Cancer Scholars for Translational and Applied Research (C*STAR)

Carle Foundation Hospital, through its Cancer Center, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have jointly established the Cancer Scholars for Translational and Applied Research (C*STAR) graduate educational program that fosters translational research and near-term benefits to the patients served in the community.

Each institution offers expertise and strong programs in cancer that are complementary. The university offers strength in basic science, technology, and engineering. Within these areas, there are four distinct, yet interlocking themes of molecular mechanisms, diagnostic technologies and imaging, computational and precision medicine, and social and behavioral sciences.

In a corresponding manner, Carle has intersecting components that highlight pre-cancer or preventative care, cancer diagnosis and treatment, and survivorship (i.e., organ function, emotional and psychological well-being, and length and quality of life).

Five cancer-based sites have been identified for focus and research. These areas include (1) breast (area of emphasis with the greatest potential), (2) prostate, (3) gastrointestinal issues, (4) gynecological issues, and (5) lung.

The long-term collaborative goals of the program are to:

  • Foster connections between Carle physician-scientists and Illinois faculty that lead to innovative research projects.
  • Develop the foundation for tangible translational outcomes.
  • Develop a graduate education program that is supported by an NIH T-32 grant.
  • More effectively include Carle physicians, resources, and facilities into multi-PI efforts.
  • Employ the program to attract high-quality clinician-scientists to Carle and translation-focused faculty to the university.

C*STAR Program Guidelines

To be eligible for the C*STAR program, you must:

  • Be enrolled in an eligible program on the Urbana-Champaign campus during fall 2016 that includes the physical, biological, or medical sciences; engineering; social sciences; education; social work; humanities; or other related areas.
  • Intend to pursue a research-based Master’s and/or Ph.D. program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • Be willing to work with an Illinois faculty member and Carle physician on a clinically relevant project.

The following categories are always ineligible for the C*STAR program:

  • Those who have earned their terminal graduate or professional degree by May 15, 2016, and are no longer graduate students.
  • Those who are part-time students.

Program Activities 

Awardees will be expected to fully participate in all C*STAR-related activities. Awardees are expected to participate in events sponsored the C*STAR program, including a possible poster presentation or symposium. Awardees are encouraged to communicate with one another and collaborate as appropriate toward their common goals.

Eligible Fields of Study

The C*STAR program supports a broad range of fields. These include but are not meant to be restrictive in any way:

  • Practice-oriented, professional degree programs (i.e., MSW, MPH)
  • Joint science-professional degree programs (i.e., MD/PhD)
  • Engineering, basic sciences, or bioinformatics
  • Social work
  • Public health programs
  • Medical programs
  • Counseling programs
  • Research including the etiology, diagnosis, or treatment of cancer
  • Clinical areas of study (including patient-oriented research; epidemiological and behavioral studies; outcomes research; health services research; pharmacologic, non-pharmacologic, and behavioral interventions for disease prevention, diagnosis, or therapy; and community- and other population-based interventions.

Application Requirements:

  • 1 page research statement
  • Updated curriculum vitae
  • Two (2) letters of reference

Program Dates:

Online applications are now being accepted via this webpage.

The application deadline is November 20, 2016.

Award notifications will be made no later than December 20, 2016.

Questions? Email