Project LEAD® Institute

The Project LEAD® Institute is a six-day intensive science course designed for the lay public to train breast cancer advocates. The course covers the basics of cancer biology, genetics, epidemiology, research design and advocacy, and provides a foundation of scientific knowledge upon which participants can strengthen and empower themselves as activists. Taught by renowned research faculty, this is a unique opportunity for those interested in learning more about working as an NBCC research advocate.

For a more in-depth look at the Project LEAD experience, please see our Frequently Asked Questions below.

Applicants must be members of NBCC who are:

  • Currently involved in the activities of a breast cancer organization
  • Interested in learning the scientific language and concepts of breast cancer to share with their community
  • Motivated to take a seat at the tables where important breast cancer decisions are made
  • Dedicated to supporting NBCC’s mission to end breast cancer for everyone
  • **COVID -19 Policy: NBCC strongly encourages all attendees of in-person programming to be up to date on their COVID vaccinations per the CDC definition. Attendees will be required to test negative for COVID within 24 hours of travel to an NBCC event and confirm their negative result in writing. Attendees with a medical exemption for vaccination must test at the end of each day of the event. NBCC strongly encourages you to wear masks throughout the event to best protect your colleagues. If you have any COVID symptoms or a member of your household has tested positive for COVID within 5 days of the event, do not attend.**

To apply, you must:

  • Be a member of NBCC
  • Complete an application detailing your history of advocacy and your interest in Project LEAD.
  • Submit two letters of recommendation on this template to
  • Applications will not be considered until all pieces are received
  • Need-based travel and lodging scholarships are available. You can apply for them via the application. Tuition is free and all meals are included.
  • Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.
  • NOTE: Accepted participants must attend the entire course.

2024 Project LEAD Institute

Applications for the 2024 Project LEAD Institute are now open!

DATES: July 28 – August 2, 2024
 Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa, La Jolla, CA

INSTRUCTIONS: To apply, please complete the form at the link below. The application includes general information questions, an important informational video, as well as short essay questions designed to help us get to know the applicant’s advocacy background and goals. Please take the time to complete these questions thoughtfully. Applicants must also submit two letters of recommendation on this template. These recommendations can come from anyone who can speak thoroughly about your breast cancer advocacy activities. All letters should be submitted to

APPLICATION: Applications are now closed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Project LEAD?
What is the daily schedule like?
What is the dress code?
Should I bring a tablet and/or laptop with me?
Will there be time to speak directly with the instructors when I’m at the training?
What do the breakout sessions look like?
Will I have an opportunity to network with anyone else?
Who are Project LEAD Mentors?
Is there any additional work before or during the Project LEAD Institute?
What if I am unable to attend part of the training?
Can I choose to stay at a different hotel?
What is the cost of the Project LEAD Institute?
Are scholarships available to defray the cost of attendance?
Do I have to attend the NBCC Advocate Leadership Summit before I can attend Project LEAD?