Program Associate, Scientific Programs & Strategic Initiatives

Job Locations US-PA-Philadelphia
Executive Office
Regular Full-Time


Founded in 1907, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is the world’s first and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research through its mission to prevent and cure all cancers. AACR’s growing membership now includes more than 56,000 laboratory, translational, and clinical researchers, other health care professionals, and patient advocates residing in 134 countries and territories. Through its wide array of programs, this prestigious and dynamic organization leverages the full spectrum of expertise of the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer.


The AACR is seeking a candidate to support AACR’s mission and programs that are designed to drive the future scientific agenda of the organization. Specifically, this position will support the Senior Director of Scientific Programs and Strategic Initiatives, who oversees all AACR scientific working groups, AACR scientific achievement awards and lectureships, the Fellows of the AACR Academy, and all annual AACR committee appointments.


Regarding the latter, on an annual basis, various AACR committees are formed to assist with the planning of the AACR Annual Meeting, selection of scientific achievement award and scientific grant recipients, as well as to guide ongoing programs and initiatives dedicated to supporting AACR’s mission to prevent and cure all cancers. One of the primary responsibilities of this position will be to assist with the AACR’s annual committee appointment process by tracking committee-associated appointments, communications, and file repositories. In addition, this position will involve training dedicated to webpage maintenance, construction, and content building.


Secondly, this position will provide as needed administrative support to AACR’s scientific working groups, Fellows of the AACR Academy, and AACR scientific achievement award selection committees.


AACR scientific working groups function within the framework of the AACR to explore expanded research opportunities and to advance discoveries that lead to greater knowledge and understanding of cancer. There are currently eight AACR scientific working groups dedicated to the following scientific disciplines: cancer evolution, cancer prevention, cancer immunology, chemistry in cancer research, pediatric cancer, population sciences, radiation science and medicine, and the tumor microenvironment.


The organization’s robust scientific achievement award program aims to recognize and honor outstanding scientific achievement across all cancer research disciplines. Annually, the AACR distributes over 20 scientific achievement awards to individuals who have made significant contributions to our understanding of the biology, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of cancer. Such individuals are selected through a formal nomination and election process and are celebrated throughout the year and primarily in conjunction with the AACR Annual Meeting.


Similarly, the mission of the AACR Academy is to recognize and honor distinguished scientists whose major scientific contributions have propelled significant innovation and progress against cancer, and to leverage the expertise of the global brain trust of Fellows of the AACR Academy to advance the mission of the AACR to prevent and cure all cancers through research, education, communication, collaboration, science policy and advocacy, and funding for cancer research. Each year, a new class of Fellows are elected and inducted into the AACR Academy, which represents the pinnacle honorific bestowed by the AACR to any individual. Collectively, all Fellows of the AACR Academy provide ongoing advice and counsel to the AACR leadership on scientific topics of timeliness and significance as well as other matters of importance.


The Program Associate, Scientific Programs and Strategic Initiatives position will assist with the general administration of these various AACR programs on an as needed basis and in collaboration with existing Executive Office staff.


  • Assist with the tracking of annual appointments for AACR Annual Meeting, standing, scientific achievement award, and scientific grant review committees.
  • Prepare, organize, and maintain AACR committee, scientific achievement award, scientific working group, and AACR Academy documents and historical files.
  • Assist as needed with updating and maintaining webpage content applicable to AACR committees, scientific achievement awards, scientific working groups, and Fellows of the AACR Academy.
  • Communicate regularly with cancer researchers, clinicians, and physician-scientists primarily via telephone, videoconference, and email.
  • Assist with social media communications pertaining to AACR programs and initiatives relevant to AACR scientific achievement awards, scientific working groups, and Fellows of the AACR Academy.
  • Assist with scheduling and coordinating events held in-person or via Zoom/Microsoft Teams.
  • Assist with the coordination of logistics related to housing, travel, and registration for members attending conferences, meetings, and think tanks organized in collaboration with AACR scientific working groups, AACR scientific achievement awards, and the Fellows of the AACR Academy.
  • Provide as needed administrative support to AACR scientific working groups, Fellows of the AACR Academy, and AACR scientific achievement award selection committees.
  • Perform all essential duties and functions of the position and other related duties as assigned and as necessary.


  • Eligible candidates must have a minimum of 2-3 years of administrative experience, preferably in a non-profit, academic, or scientific environment
  • Interested individuals must possess the following attributes:
    • High proficiency in Microsoft Office applications and ability to navigate technological software and platforms including virtual meeting platforms (i.e., Microsoft Teams, Zoom, etc.)
    • Ability to work independently and within a team environment
    • Capability to manage time and prioritize tasks while adapting to diverse workloads and deadlines
    • Excellence in written and verbal communications
    • Precise attention to detail
    • Exceptional administrative and organizational skills
    • Desire to follow through on projects in a timely manner
    • Strong interpersonal skills and professional demeanor


Education Requirements

  • BA or BS degree required; advanced degree(s) a plus; knowledge of science and medical terminology as well as webpage construction and content building preferred


How to Apply

  • To apply, please submit a resume, cover letter, writing sample, and salary expectations.


Equal Oppurtunity Employer


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