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Join the new generation of researchers


Supporting transformation of PhD candidates in a pediatric oncology network

Máxima Butterfly Program

The Máxima Butterfly program is coordinated by the Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology in Utrecht, the Netherlands, the largest pediatric cancer center in Europe.



Research Areas

Our research covers the entire spectrum: from fundamental research using cutting-edge technologies, translational experiments to develop personalized therapies and psychosocial studies that monitor the wellbeing of the whole family.

From Caterpillar to Butterfly

This consortium will highly stimulate international education and multi-disciplinary exchange of expertise in pediatric oncology. The program will train the next generation of multi-disciplinary scientists in the field of pediatric oncology.

Butterfly PhD positions are now closed

The Máxima Butterfly program offers 28 fully funded PhD positions. There are 52 different PhD projects to choose from, ranging from fundamental to translational to clinical science, and involving all pediatric tumor types. Candidates can apply until January 31st 2023.


When a child is seriously ill from cancer, only one thing matters: a cure. 

That is why in the Princess Máxima Center for pediatric oncology, we work together with passion, pushing the boundaries to improve survival and quality of life for children with cancer. Now, and in the long term. Because children have their entire lives ahead of them.

The Princess Máxima Center for pediatric oncology is no ordinary hospital but a research hospital, the biggest childhood cancer center in Europe. Here, more than 450 scientists and 900 healthcare professionals work closely with Dutch and international hospitals to find new treatments and new perspectives for a cure. 

In this way, we offer children today the very best care, and take important steps toward improving survival for the children who are not yet cured. 



Thirty-seven partner organisations, from seven different sectors, located in 13 countries are part of the Butterfly consortium. Collaboration between hospitals, universities and research institutes increases the knowledge in paediatric cancers, and increases access to patient material as some tumours are very rare.

The long-term ambition of the Butterfly programme is to establish a strong and coherent international network that connects highly skilled young researchers as well as established scientists, who will continue to inspire each other to excel in making discoveries in paediatric oncology far beyond the funding period.