Oncology Physician Training Initiative to Maximize Diversity

First year Medical Students from underrepresented groups (URiM) are invited to apply for a unique summer experience to explore a career in the field of oncology while giving back to their community.  Applicants should have an interest in obtaining experience in a clinical field of oncology (medical, surgical or radiation oncology), clinical and translational oncology research, as well as a desire to contribute to developing the next generation of clinicians and scientists by serving as mentors to youth from underrepresented groups in the Rutgers University Youth Enjoy Science (RUYES) program. 

Program Goals:

  • Provide clinical and research exposure to medical students from URiM to explore a career in the various fields of oncology – medical oncology, surgical oncology, radiation oncology, etc.
  • Provide a platform for medical students from URiM to give back to their community and serve as role models and mentors to high school and undergraduate students who are a part of the RUYES program
  • Give medical students a peer-mentor to bond with during the summer research time at Rutgers Cancer Institute
  • Foster relationships that can become the building blocks for a network of mentors and sponsors to support career growth of both the medical student and the RUYES student


  • Summer long clinical shadowing program in oncology area of interest – rotate through a cancer of interest (e.g. colon cancer) or a field of interest (e.g. surgery).
  • Summer long research project in area of interest. Clinical or laboratory research possible. (1 & 2 may be different faculty).
  • Meet with RUYES student during summer for chats/lunches to share details and obtain feedback for student projects and clinical shadowing activities.
  • Med student and RUYES student to be invited to each other’s final research report to be an advocate and supporter of each other’s work.
  • Career talk (“how I got to medical school”) at high school or undergrad class of the mentee.
  • Post-summer opportunities to continue meeting and sustaining mentor relationship, including funded movie/dinner, visit science museum, etc.

Who is Eligible?
This program is for students in their 1st year of medical school. Applicants must be from one of the following underrepresented backgrounds: Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, Alaska Native, or Pacific Islander.

2022 Cohort 1 Participant Projects


TO APPLY, please email OPTIM@cinj.rutgers.edu with an updated resume. (Students will be generously compensated during this summer experience.)

APPLICATION DEADLINES: EARLY ACCEPTANCE must be received by January 20, 2023. Deadline for all applications MARCH 15, 2023.