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
  • **Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, NBCC requires that all attendees of in-person programming must be fully vaccinated as per CDC guidelines. Attendees must also provide proof of a negative COVID test taken no more than 48 hours before the start of the event. Daily testing may be required.**

To apply, you must:

  • 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.

2022 Project LEAD Institute

NBCC will hold two Project LEAD Institute sessions for the summer of 2022, in La Jolla, CA. Applications for both sessions are now open.

SESSION 1:  July 24, 2022 – July 29, 2022

SESSION 2: July 31, 2022 – August 5, 2022

*Applications for the 2022 Project LEAD Institute are now closed.*

NOTIFICATION DEADLINE: Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, with final notification no later than June 1, 2022.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Project LEAD?
What topics are covered in the training?
What is the structure/format of the course?
Who is Project LEAD intended for?
When is it held?
How do I apply?
How many people participate in the training?
How much does it cost?
How can I apply for a scholarship?
I live outside of the United States. Can I apply to attend?
How can I improve my chance of being accepted?
When are announcements made about applications?

Before Project LEAD

If accepted, how do I prepare for Project LEAD?
Is there homework in advance that I will need to complete?
What if I need to cancel my registration?
What should I bring?

During Project LEAD

What is the daily schedule like?
What is the dress code?
What will I recieve when I arrive?
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?
What if I don't show up for part of the training?

After Project LEAD

What kind of support can I expect after I attend Project LEAD?
How can I become a Project LEAD Mentor?