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Postdoctoral Research Fellows/Instructors

Job Title: 

Postdoctoral Research Fellows/Instructors

Job Description:

TOPS T32 Postdoctoral Training Program in Cancer-Focused Population Science

The Training in Oncology Population Sciences (TOPS) T32 program provides advanced education to physicians and/or scientists for the purpose of conducting research at the T3 and T4 interface to translate knowledge from the lab into practice and population health to reduce the burden of cancer. TOPS is part of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center.

The need for translational research at the T3 and T4 interface stems from persistent disparities in cancer outcomes and implementation gaps between what is possible in the context of clinical trials and what happens in routine practice. The TOPS Program provides a focused educational experience each year in collaboration with more than 40 faculty from across the 7 institutions of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC). TOPS fellows may select a mentor from any Harvard University affiliated faculty or school. TOPS program leaders will help applicants navigate these choices based on their interests and career objectives. Co-mentorship arrangements with faculty at MIT, Tufts, BU, U. Mass, Brandeis and other area faculty are also feasible.

The program will provide researchers who may also be clinicians (physicians, nurses, pharmacists) with the skills necessary to effectively address the challenges and opportunities brought about by the tremendous growth in the complexity of cancer care, precision medicine, electronic health records, mobile health, machine learning and data sharing.

The TOPS program has 3 specific strategies to achieve this overarching objective:

  • Training in core methods and skills necessary for investigation through coursework and participation in regular seminars, workshops and reading;
  • Intensive focus on a research project with close supervision from one or more mentors; and,
  • Training in professional skills that are prerequisite for investigation including project development, grant writing, presentation, building and working with diverse teams, running a dry-laboratory and the responsible conduct of research.

TOPS is most often a two-year program for participants, but may be shorter. The TOPS Program focuses exclusively on T3/T4, population sciences, and health services research.

TOPS Program participants will receive a stipend, tuition for coursework, a travel allowance, and a budget for research-related expenses.

TOPS participants are required to participate in all 3 components of the program: (1) Mentored research experience, (2) Didactic learning and coursework, including the Harvard Chan School of Public Health’s Summer Program in Clinical Effectiveness, and (3) Professional development, including participating in the TOPS seminar series.

Academic rank of Research Fellow or Instructor at Harvard Medical School will be commensurate with experience, training, and academic achievements.  Instructors are required to provide and document a minimum of 50 hours of teaching of Harvard learners per year.

To learn more about the TOPS T32 Postdoctoral Training program including a list of mentors, information about program alums, and more, please visit

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must have an MD, PhD, ScD, and/or DO in order to be eligible to apply for this program.

PhDs/ScDs may be in non-clinical fields (such as engineering or informatics), clinical fields (such as nursing or psychology), or social sciences (such as health policy, biostatistics, epidemiology, or economics).

MD/DO physician researchers must have completed clinical training in a field relevant to cancer prevention and control.  Prior exposure to clinical research is not required.

Candidates may not be current or former principal investigators on any NIH research projects (R01/R21), FIRST Awards (R29), subprojects of program project (P01), center grants (P50), or equivalent.

The individual to be trained must be a citizen or a noncitizen national of the United States or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the time of appointment.

To apply, please submit 1 PDF that includes all of the following:

  • Curriculum Vitae

Must include a complete list of all publications for which you are an author or co-author.​

CV may utilize any format or template; however, the Harvard Medical School template is recommended.  The HMS CV guidelines can be found here.

  • Statement 1 (of 2)

Must be one page in length.

Must describe your career journey so far.

Statement should be single-spaced, 1-inch margins all around, 11-point Arial font.

  • Statement 2 (of 2)

Must be one page in length.

Must describe your research interests, career goals, and why/how the TOPS Postdoctoral Fellowship Program will help you achieve those goals.

Statement should be single-spaced, 1-inch margins all around, 11-point Arial font.

If you are having trouble downloading the application form, please email

Letters of Recommendation

Two letters of professional recommendation are required; up to three letters will be accepted. ​Letters should be written on official letterhead and contain signatures.

Letters should be submitted by email from the refereree’s institutional/organizational email account to A confirmation email will be sent upon receipt.

  • Both letters must be received no later than 5:00pm EST (USA) on Friday, January 8, 2021.

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions or any other characteristic protected by law. Women and minority candidates are particularly encouraged to apply.