Community Service Guidelines

Cancer Biology Community Service guidelines 

The Cancer Biology PhD program has a culture of flexibility in its training requirements, which fits the breadth of approaches that can be taken to better understand and combat cancer and which prepares students for the next step in their careers. Students take a small set of core classes and are encouraged to select electives in their specific areas of interest. In addition to the major focus on the research component of the PhD (which will have great impact on the lives of future generations), we also strongly encourage our faculty and students to commit time to serving our community through various activities. Different types of community service should help to foster a more diverse community in STEM by engaging and mentoring students of underrepresented backgrounds in the cancer biology field. Furthermore, community service should also help to connect with members of our community through broader acts of service and to educate them about who we are as scientists and the work that we do.

Students in the Cancer Biology PhD Program are highly encouraged to perform community service during their PhD training, as gaining this experience and contributing to causes beyond research is an important aspect of the PhD years. The program provides a list of some activities of potential interest and encourages student, faculty, and other trainees to work together in community service.

The number of hours and how these hours are spread or concentrated in one of several years is flexible. In support of these endeavors, the Cancer Biology PhD Program and affiliated faculty:

1. formally acknowledge that they support participation in community service activities by their graduate students.

2. encourage students to comment on their community service activities at their thesis committee meetings (annual and then bi-annual) and at their thesis defenses. 

3. will select presentations at the annual Cancer Biology retreat in which students, faculty and other trainees can share their community engagement experiences with the broader Cancer Biology group.