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Curriculum

Core Requirements


Completing the following required courses for a grade:

  • HSERV 600 - Independent Study
  • EPI 540 - Introduction to Cancer Biology (Spring in even years)
  • EPI 524 - Epidemiologic Studies of Cancer Etiology and Prevention (Winter)

(Students may have additional course requirements depending on their prior background and research goals, or they may waive certain requirements under the guidance of their mentoring committee.)

Suggested Optional Courses:

  • HSERV 581 - Strategies of Health Promotion (Spring)
  • HSERV 584 - Assessing Outcomes in Health and Medicine
    (highly recommended)
  • HSERV 588 - Community Approaches to Health Promotion (Winter)
  • EPI 590 - Cancer Health Disparities (TBD)

Enrolling each quarter in HSERV 592: Biobehavioral Cancer Fellowship Enrichment

Credit for this course encompasses Quarterly Fellows meetings (three per year), monthly Biobehavior Faculty meetings (Affinity Group), and the Learning Contract. Mentors will verify the completion of this credit.

Fellows must complete a Learning Contract each year and make significant progress towards achieving the goals outlined in the contract. The Learning Contract needs to be reviewed with your Mentors and Dr. Donald Patrick. This must be completed and signed by December 1st of each year.


Attending national conferences or workshops on biobehavioral cancer prevention and control


Completing Human Subjects and Responsible Conduct of Research training.

All trainees are required to take at least the "Basic Social/Behavioral Course" course in the Protection of Human Research Subjects. All trainees are required to take the online HIPAA training. Each trainee will also be required to take the Biomedical Research Integrity Program which is sponsored by the Department of Bioethics & Humanities; School of Medicine at the University of Washington. This program meets the PHS requirement for instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research in National Research Service Award Institutional Training Grants. The program covers the following topics (representing five of the seven required topics) described in the NIH Guide:

  • Conflict of interest
  • Data acquisition and ownership
  • Peer review
  • Responsible authorship
  • Research misconduct

They offer three rounds of BRI case discussion groups each summer. Each case discussion group will include cases covering two required RCR topics and one non-required topics - e.g., cases in a given session might address conflict of interest, peer review and collaborative science. This approach provides trainees with useful redundancy in case review and acknowledges the many overlaps in RCR topics.


Additional Requirements for Pre-Doctoral Trainees

  • Completing the required coursework for the PhD in the student's home department
  • Completing the required examinations for the PhD in the student's home department. All departments require that PhD candidates pass written qualifying exams, a general exam that is both written and oral and a dissertation defense or final exam.
  • Completing a dissertation in biobehavioral research and intervention, communications, or outcomes that also meets the requirements of the student's home department. Dissertation research will begin during years 3 and 4 of the pre-doctoral training program and in some instances, year 2 if the candidate arrives with a master's degree.

Additional Requirements for Post-Doctoral Trainees

  • Coursework to fill gaps in prior academic training and to provide training in the core competencies identified for all trainees. All post-doctoral fellows will take the required core courses unless they have completed equivalent courses at another institution. Other class work will depend on the fellows' background. Those with limited background in social and behavioral sciences will take the social science courses. Those with a limited background in epidemiology and biostatistics will take the basic sequence in biostatistics (BIOSTAT 511,512,513)and epidemiology (EPI 512, 513).
  • Substantial involvement in biobehavioral research (theories and interventions in behavior change, communications, and outcomes research). Post-doctoral fellows become involved immediately in research (often before arrival) in collaboration with their mentors. We match all post-doctoral trainees with mentors prior to admission. The goal is to train post-doctoral fellows as quickly as possible in order that they begin adding published papers in biobehavioral research to their record. Their publication track record, with emphasis on multi-disciplinary work, their presentations at cancer meetings, and their recommendations from faculty constitute their credentials when they leave the program.
  • Opportunities to attend national conferences on cancer prevention and control.
  • Completion of online or in-person human subjects course.

Mentorship of post-doctoral fellows includes assistance with career-related activities such as pursuit of a faculty position or a K award.