Skills Development


This program offers both group and individual skills-development activities to help you advance your cancer research objectives. These skills include:

  • Envisioning and designing cancer research projects
  • Communicating your ideas and conclusions
  • Critical interpretation and assessment of emerging cancer research
  • Team collaboration and leadership
  • Working effectively with international peers
  • Writing for personal career advancement (e.g., grant applications or funding requests; the science section of a business plan designed to highlight a particular commercial opportunity; papers suitable for submission and publication)



In additional to principles and skills for cancer research, participants also gain knowledge of key advances within the context of clinical presentation of various human tumors.

The course highlights how this knowledge is currently being used to develop our growing set of therapeutic and preventive approaches to fight cancer.


Develop a paper to support your specific research interests or career objectives
In the second half of the program, each participant writes a paper—his or her “Capstone Project” for the program. The subject of this paper is chosen by the participant in collaboration with a faculty mentor. 

Examples of recent Capstone Projects include:

  • A grant proposal to a funding group of relevance to the participant’s research interest
  • A clinical protocol appropriate for the participant’s institution
  • The science section of business plan designed to highlight a particular commercial opportunity
  • A critical review of an important recent paper or development in the cancer research community
  • A subject review suitable for submission and publication

Other types of papers will be considered on a case-by-case basis.


Every participant of Cancer Biology & Therapeutics: High-Impact Cancer Research is paired with a Harvard faculty mentor.

Mentors are chosen by the program directors based upon the mentor’s expertise in your general area of interest.

Your mentor will provide guidance for your Capstone Project, including:

  • Counseling you and providing assistance in choosing the subject for your project.
  • Providing feedback on your paper’s outline
  • Reviewing the first and final drafts of your project and providing guidance to help you optimize its value to you and/or your institution. 

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