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Big Data Scientist Training Enhancement Program (BD-STEP)

The Big Data Scientist Training Enhancement Program is a two-year fellowship opportunity that uses data science to advance cancer research and care. Launched in 2015 and collaboratively managed by the National Cancer Institute and the Veterans Health Administration, the program leverages VA data resources and NCI cancer research expertise to train the next generation of healthcare data scientists.

Postdoctoral fellows with backgrounds in physical sciences and engineering with demonstrated computational expertise are matched to VA medical centers, where they are immersed in collaborative training and research environments. With joint mentorship from academic investigators and VA clinical researchers and care providers, fellows gain clinical domain knowledge and enrich their data science skills using VA health data, including:

  • Clinical data from VA’s integrated national healthcare system
  • Research and care from the Precision Oncology Program
  • Diagnosis and treatment info from the VA Central Cancer Registry
Watch the video about the BD-STEP program for more information!

Learn more about the BD-STEP training opportunity in the following notice: NOT-CA-20-058 

Apply to be a fellow now!


map of United States - 45 fellows across 6 cohorts

Approved sites provide fellows with graduate-level training in clinical, health services, and bioinformatics research. Each site provides an overview of how they understand and apply big data in their clinical research setting, including the ethical and legal implications; how data are generated while providing clinical care and how those data are aggregated at local, regional, and national levels; and how BD-STEP trainees will participate in a research project involving such data.

VA Site Directors

For more information on BD-STEP, please contact