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From Caterpillar to Butterfly

The objective of Butterfly is to offer an international, inter-disciplinary and inter-sectoral training programme providing PhD students with the best possible research and professional skills to empower them to become the next generation of European paediatric oncology experts.

Butterfly achieves this through advanced multidisciplinary research training extended with development of dedicated transferable and entrepreneurial skills. Butterfly ensures that PhD students will become ethically responsible and enthusiastic ambassadors, adequately disseminating and communicating their research results to the society.

Butterfly will provide local and network wide training essential for equipping the DCs with the combination of research-related and transferable competences needed to succeed in European science and innovation sectors. The training programme will include:

  1. Individual PhD projects supported by scientific multisectoral supervisory teams and an experienced mentor
  2. Training through multisectoral and multidisciplinary secondments
  3. Enrolment of each DC in the PhD graduate school programme Cancer Stem Cells and Developmental Biology or Clinical and Translational Oncology
  4. Personal choices and development of individual talents defined in personal career development plans
  5. Four Summerschools (SS) including research-related and transferable skills: SS1: Caterpillar kick-off; SS2: European Paediatric Networks; SS3: Paediatric Cancer Biology; SS4: Translating preclinical research to clinical trials
  6. Four specialised course topics Winterschools (WS): WS1: (Epi)genomics and bioinformatics; WS2: Midterm symposium; WS3: Immuno oncology and therapy; WS4: Research in Industry
  7. Personal development programme for a personal transformational experience towards resilient and confident leaders of the future
  8. optional: Supervision of bachelor/master students and opportunities to teach workshop/lectures

To guarantee a high-quality well-balanced training programme, all training elements have an expected minimum number of ECTS.  All PhD students at the Máxima who have completed the educational programme receive an ‘Butterfly certificate’. This certificate serves as a proof of skills acquired, for instance in job applications. PhD theses are evaluated by independent reviewers according to the rules of the Utrecht University (the legal entity handing out the PhD degrees).