Research Advocate Training Application

The FORCE Research Advocate Training (FRAT) Program is an introductory course for individuals with little or no experience who wish to become involved in research advocacy. The program consists of approximately 6 webinars on topics including “Cancer 101,” basic genetics, intro to clinical trials and research, patient protection, ethics, and more.

While individuals affected by hereditary cancer are significant stakeholders in cancer research, historically our input has been limited. Cancer research requires consumer input to guide direction and relevance, but panels often don’t include consumer advisors with knowledge about hereditary risk. The goal of this training program is to educate volunteers with a personal interest in hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, empowering them to participate in research advocacy and to assure that our community perspective is considered.

FORCE's FRAT Program aims to develop a body of research advocates in the hereditary breast and ovarian cancer community, to spur greater patient engagement in research-related activities, and to give the HBOC community a place at the table in cancer research.

Research advocates participate in a variety of scientific activities including, but not limited to:
• Grant Review Panels
• Cancer Cooperative Groups
• Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)
• Data and Safety Monitoring Boards (DSMBs)
• National Cancer Institute (NCI) Working Groups
• Patient Powered Research Networks (PPRNs)

To be eligible to for the FRAT Program, individuals must have a desire to get involved in addressing HBOC issues at a scientific/research level. Participants must have an interest in representing the HBOC community—as cancer survivors, previvors, family members or friends of those affected by hereditary cancer. Prior scientific or medical knowledge is not required. Applicants must be willing to commit to “attending” the training webinars (real-time or archived) and have the ability to become engaged in research-related activities. The most important requirement is that applicants demonstrate a commitment to improving the lives of those affected by HBOC.

If you are interested in applying for the FRAT Program, please complete this application to help us learn more about you. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age. We are only able to consider U.S. residents for the program at this time. Please note that training takes place on a rolling basis. Your patience is appreciated as we review applications and coordinate training commencement.

Your responses to the questions in this survey will help ensure that we have broad representation from various geographic regions, ages and ethnicities--an important element in research. We respect your privacy and will not share any information without your permission.
1. Please enter the following information:
2. Highest level of education completed:
3. What is your ethnicity? (choose all that apply)
4. Which of these applies to your situation? I am a:
5. Explain why you want to be a research advocate in 100 words or less.
6. Please tell us about any prior training, skills or experience that will aid you in becoming an effective representative of the hereditary breast and ovarian cancer community.
7. State how strongly each of the following statements applies to you.
Strongly agreeSomewhat agreeNeither agree nor disagreeSomewhat disagreeStrongly disagree
I am comfortable using a computer and the Internet.
I would like to work with other cancer patients/high-risk individuals.
I am able to travel and my schedule allows me to do so periodically.
I like to thoroughly research subjects of interest or concern me.
I am comfortable working virtually via computer or teleconferences.
I am familiar with medical terms and/or can grasp them easily.
I enjoy working in a team or committee environment.
I am comfortable communicating verbally and can "hold my own" in a group.
I am detail-oriented and have good time management skills.
I have some flexibility with my schedule allowing for occasional virtual training and/or meetings during the work week.
I consider myself a good listener.
I am good at written communication.
I am comfortable with public speaking.
I prefer to work in a structured environment.
I have confidence in my negotiation skills.
I am open to new ideas and readily adapt to change.
I have a basic understanding of scientific methods.
I prefer to focus on the "big picture."
I work best independently.
Challenges invigorate me.
The idea of working with doctors and researchers appeals to me.