News Release

Ph.D. application process Máxima Butterfly program opened

Grant and Award Announcement

Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology

Starting today, the application process is open for 28 PhD positions within the Máxima Butterfly childhood cancer research program. The Princess Máxima Center encourages applications from ambitious researchers from around the world who want to complete their PhD track at a leading pediatric oncology research hospital and become part of the Máxima Butterfly network. Ultimate goal of the program is to advance the pediatric oncology research field by building an international multidisciplinary network of scientists trained to become future leaders in this field. The PhD students will receive training from a broad group of pediatric oncology experts at the Princess Máxima Center in close collaboration with partner organizations in industry, academia and patient advocacy groups from around the world.

The Máxima Butterfly program, which is made possible thanks to an EU funded Marie Sklodowska-Curie COFUND grant, will focus and stimulate international education and multi-disciplinary exchange of expertise in pediatric oncology. Dr. Marcel Kool, overall coordinator of program and research group leader at the Máxima Center: ‘Participating in this program would be a wonderful head start for a PhD student’s scientific career. Through the network they will gain access to other leading academic research groups in and outside the Máxima Center, specialized multi-sectoral companies and the most innovative techniques and insights in the complexity of pediatric oncology. This will prepare students for future challenges in their career pathway.’

Collaborating across the full pediatric oncology spectrum

Collaborations will be an integral part of the program: within the Máxima Center, between researchers and clinicians, but also collaborations and partnerships with other institutes, nationally and internationally. Scientifically the program covers the entire spectrum of pediatric oncology, ranging from fundamental biology research to applied science in the clinical setting. For a successful implementation and to achieve a radical change in the society the program also includes translation of findings to the entire field, including the international academic community, industry, health policy makers and the general public among others.

The new generation of talented Máxima Butterfly PhD students will undertake research in one of the 26 participating research groups. Research will be focused on one or more of the five research areas: brain tumors, hematologic malignancies, solid tumors, quality of life and new technologies. All students will learn about topics like pediatric cancer biology and how to enhance international collaborations and knowledge transfer. In addition, the students will follow courses to develop transferable skills and areas of focus such as science communication, gender equality, time management, teaching and personal development.

Visit for more information about the 28 open positions, the 52 different projects to choose from, what else we can offer as part of this program and the needed qualifications to apply. All 28 students will be selected during one application procedure and will start their training jointly in next year’s fall, September-October 2023.

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