We are building an inspiring community of transdisciplinary (TD) researchers in energetics and cancer and invite you to apply to our new mentored energy balance and cancer education program: the Transdisciplinary Research on Energetics and Cancer (TREC) Training Workshop. Funded by a five-year grant from the National Cancer Institute, this unique educational program is positioned to build capacity in transdisciplinary energy balance and cancer research. The TREC Training Workshop is designed for post-doctoral fellows—primarily individuals in early careers who want to pursue TD research in energy balance and cancer. This Workshop will place strong emphasis on mentoring, developing and applying TD competencies, and a curriculum specifically focused on energetics and cancer. Mentors and teaching faculty represent a diverse array of professional disciplines, from basic scientists to clinicians to behavioral and population scientists and many others. Our in-person Training Workshop will integrate didactic presentations and professional networking across senior and early career scientists, utilizing formal learning with informal transdisciplinary collaboration. Time will be included for one-on-one dialog between fellows and faculty as well as small group discussions that will allow fellows to learn from each other and develop a network. Following on-site training, fellows will engage in sustained mentoring relationships with course faculty, and will have access to prior and future cohorts to facilitate networking opportunities. See the course curriculum here.
The Workshop builds upon the NCI TREC Initiative, which was a major scientific research effort that occurred from 2005 to 2016, and will cover topics across the cancer control continuum, including prevention, detection, diagnosis, treatment and survivorship. The TREC mission was to integrate diverse disciplines to unravel obesity-cancer biology and to find effective interventions across the lifespan to reduce the burden of obesity and cancer and to improve population health. Specifically, eight institutions and a coordinating center were awarded TREC center grants that supported approximately 30 studies focused on energy balance and cancer. TREC was successful in a number of ways, but its primary successes were the building of transdisciplinary teams to better understand and intervene upon the association of obesity and cancer, and to engage and inspire the next generation of scientists to embrace transdisciplinary research in energetics and cancer. Funding for TREC has ceased, however our goal is to continue to further the TREC mission by training scientists and clinicians via our 5-day annual in-person TREC Training Workshop. This Workshop, led by Melinda Irwin, PhD, MPH (TREC Director of Training and Education from 2005-2016) and a Senior Advisory Board, includes a transdisciplinary team of approximately 20 expert faculty members from diverse backgrounds, bringing together complementary skills and expertise in TREC-related research, mentoring and training. Our Workshop is highly innovative as currently no other training opportunity, course, or workshop exists that focuses on energetics and cancer. The TREC Workshop provides state-of-the-art, evidence-based energetics and cancer education, mentoring and training. Participants also work with faculty on establishing research priorities and develop studies that will fill key gaps in energy balance and cancer research. The overall impact of the Workshop will be based on the degree to which participants obtain funding and publish innovative and translational research discoveries that ultimately improves the health of the population at risk for cancer as well as cancer survivors.
The 2017 cohort will be enrolled in the program from June 2017-May 2018. Their attendance at the in-person Training Workshop will be from June 18 to 23, 2017.
We welcome applications from doctorally-trained individuals (e.g. PhDs, MDs, DrPH or similarly advanced degrees) who are interested in prioritizing transdisciplinary research in energy balance and cancer across the cancer continuum (prevention, detection, treatment, survivorship, etc.). TREC Training Workshop fellows should be early career investigators (i.e., junior faculty and postdocs). We will also accept applications from a smaller number of mid-career scholars who wish to pursue TD research. Each annual cohort includes diverse scholars from a range of disciplines (e.g., PhDs, MDs, basic scientists, social scientists, psychologists), institutions, and geography. Non-U.S. researchers are also welcome to apply.

TREC Training Workshop fellows will be appointed for a one-year term, beginning with the week-long in-person Training Workshop followed by 12-months of mentored guidance by a course faculty member. Fellows will join a scholarly network of peer fellows, course faculty, and investigators from the prior TREC initiative. Through this experience and via connections with the wider community of TREC-inspired researchers, fellows will develop their own transdisciplinary expertise and increased scholarly output in TD science in energetics and cancer. Each fellow will receive: 

  • One week, on-site training at the Water’s Edge Resort in Westbrook, Connecticut - a partner satellite conference venue with Yale University. 
  • Travel to and accommodations at the Training Workshop will be provided – all costs are covered except for ground transportation.
  • Monthly, long-distance, mentoring with an expert TREC researcher who serves as faculty with the TREC Training Workshop to help craft a competitive research proposal in transdisciplinary research in energetics and cancer 
  • Networking with other fellows and faculty to produce scholarly products
  • a Ph.D., MD, and/or equivalent degree in such field(s) as epidemiology, public health, oncology, internal medicine, cancer biology, or similar related field(s) 
  • Expressed interest in energetics and cancer research 
  • Optional: Prior experience writing/co-writing an NIH proposal or one to another federal agency or foundation

Applications for the 2017 cohort are now closed The application period for the 2018 cohort will open on October 1, 2017. Please check back then! 

In the meantime, questions are welcome—contact Diana Lowry, Program Director, at dlowry@fredhutch.org. Thank you!