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Faculty Development

The Faculty Development Program (FDP), led by Joseph Rosenblatt, M.D., Associate Director for Faculty Development, and David Robbins, Ph.D., Assistant Director for Faculty Development, seeks to provide junior faculty with the resources and guidance needed to develop a successful research program. The FDP was founded on the idea that specific, content-oriented mentoring will promote the scientific excellence, career advancement, and career fulfillment of junior faculty and help them become leaders of the next generation of academic cancer researchers and physicians. The FDP comprises the following components:

  • Mentorship
  • Career tracking
  • Travel awards
  • Grant review
  • Grant writing support
  • Lunch with the Leader
  • Junior Faculty Lecture Series
  • K12 Calabresi Clinical Oncology Research Career Development Program


The mentoring relationship is the cornerstone of the Faculty Development Program. Sylvester research program leaders, departmental leadership, and Faculty Development Program leaders collaborate to suggest pairings, matching junior faculty members who have a cancer research focus with senior faculty mentors invested in their career development.

Career Tracking

Annually, junior faculty, in consultation with their mentors, develop an individual development plan (IDP) to identify research goals and plans for the coming year. Faculty Development Program leadership read, review, and provide feedback on the IDP, and facilitate follow-up as needed.

Travel Awards

A competitive grant process supports junior faculty travel to and involvement in scientific conferences and workshops. Up to $2,000 is provided per award to facilitate collaborations outside of Sylvester, enhance career growth, and promote varied opportunities for research development. 

Grant Review

Grant review panels provide faculty members an opportunity to receive feedback on planned grant submissions. Reviewers provide written critiques and participate in discussion at the panel, offering recommendations on how to strengthen the application for submission.

The panel is conducted as a high-level discussion of Specific Aims and preliminary data, to help guide overall research direction (scheduled 4-6 months before submission).

Upon successful revision of the Specific Aims page, a subsequent in-depth critique of the full grant proposal is available (scheduled 4-6 weeks before submission).

To schedule a grant review panel, contact Vaughn Edelson at

Grant Writing Support

  • Training and Mentored Grants Support, including annual Sylvester-sponsored grant writing workshop with Dr. Mary Lou King focused on K and F awards.

  • UM CTSI Grant Writing Support
    • 1:1 consultations with Dr. Mary Lou King: Grant information must be provided ahead of time (via REDCap questionnaire) to allow Dr. King ample time for review
    • Grant writing boot camp: Dr. Mary Lou King presents three times per year to UM faculty who intend to apply for NIH, NSF, or K awards.
    • External Scientific Review: Faculty resubmitting an extramural grant application can request $500 from the CTSI to pay for an external investigator to review the application. Requests are approved on a case-by-case basis. The faculty member must identify the reviewer, ask him/her to review, and obtain his/her CV prior to submitting the request.

  • UM Writing Center: Consultants available to help faculty, postdocs, and grad students to write clear, concise grants, manuscripts, presentations, and more.  

  • NIH Resources

Lunch with the Leader

This new quarterly series gives junior faculty the opportunity to meet as a group with Dr. Stephen D. Nimer to share their experiences and ideas, and hear from the Cancer Center Director and others around Sylvester and the University about issues that are important to junior faculty.

Junior Faculty Lecture Series

This lecture series showcases the exceptional work being done by junior faculty members and provides a unique opportunity for informal critique and scientific discussion amongst junior and senior faculty members. 

Calabresi Clinical Oncology Research Career Development Program

The goal of the K12 Calabresi Clinical Oncology Research Career Development Program is to identify and mentor new faculty leaders in patient-oriented, clinical cancer research who will translate fundamental knowledge and new technologies from the laboratory to the clinic and to the community.

Scholars have both a Clinical Mentor and a Translational Research Mentor. Over the course of the two-year program, Scholars write and initiate at least one protocol for a clinical trial and submit grant applications for NIH R01s or equivalent. In addition to mentorship, a mix of required and optional courses, workshops, and seminars on clinical trials development, biostatistics, research ethics, and other topics assist with the design and execution of clinical trials and the written and oral presentation of Scholars’ work.

Learn more about the Calabresi Clinical Oncology Research Career Development Program.

Contact Information

Joseph Rosenblatt, M.D.
Associate Director for Faculty Development
Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center
William J. Harrington Chair in Hematology
Chief, Division of Hematology

David Robbins, Ph.D.
Assistant Director for Faculty Development
Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center
Professor, Departments of Surgery and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 

Vaughn Edelson
Senior Project Manager