There are increasing numbers of cancer prevention and control investigator trainees. On the basis of experience as research proposal reviewers and on reviews of a large number of current trainees, we offer some perspectives on the discipline and important aspects of optimal training programs. The historical importance of public health activities, the significant differences between prevention and treatment, and the breadth and public interest in prevention all have significant implications for trainees. In training, the need to focus efforts and to have active mentoring are critical. More attention to data analysis and complete development of a specific research proposal are also key elements of high-quality training. Although the need for cancer prevention and control investigators is great, more attention to the quality of their training is warranted.

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