Research Advocacy Training and Support Program

Fight Colorectal Cancer’s Research Advocacy Training and Support (RATS) program trains colorectal cancer advocates to become the most educated patient voice at the research table.

hero symbol

Through this program, participants learn all about colorectal cancer research, from prevention and cancer biology to treatment, survivorship, and palliative care.

After completing training, research advocates work in partnership with both academic institutions and cancer partners to improve the scientific field by lending their experience and expertise to the research process. Various panels research advocates serve on currently include: 

  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Department of Defense (DoD) Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP)
  • National Cancer Institute (NCI)
  • Local Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)
  • State Cancer Coalitions

RATS graduates are well-versed, highly-skilled, and caring people who are lifelong learners and contributors to the research process. They’re committed to promoting achievement within the research community from bench science to community participatory research programs.

Join the Research Advocacy Training and Support Program

The RATS program is open to anyone who has been impacted by colorectal cancer (survivors, caregivers, and loved ones). This is a unique program focused on the interests and needs of colorectal cancer patients and advocates. The program is limited (based on funding), but we select applicants who represent diverse backgrounds and interests, and are committed to dedicating at least two years to the program (a 24-month commitment is required).

Qualifications

All our research advocates need to have or be willing to develop the skills listed:

  • Flexible and ability to work in teams
  • Communicate effectively and listen actively
  • Be comfortable speaking in front of groups of people
  • Travel overnight several times during the project
  • Computer proficiency using programs such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and PDF documents
  • Ability to take initiative and seek opportunities 

To be contacted when applications open and express your interest in becoming a research advocate, please complete the form below. Let us know why you’re interested in joining our RATS program.












“A person who serves as a link between patients and scientific researchers. Research advocates help patients understand scientific information and research findings that may help them. They may also bring a patient perspective on research activities to scientific advisory boards and committees.”

The National Cancer Institute

Meet Fight CRC’s Current RATS Program Members

Lera Chitwood
Texas
Caregiver

Elaine Newcomb
Wyoming
Stage IV Survivor

Curt Pesmen
Colorado
Stage III Survivor

Karen Wehling
Colorado 
Stage IV Survivor

Kellie Hoffman
West Virginia
Caregiver

Wenora Johnson
Illinois
Stage III Survivor

Lee Jones
Virginia
Stage IV Survivor

Kimberly Klinefelter
Florida
Caregiver

Florence Kurttila
California
Stage II Survivor

Yasmeem Watson
California
Stage III Survivor

Wendy Lewis
Illinois
Stage III Survivor

Joe Mahaffey
North Carolina
Caregiver

Julie Krause
Illinois
Stage IV Survivor

Anita Mitchell
Washington
Stage IV Survivor

Elizabeth Dennis
Arizona
Stage III Survivor

Stacy Hurt
Pennsylvania
Stage IV Survivor

Nancy Roach
Oregon
Caregiver

Frank Salvi
Wisconsin
Caregiver

Kim Schoolcraft
Massachusetts
Caregiver

Joann Simms
Virginia
Stage III Survivor

In Memory of Jessica Martin
Colorado
Stage IV Survivor

In Memory of Kathy Oliver
California
Stage IV Survivor

Let’s Stay In Touch