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PRA Program

What Does the PRA Program Include?


STARS PRA program activities are all-virtual and include online learning modules (provided by Research Advocacy Network's Advocate Institute), educational sessions with lung cancer researchers and clinicians, videos and webinars, networking opportunities, and mentoring by experienced research advocates.  The program runs five months (June through October) with two or three scheduled activities most months. You can see an example of the STARS PRA Program schedule here.

Note that all STARS PRA program participants MUST have reliable access to Internet and Zoom to participate in the all-virtual program.  Educational topics include:

  • Lung cancer screening and diagnosis.

  • Lung cancer treatment options, with focus on immunotherapy, targeted therapy, and small cell lung cancer (SCLC).

  • Lung cancer biomarkers and liquid biopsy.

  • Cancer clinical trials structure and research ethics.

  • What is translational research.

  • Effective ways to communicate about science and research.

  • Lung cancer research advocacy opportunities.


The PRA program also includes networking with other program participants, experienced lung cancer research advocates, and prominent clinicians and researchers. PRAs who participate fully receive a certificate of completion.

Who Can Apply to the PRA Program?


Patient research advocates (PRAs) differ from patient advocates in that they bring the patient voice to research-related efforts. Applicants to the STARS PRA Program must be active lung cancer patient advocates and motivated to learn about lung cancer research, science, and research advocacy. The PRA program is for people who have or had lung cancer and their family members.  People who do not have this personal connection to a person who has or had lung cancer are not eligible to apply. Previous participants in the STARS PRA program may apply to participate the PRA Program again.

Successful applicants for the STARS PRA program must demonstrate the following:

  • Commitment and experience in lung cancer patient advocacy (we recognize advocacy opportunities vary by country).

  • Membership in IASLC (free to patient/survivors and caregivers--apply here).

  • A baseline understanding of lung cancer science and/or research with a passion to learn more.

  • Eagerness to expand their advocacy beyond sharing their lung cancer story.

  • Willingness to learn about and advocate for all types of lung cancer.

  • Interest in using their skills and knowledge to educate others about lung cancer science and research.

  • Ability to read, write, and speak in English.


STARS seeks participants who are comfortable writing and/or speaking publicly as part of their advocacy, and who can communicate effectively in verbal and written English. While STARS aims to increase the number of languages in which the program is offered, English is still the primary language of major international oncology conferences and publications. Our program meetings are conducted in English, and our current educational resources are almost entirely in English.

What is the Application Process?

All applications are completed and submitted online. The 2024 application period opens February 1 and closes March 22 at 5 Mountain Daylight Time (MDT, or Denver time). Successful applicants will be notified by 5 pm MST on Friday, April 26.

The application requires that you provide the name and email address of an established research advocate or researcher who is familiar with your patient advocacy activities.  The application form will email the person and direct them to an online survey. We suggest you contact your emdorser early in the application process to ask if they are willing to provide a recommendation. If they agree, enter their name and email ASAP on your application (even if you haven't completed the entire application) to give the person plenty of time to submit the recommendation before the application period closes.  It is the applicant's responsibility to make sure the recommendation is received on time.


Applications are competitive with a goal of global and diverse representation. They are reviewed by a group selected from the STARS Admin Team, Mentors, past participants, and other lung cancer research advocates. 

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