio State University, The Research Institute has an outstanding faculty, dedicated to training and mentoring the next generation of scientists in pediatric research.

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Research at Nationwide Children's Hospital


Advocacy training fosters and encourages interest in child advocacy by early involvement and exposure to its many aspects such as addressing social determinants of health, community collaboration, health finance, health policy and legislative advocacy.

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To apply, the applicant must be already a trainee in an OSU graduate program or a Nationwide Children's Hospital or OSU clinical fellowship subspecialty training program.

The proposed work must be conducted in the lab of one of the approved faculty mentors or co-mentors.


Prospective trainees should submit an application packet to include:

  1. A 3-page research proposal outlining your research plans for a 2-year period (use NIH rules for font size, margins etc.)
  2. A 1-page narrative describing your career path (including prior research experiences, current research, and short- and long-term career goals)
  3. Your NIH-formatted biographical sketch (in the latest NIH-approved format)
  4. Letter of support from their laboratory research mentor (Program Faculty and Co-mentor, where applicable)
  5. Letter of recommendation from a prior mentor (e.g., undergraduate mentor, PhD mentor, prior postdoctoral supervisor, or clinical mentor, as appropriate)
  6. NIH-formatted biographical sketch (in the latest NIH-approved format) for the proposed mentor (and Co-mentor, where applicable)
  7. Current funding information for the proposed mentor (and Co-mentor, where applicable)
    • If the proposed mentor is not a current Primary Faculty, a letter should also be included briefly outlining their research, history of mentorship, and acknowledgement of their willingness to participate in Training Program activities, as needed. Such individuals should identify a mentor from the T32 list of approved mentors or submit a cover letter asking for consideration to be appointed as a T32 Primary Faculty

All materials should be combined into a single PDF document and emailed to Nikki Smith at Nicole.Smith3@nationwidechildrens.org by 9 a.m. on Monday, March 24, 2024. Appointments will start on June 1, 2024 (or shortly thereafter). 

Frequently Asked Questions

How many trainees do you take at a time?

  • 6 total trainees
    • 3 postdoctoral
    • 3 graduate students

When are you recruiting/accepting applications?

As trainees roll off the program new RFAs are issued.


Timothy Cripe, MD, PhD
Program Director

Nikki Smith
Program Coordinator
(614) 355-2670