Journal of Cancer Education

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 194-199

First online:

The Wisdom of Experience: Becoming an Effective Principal Investigator

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As an American Cancer Society mentored research scholar recipient, I interviewed 11 experienced principal investigators actively engaged in cancer research with Indigenous peoples throughout the USA to learn helpful skills and advice for someone beginning a research career. Emergent themes provide helpful advice for beginning researchers as well as reminders for experienced investigators. Themes could serve as a catalyst for continued conversations among researchers and include: being a visionary, keeping up with the science, building relationships, protecting research participants and the community, publishing and disseminating, being organized, recognizing opportunity, understanding funders, being budget wise, staying focused, learning from failures, being holistic, being open to learning, having fun, and practicing self-care.


Principal investigator Cancer research Indigenous research Alaska Native Career development