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CaRES Overview

CaRES is the Cancer Research Experiences for Students program that provides paid summer cancer research internships for UAB medical students and graduate students on the UAB campus or at institutions affiliated with UAB.  CaRES is funded by a generous research training grant (5R25 CA76023) from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and has supported over 540 students since its initial funding in 1999.  Due to federal funding policies only students who are American citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. are eligible to participate in CaRES.

CaRES Preceptors are UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCC) faculty members who are actively engaged in cancer research.  Each January these faculty members are invited to submit cancer project descriptions to the CaRES website.  Interested students schedule interviews with the preceptors of all projects in which they have serious interest and for which they are well- suited in terms of their background and research experience.  The CaRES Preceptors select the students whose background and experience fit best with their research program.  Preceptors may interview as many students as they wish before selecting their Interns.  Once a faculty member and a student have agreed to work with one another, each should email CaRES Program Director Dr. John Waterbor ( to commit to working together.  The student must also attach his or her CV or resume’ so that program eligibility can be verified.  Typically all student interns are selected by February 15 although CaRES projects cannot begin until late May.  Up to two Interns may be selected for each project.  A Preceptor may post two or more projects as long as he or she has sufficient time available to supervise all Interns recruited.

CaRES Interns are UAB medical students and UAB graduate students from the Schools of Medicine, Public Health, Dentistry, and Nursing who participate in the program.  Recruitment of qualified minority students is emphasized.  A few graduate students from other UAB programs or medical students from other universities may participate if our budget allows. High school students and undergraduate students are ineligible unless they hold a letter of acceptance from the UAB School of Medicine or UAB Graduate School.  Each summer CaRES can support approximately 40 students.  Students may participate in CaRES in two or more summers.

CaRES Internships can be undertaken in the summer prior to matriculation into the UAB School of Medicine or into a UAB Graduate School program, in the summer immediately following graduation, or in any summer of enrollment in between.  All CaRES projects must start and end within a designated period from May to August.  Each CaRES Intern is paid a competitive salary and will earn up to $4800 to complete his or her CaRES project.

CaRES Career Development Seminar Day, typically held in the second week of July, provides an opportunity for all CaRES Interns to present the highlights of their summer research methods and findings to their fellow Interns and to CaRES program faculty and staff.  In addition guest speakers present career development topics such as interviewing for a research position, publishing in peer-reviewed journals, and the responsible conduct of research.  A brief mid-summer evaluation is conducted in order to identify any problems or issues that could be resolved quickly, thereby improving the quality of the internship for the remaining weeks.

CaRES Research Presentations are welcomed at several regularly scheduled conferences on the UAB campus, as listed below.  The specific dates of these conferences will be communicated to all CaRES Interns once the dates have been established.

UAB Research Conference

Tentative Date in 2015 (check for updates)

UAB Graduate Student Research Days

March 10-12

UAB Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Symposium

March 17-18

UAB Public Health Research Day

April date TBA

CaRES Career Development Seminar Day
***[required of all CaRES interns]***

July 9

UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCC) Annual Research Retreat

Typically held in late October or early November, but canceled in 2015 due to conflict with the CCC Core Grant Proposal Deadline

UAB Medical Student Research Day
[SOM requirement for medical students]
[Travel award given for best CaRES poster]

October 27

In addition all CaRES Interns should talk with their Preceptors about presenting their work at local or national professional meetings.

Scholarly Activity Supplies:  Any UAB medical student who goes on to do his or her required “Scholarly Activity” with the same faculty member who was their CaRES Preceptor years earlier can apply to CaRES for supply money to support their Scholarly Activity.  However CaRES cannot pay student stipends for the Scholarly Activity.

CaRES Program Evaluation:  Evaluation of the CaRES program is necessary for continued receipt of funding from NCI . . . and for continuous improvement of the program.  By the end of the summer all CaRES Interns and Preceptors are expected to complete exit evaluation questionnaires that measure satisfaction with their summer research experience.  In addition CaRES longitudinally tracks all Interns for five or more years after internship completion in order to monitor their career choices and to record their cancer research and service activities.

Questions?  Please contact CaRES Program Director John W. Waterbor, MD, DrPH, at the UAB School of Public Health (205-934-7146;; Ryals Building – 227C). 

Thank you for your interest in CaRES!