The overall aim of the Butterfly programme is to train a new generation of talented PhD students in paediatric oncology and to undertake excellent research in one or more of the five research areas: 1) Brain Tumours 2) Hematologic Malignancies 3) Solid Tumours 4) Quality of Live 5) New Technologies. To reach this goal we aim to 1) Increase knowledge across paediatric cancer biology; 2) Enhance international collaborations and European Paediatric Networks; 3) Increase knowledge transfer and collaborations with industry; 4) Translate pre-clinical research to clinical trials.
Butterfly will run from 2023-2027 and builds on the successful Vagabond PhD training programme led by the Máxima. Butterfly is unique in its sense that all PhD students will be trained at the Máxima in the field of paediatric oncology within an international scientific and cultural environment. The programme includes a dedicated training in all pre(clinical) aspects of paediatric oncology, training in transferable skills (such as IP, knowledge transfer, entrepreneurship), an innovative programme for personal development and a plan based on the ‘EU Green Deal’. Many external (inter)national academic and industrial partners are connected to Butterfly who are strongly involved at all stages of the project, by joining supervisory meetings, providing intersectoral training opportunities and training in research in another academic or commercial environment. Each PhD student is expected to spend at least three months at an industry partner for their project. All PhD students will be recruited for 48 months, the duration of a PhD programme in the Netherlands.
The Princess Máxima Center is the national and only paediatric oncology centre in the Netherlands, located in Utrecht. The Máxima is a freestanding, independent comprehensive cancer centre, with infrastructural ties to the University Medical Centre Utrecht and a legal connection with the University of Utrecht for awarding PhD degrees. The Máxima is the only such institute for all of the Netherlands, and the largest childhood cancer institute in Europe, currently hosting 36 research groups and ~1800 employees from >40 nationalities, who are involved in patient care and/or research.