Postdoctoral Fellowships

Each year the CCEP sponsors three postdoctoral fellows. Applications are solicited and accepted depending upon availability of fellowships. The program is currently accepting applications. Contact Sara Vandegrift ( for more information. Details of the fellowship and the application process are outlined below.


Successful applicants will have a strong record of achievement, publications in cancer prevention and control, and a PhD, MD, or equivalent degree in behavioral science, epidemiology, nutrition, public health, or a related field. The CCEP offers training to: recent doctorates (PhDs, DrPHs, or their equivalent); more experienced doctorally-prepared applicants wishing to change their research focus; and physicians, nurses, and other clinicians who have completed their clinical training. Fellows generally receive two to three years of funding, including an annual stipend. Additional allowances include health insurance and support for tuition, travel and research expenses. The CCEP encourages applications from women and minorities. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Individuals must be highly motivated, possess initiative and a desire to learn and expand their interests and expertise.

The CCEP trains, mentors, and develops fellows through two major activities: a specialized core curriculum and hands-on mentored research experience. Throughout, the CCEP emphasizes training that is flexible and tailored to meet each fellow's needs, as well as a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach to cancer prevention and control research. Click here to learn details about CCEP training.

Salaries. Postdoctoral fellows receive annual salaries appropriate to their training and experience, depending upon availability. With special consideration and permission, fellows may also work (and may receive compensation for) up to 10 hours per week to maintain clinical skills. 

Allowances. Each postdoctoral fellow receives allowances for tuition, travel, research and other expenses. The allowance level will not change during the fellowship. Each year, fellows submit a budget plan for their allowances. Some re-budgeting within categories is permitted.

Due to recent increases in tuition costs, the CCEP tuition allowance may not be sufficient to pay all student tuition and fees at the UNC Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health.  Other CCEP allowance dollars, however, may be used to pay tuition and fees, and the CCEP works with students to see that tuition is covered to the extent possible.

CCEP fellows are encouraged to travel to and participate in appropriate meetings (such as the annual American Society of Preventive Oncology national meeting) and short courses.

Research and other expenses may include books, some equipment, software, biostatistical consulting, research assistance, et al. Postdoctoral fellows are expected to use the majority of these research funds to conduct an independent project.

Benefits. Postdoctoral fellows receive health insurance coverage through the postdoctoral health insurance program. Fellows do not participate in the State of NC retirement plan. Fellows are eligible for 10 days of vacation leave and 12 days of sick leave per year. All leave should be approved by the primary mentor. Parking applications are processed through the Cancer Center. New postdoctoral fellows are accorded the same status on the priority list as new employees. The CCEP does not provide support for moving expenses. For more information about postdoctoral fellows at Carolina, visit

Length of Support. Fellows receive two to three years of funding. Performance is evaluated at the end of each year, and subsequent years are awarded depending on progress.

Application Process for Fellowships. Applications for fellowships are currently being accepted.

Usual Process. The CCEP generally has one deadline per year, usually in November or December, for fellowships starting the next summer. The CCEP is currently accepting applications for 2017-2018.

The usual process begins in the fall with advertisement for open fellowship positions. Applicants submit a statement of interest, curriculum vitae, and three letters of reference in December. Applicants who have not yet completed requirements for a Ph.D. must include a note of assurance from the dissertation chair that the applicant will defend the dissertation prior to beginning the fellowship.  Postdoctoral fellowships can not begin without official documentation of degree completion.  While applicants are not required to have a well-developed proposal at the time of application, they should indicate clearly what their research interests are and identify possible mentors from the list of approved mentors.  Applicants are encouraged to contact specific research mentors with related research interests.

The statement of interest should outline your goals and plans for the fellowship.  It should include a description of the research you hope to conduct (questions you are interested in, types of studies you would like to do to answer those questions) but does not require that you present an actual research proposal.  The statement should also present other goals for the fellowship, such as training (content, methods, skills you would acquire) and products (planned grants, publications, etc).

During January and early February, all faculty mentors review the applications to assess quality and potential mentor interest. In mid-February, applicants with good reviews visit Chapel Hill for a day-long interview with prospective mentors, leadership, and Steering Committee members. The CCEP reimburses candidates for travel expenses to interview. Candidates are encouraged to talk with prospective mentors before and after the interview. Informed by feedback from the interviews, the Steering Committee selects candidates based on research promise, career potential, interest in and commitment to cancer prevention and control, and the quality of the proposed research and training. Awards are generally made by April 1.

Important Notes. Prospective fellows interested in pursuing an MPH or other advanced degree must apply separately to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (usually to a department in the School of Public Health). Prospective fellows are encouraged to visit the appropriate webpages and learn about admission requirements and deadlines. School of Public Health applicants without a doctoral degree in hand should inquire about the need for GRE scores and transcripts, as well as the possibilities for Spring, rather than Fall, admission.

Application Package.  To apply, please send a curriculum vitae, a two page (double-spaced) statement of interest, and a list of three academic references directly to:  , CCEP, UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, CB# 7424, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7424.  Letters of reference should be sent directly by the recommender to Ms. Vandegrift.  At least one letter of reference should be from a Cancer Control Education Program faculty mentor.  All documents are preferred by electronic copy (PDF).