Join Us as an Investigator

Do you have an interest in cancer research?

As a team of gynecologic oncologists, pathologists and epidemiologists, our expertise has been in the area of cervical cancer prevention, detection and treatment. We recognize that there are other cancers that disproportionately affect people living in the developing world.  Our organization is dedicated to identifying these cancers, and partnering with oncologists or other physicians who have expertise and interest in these diseases. We strive to provide cancer screening and early detection in underserved areas around the world, and to advance the science that will lead to cost-effective primary and secondary preventive strategies.

Are you…

  • Interested in international public health?
  • Called to help in an underserved area?
  • Dedicated to the prevention, screening and early detection of any cancer?
  • Interested in collaborative research with an experienced team?

If your answer to these questions is YES, consider joining our research group.

At POI, our collective experience can provide you with the guidance and partnership that you need to get started.  If you have an idea or a question, we will work with you to develop a project and see it through to completion.

Our investigators and staff can work with you to:

  • Identify a researchable question in the area of screening and early detection of cancer
  • Identify corporations or other funding sources that may have research questions that may be a fit for your area of expertise and interest
  • Collaborate with you to write a research protocol
  • Identify areas of the world where prevalence of the cancer or pre-cancer is high. This is key to our work because it allows us to reach statistical endpoints in a timely, cost-effective manner and also allows us to reach the people most in need.  The POI center for epidemiology and biostatistics can aid in this step.
  • Identify a collaborator in the county where you want to work.
  • Build networks of individuals and corporations working in your area of interest that are interested in collaboration on an international project.
  • Accompany you on a site visit to establish the exact locations where you will work, meet the appropriate political and medical personnel, and lay the groundwork for the collaboration.
  • Along with an international collaborator, work with government agencies to secure appropriate authorizations
  • Facilitate legal contracts (outside attorneys) and agreements with collaborators
  • Prepare and submit IRB applications. Assist with coordination between US and international IRB/ethics committee
  • Prepare and execute training of all personnel involved in the research
  • Along with international researchers, ensure that adequate, appropriate supplies, technology and human resources are in place. This includes sufficient manpower to handle data entry
  • Plan precise execution of research on site
  • Initiate project to ensure smooth establishment of processes
  • Follow project through to ensure completion on time, on budget and according to protocol
  • Assist with unanticipated problems during the course of the project
  • Provide biostatistics services for protocol design and data analysis
  • Assist with preparation and submission of manuscripts

If your goals align with ours, please contact us to discuss your interest.


Securing Funding

Securing adequate funding is one of the most challenging aspects of conducting international research.  There are several possibilities for funding, and all need to be considered when planning your project.

Government funding:  NIH funds are available, but very competitive.  An expertise in writing these grants can be a very important component of successful government funding.  At this time, our organization does not provide expert grant writing consultation, however, there are many academic institutions and medical centers that do provide these services to their employees.  POI has current collaborations with NIH experts in cervical cancer research, and has secured funding as an independent contractor as well as for materials and devices that are part of our research studies.  These collaborations are often components  of a larger project that makes up our network of funding.

Corporate sponsors: Our past experience with securing funding from corporate sponsors has been quite successful.  The key is to partner with an organization that develops products in your area of cancer prevention or detection. These could be industries that develop screening technologies or diagnostic imaging, for example.  You may need to review the literature and public information to find technologies or diagnostics that require further testing for the development of the product.  Alternatively, you may identify an already developed product that the company is interested in introducing into the broader world market. In this case, their product or technology may need to be tested in that market in order to be accepted there.   Once you identify several possibilities, you need to think about your own research questions and whether or not they can be merged into a study that could accomplish your goals, the goals of the corporation and  the humanitarian mission..  You also might be able to form a network of investigators and funding sources that could collaboratively answer many questions, thereby reducing the funding needed from any single source.  We have found that, through our collaborations with international investigators and the securing of multiple funding sources, we have been able to offer corporations the ability to study their products at a price far below anything that could be done in the United States.  At the same time, we have answered our own research questions, making significant contributions to the overall body of knowledge about currently accepted screening and detection technologies for cervical cancer and pre-cancer.

Regardless of funding sources, our research always follow strict ethical research principles, and the outcomes are dependent on good science and data analysis that is independent of any sponsor, investigator or donor influence.  Our research agreements with funding sources allow us to publish results regardless of the outcome. Please read about our collaborators and sponsors for more information about our funding and sponsorship philosophy.

Private donors:  Consider drawing on the resources of friends or acquaintances with an interest in your cause. If have had patients who have family members or who themselves have had cancer or have been cured of cancer, consider them as possible donors.  Many physicians have cared for people who have very substantial resources. Often, these people are very grateful for the way that they have been helped and are happy to make a contribution to your research.  Many have a great desire to work toward a cure for cancer and  they willingly will donate.  However, the only way to know may be to ask them.  This can be quite difficult and requests, in our opinion, should not be handled while you are actively caring for them or their family member.  Remember, that private donations can be combined with other funds to cover the cost of a study, so their importance should not be underestimated.