Embracing the Complexity: Transdisciplinary Approaches to Advance the Science of Cancer Health Disparities


Continuing the Journey

Cancer health disparities (CHD) are complex issues, and we're thrilled to see the progress we've made during the Visioning Minilabs, which was Stage 1 of our event. Thanks to the dedication of participants from diverse backgrounds and sectors, we've laid a strong foundation for addressing CHD. The collective contributions have been invaluable.

Now, as we transition into the Ideation Minilabs (Stage 2), we're excited to welcome both familiar faces and new participants. Whether you were part of the Visioning Minilabs or are joining us for the first time, your insights and fresh perspectives are instrumental.

Here's what to expect in Stage 2:

  • Building on Past Insights: For those who participated in Stage 1, prior contributions will continue to shape our direction. Their expertise is crucial in guiding our progress.
  • Open to New Ideas: We're eager to explore innovative solutions that may come from those who are just joining us. This diversity of thought is a key driver of our success.
  • Forging Collaborations Anew: As we move forward, we'll foster connections among experts from various sectors, ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to contribute to our collective mission.

This event thrives on the inclusivity of different voices and expertise from multiple sectors. Together, we'll continue to pave the way for a more trans-disciplinary future in CHD research. The goal remains unwavering: to accelerate progress toward achieving cancer health equity for all, both locally and globally.

About the Ideation Minilabs

The Ideation Minilabs represent the heart of our transformative event. Building on the successful Visioning stage, these workshops are designed to delve deeply into the complexities of cancer health disparities research.

In these in-depth virtual workshops, which span four hours each, participants will collaborate and refine research themes that have emerged from the Visioning stage. The focus here is on creating strong and impactful themes and opportunities that can serve as the foundation for pioneering research in the field of CHD.

These workshops are dynamic, engaging, and foster cross-discipline discussions. They provide a unique platform for diverse individuals to come together and collectively ideate innovative solutions that cut across traditional boundaries. Additionally, participants will contribute to the creation of white papers summarizing the identified themes and opportunities.

Who Should Attend

We welcome participants with diverse perspectives from broad sectors in society, including academia, industry, government, non-profit, and community to ensure that multiple perspectives are considered to inform transformative research directions in CHD. Furthermore, we encourage a mix of individuals whose expertise cut across a wide range of disciplines in the research, policy and social advocacy arena to attend, including those involved in community engagement, social and policy planning, and basic, translational, behavioral, and social sciences. Above all else, it is critical that attendees are open to exploring approaches that may be very different from their usual research or advocacy approaches.

How to Apply for the Ideation Minilabs

Click the button below that says "Apply Now" to fill out the application form. Participants who demonstrate a collaborative spirit, open-mindedness, and represent diverse disciplines, backgrounds, and perspectives are invited to apply. Join us in this unique opportunity to shape the future of cancer research and health equity.

Applications are now closed

About the Workshops

Cancer health disparities, both globally and locally, result from a complicated interplay of factors across a variety of levels, from individual to interpersonal to environmental to structural. While researchers across many different fields have made great progress in understanding and proposing solutions, disparities persist across the continuum of cancer risk, detection, progression, and outcomes. Building on existing theoretical frameworks, methodological approaches, and research across many different disciplines, community engagement, as well as on themes gleaned from the recent request for information and listening session, the NCI is holding a series of workshops, facilitated by KnowInnovation. Participants have begun, and will continue, to identify unique research opportunities, and collaboratively ideate around approaches that cut across disciplines to advance sustainable solutions to reduce CHD and accelerate progress towards equity in cancer control for all populations.

This dynamic event is organized into two sequential stages (Stage 1: Visioning Minilabs and Stage 2: Ideation Minilabs), with Stage 2 building on the outcomes of Stage 1. The virtual workshops within each stage are designed to be intense, interactive, free-thinking, and to involve a broad range of individuals.

More about each stage:

  2. The first stage began with a series of three short (1.5 hours) virtual interactive workshops designed to broadly engage a diverse community in small interactive discussions to ideate and share new ideas around research approaches that cut across disciplines. Registration was free and open to everyone, and all who registered were invited to participate.

    Workshop Dates

    • Session 1: Thursday, August 31. 2023 (11am-12:30pm EST)
    • Session 2: Wednesday, September 6, 2023 (11am-12:30pm EST)
    • Session 3: Friday, September 8, 2023 (11am-12:30pm EST)
  4. The second stage will build on the ideas from the first stage and will comprise a series of five in-depth (4 hours) virtual interactive workshops designed to coalesce, focus, and refine the ideas into strong themes and opportunities that can serve as the foundation for new research directions in the science of CHD. This stage will involve additional cross-discipline discussions and conclude with a series of white papers summarizing the themes and opportunities for broad dissemination. Interested individuals must apply and be selected to participate.

Event Outcomes

The ultimate goal of this event is to envision a more trans-disciplinary future of CHD research and accelerate progress towards cancer health equity for all populations, both locally and globally. We envision meaningful outcomes towards advancing the science of CHD. Collectively, the event will:

  • Foster a shared conceptual understanding of CHD and contribute to cutting-edge research ideas.
  • Address constraints and identify a range of solutions to advance new CHD research directions that cut across multiple disciplines to address the complex nature of CHD, ultimately working towards achieving equity in cancer control for all populations.
  • Generate comprehensive white papers and resources that summarize a collection of transformative distinctive CHD research opportunities, both domestic and global, which are highly suitable for cross-disciplinary research and disseminated across a wide range of stakeholders.


  1. Visioning Minilabs Registration Deadline: Passed
  2. Ideation Minilabs Application Deadline: Passed