Jul 14, 2023
Applications are now open for the 2024 International Development & Education Award (IDEA) program, which provides support for early-career oncologists in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to learn from and collaborate with more senior ASCO members. The goal is to develop long-term relationships between the IDEA recipients and their respective mentors that can yield improved cancer care in recipients’ home countries. The applications are due October 2, 2023, by 11:59 PM (ET).
Applications also are open for the International Development and Education Award in Palliative Care (IDEA-PC), which provides medical education in palliative care, assists with career development, and helps establish strong relationships with leading members in this field who serve as scientific mentors to each recipient. Upon completing the 1-year program, IDEA-PC recipients are expected to share the knowledge and training they received with colleagues in their home countries.
Both the IDEA and IDEA-PC programs are 10-day in-person experiences, with many participants keeping in touch with their mentors and IDEA colleagues for months or even years afterward. The IDEA and IDEA-PC cohorts fly to Chicago in June, on the Wednesday before the ASCO Annual Meeting officially begins and spend the following day becoming familiar with the meeting venue, learning about ASCO, and attending a group dinner. On Friday the meeting kicks off, and the awardees attend educational and scientific sessions and then the Conquer Cancer Grants and Awards Ceremony. On Sunday evening they go to the President’s Reception and on Monday night the World Oncology Leaders reception with a keynote address by the new ASCO president. Each cohort tends to quickly form a tight-knit group, and throughout their time in Chicago they’re part of an active WhatsApp message chain, where they can reach out to fellow participants and ASCO staff with questions, observations, and offers to meet for coffee and meals. On Tuesday, the program members travel to their mentors’ respective institutions to spend several days learning alongside them.
Applicants must meet the following criteria to qualify for the IDEA and IDEA-PC:
- Be a current resident of a country classified by the World Bank as an LMIC and have limited resources to attend the ASCO Annual Meeting.
- Not have completed more than one academic year of formal training (for instance, attended medical school or participated in internships, fellowships, or residency programs) in a country classified by the World Bank as high income.
- Be a Full Member (including the free or discounted dues category for low-resource countries) or a Member-in-Training of ASCO or submit a membership application in one of these categories. As of November 2022, ASCO offers free membership for physicians from both low- and lower-middle income countries as defined by the World Bank.
- Be in an oncology training program or within 10 years of graduating from oncology or sub-specialty training.
- Be fluent in English (both writing and speaking).
- For IDEA-PC applicants: Have a demonstrated interest in integrating palliative and supportive care into their home institution; this may be shown by attending courses on the topic, participating in related clinical activities, etc.