Join Us in the Mission Against Breast Cancer.

Become an Advocate in Science

If you are passionate about ending breast cancer and have an interest in scientific research, we welcome you to join us. Komen’s research advocates, or Advocates In Science may be men or women, laypersons or healthcare professionals, Komen Affiliate members, or individuals involved in advocacy with other breast cancer organizations.

While many advocates are breast cancer survivors or have a loved one affected by the disease, this is not a requirement. The most important qualification is an ongoing commitment to improving the lives of those with breast cancer or those at risk for breast cancer. All applicants should demonstrate a desire to learn about breast health, breast cancer research and breast cancer issues while representing a broader perspective of those people affected by breast cancer. Applicants are strongly encouraged to be active with their local Affiliate of Susan G. Komen®. Learn more about our Advocates in Science here.

How to Apply

If you would like to be part of this community, please complete the online membership form. Once you have completed the membership form, please select an individual to complete a referral form on your behalf.  We review membership forms and accept new members on a rotating basis. If you have questions, please email advocatesinscience@komen.org.

Resources for Research Advocates

AIS members ensure that Komen-funded breast cancer research will answer the questions most important to all those affected by breast cancer; raise the bar for how advocates and researchers work together; and make sure the unique and valuable patient perspectives are included in scientific discussions and decision-making that influences our progress toward ending breast cancer forever.

The guide below will help answer questions you may have about how research advocates can get involved in research projects, including who’s qualified to serve as a research advocate, how advocates are selected for research projects, what roles research advocates play, and more.

Download our Guidelines for Advocate Involvement in Research Projects now.

All research advocates serving on a grant are required to submit a signed Letter of Support to the Applicant. This statement helps researchers understand your level of commitment and expertise and will aide in defining your role in the research project. Your letter should:

  • Describe your relevant experience and qualifications as a breast cancer advocate, including any previous experience with research or research proposals.
  • Explain your active involvement or role(s) on the project.
  • Share your perspective of the importance of this research to breast cancer patients.
  • Describe your perception of the Applicant’s commitment to breast cancer research.

Below is an example of a Research Advocate Letter of Support.

 

Advocate Name

Advocate Physical Address, Phone Number and Email Address

Date

Susan G. Komen
5005 LBJ Freeway, Suite 250
Dallas, TX  75244

Dear Komen Reviewers:

It is with great enthusiasm that I write this statement of commitment for the Komen Investigator-Initiated Research grant proposal submitted by Dr. John Doe, entitled “Exciting New Research in the Fight Against Breast Cancer.”  I would be honored to serve as an advocate consultant for this important project. 

This research project focuses on identifying molecular alterations that may drive the progression of DCIS to invasive breast cancer, which is an extremely important topic because it represents an opportunity to prevent a common and essentially “harmless” disease from developing into a potentially lethal disease.  I believe that this research may provide the potential to avoid unnecessary mastectomies and suffering in those women where DCIS has a small likelihood of becoming invasive breast cancer.  In addition, health care resources could be better utilized and many dollars saved if unnecessary treatment is not provided. 

As an eight-year breast cancer survivor, and a founding member and co-chair of the Research Advocacy Committee at Komen Any Town affiliate, I have a strong interest in supporting breast cancer research by providing my expertise as a patient and survivor.  I am deeply interested in all aspects of breast cancer research (from prevention to detection and treatment) and, as an advocate, have worked closely with investigators in the Breast Cancer Research Program at The University School of Medicine.   Over the past two years, I have collaborated with researchers in developing pre-applications and applications for Komen national grants, as well as for Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program grants supporting breast cancer research.  I have served on peer review panels for Komen National and the DoD for the last four years.  This experience positions me to play an active and important role on the project team for this Promise Grant research project.

Dr. Doe and his team members have demonstrated a strong interest in patient advocate participation during the development of the pre-application and application for this project.  Upon funding, I will continue to collaborate with Dr. Doe and his team to represent the patient perspective throughout the term of the grant.  I will collaborate during the evolution of the project by meeting with the PI and his team, and by providing review and commentary from the patient perspective on the investigators’ progress reports and publications. 

I am convinced that this research will lead to the discovery of molecular reasons for the progression of DCIS to invasive breast cancer.  It is critical to learn how to prevent DCIS from becoming invasive in order to prevent overtreatment and unnecessary suffering due to the side effects patients experience while being treated.  It is an honor to support Dr. Doe and his team who have demonstrated their belief in the value of involvement of patient advocates in the formulation, design and translation of this research to ensure the greatest value to the patient community.   I look forward to continuing to be an active member of this team.  Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely yours,

 

Name

 

 

A biographical sketch—also known as a biosketch—is an abbreviated Curriculum Vitae summarizing your breast cancer advocacy, professional and educational accomplishments, publications and research advocacy experience. It highlights important aspects of your advocacy experience, involvement in the breast cancer survivor community, training, skills and interests to help researchers determine if you are a good fit for a particular project.

Advocate biosketches may be submitted in any format.  You are encouraged to develop one that could be used more broadly. Many funders require biosketches to be in a National Institutes of Health (NIH) format and no more than 5 pages.

  • A blank NIH Word Template, Instructions, and Samples can be found here.
  • A sample Biosketch with notes to help guide the completion of each section can be found here.
  • An Example of a New Advocate Biosketch can be found here
  • An Example of an Experienced Advocate Biosketch can be found here

TOOLS & RESOURCES