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ASCENT: Advancement of Scholars in Cancer Education aNd Training


The mission of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus Advancement of Scholars in Cancer Education aNd Training Program is to offer a multi-dimensional mentoring and cancer research training experience to inspire and prepare post-baccalaureate students from historically underrepresented groups to enroll and succeed in a top-tier PhD or MD-PhD program and commit to cancer research careers.

To achieve this mission, ASCENT program students will:

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  • Conduct two years of cancer-focused research with mentor support to strengthen their research and technical skills.
  • Improve their competitiveness for cancer-focused PhD program admission through guidance and training on the graduate school application process.
  • Participate in high-quality professional and career development activities individually designed to complement each ASCENT scholar’s needs and goals.
  • Engage in continuous and dynamic mentoring and community-building research-centered experiences designed to enhance the scholar’s network and integration in social, research, and academic environments. 

An important aim of the University of Colorado Cancer Center (UCCC) is to diversify the cancer research workforce by increasing trainees from historically underrepresented (HUR) groups in cancer research. Despite the growing diversity within the US population, there is an acutely low percentage of cancer-focused PhD researchers that are either Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian or Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, have disabilities, or are from a disadvantaged background. One important goal of ASCENT is to address the challenges that impact HUR scholars and support them in their pursuit of earning a PhD in a cancer-focused research program.

ASCENT is supported by an American Cancer Society (ACS) Diversity in Cancer Research (DICR) grant and administered by the Cancer Research Training and Education Coordination (CRTEC) at the CU Cancer Center. The program also receives support from the CU Anschutz Medical Campus Cancer Center and the Divisions of Hematology and Medical Oncology of the Department of Medicine.

Application Dates

  • There will be no application cycle in 2025 for ASCENT. The next ASCENT cycle will be in 2026.

Applications are now closed

Information Session

To watch a recording of our information session on ASCENT and other Post-Baccalaureate Research Programs here at CU Anschutz, click the button below.

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