Notice of a Joint Veterans Health Administration/National Cancer Institute Data Science Initiative called the Big Data Scientist Training Enhancement Program (BD-STEP)

Notice Number: NOT-CA-19-034

Key Dates
Release Date: March 11, 2019

Related Announcements

Issued by
National Cancer Institute (NCI)


Managing, analyzing, and leveraging data generated across the cancer continuum has the potential to advance cancer knowledge and improve patient care. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are recruiting postdoctoral fellows for the Big Data Scientist Training Enhancement Program (BD-STEP) to increase capacity for data-driven cancer research by supporting healthcare-focused data science training. The primary goal of BD-STEP is to help develop a next generation of researchers who will be capable of using large clinical and research data sets to efficiently and effectively advance cancer research.

BD-STEP fellows will each be assigned to work at one of four VA medical centers (Palo Alto, CA; Houston, TX; Durham, NC; Boston, MA); at those facilities, they will work with clinicians, clinician-scientists, and interdisciplinary researchers to address important patient-centered health challenges. While working in these unique clinical research environments, BD-STEP fellows will have valuable opportunities to utilize the extensive VA health data infrastructure.

NCI and VHA anticipate awarding up to twelve 2-year BD-STEP fellowships with full salary and benefits.

To be eligible, each applicant must meet the following criteria:

  • Hold a Ph.D. in engineering, computer science, physical science, or relevant, related discipline;
  • Have experience in bioinformatics, modeling, and/or management of large data sets;
  • Have a strong background in advanced mathematics and statistics;
  • Have proficiency in at least one programming language; and
  • Be a U.S. citizen to receive salary and benefits.

Non-citizens are welcome to apply, but they are not eligible to receive salary and benefits through the BD-STEP.

Applications should be submitted online ( and will be accepted through July 19, 2019.

Additional information about the program is available at and


Please direct all inquiries to:

Michelle Berny-Lang, Ph.D.
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Telephone: 240-781-3310