Established in 1991 to promote European cancer clinical research, the EORTC Fellowship Programme encourages physicians, statisticians and scientists from all over the world to stay for up to three years at EORTC headquarters in Brussels. It offers opportunities to learn the principles of cancer clinical research by being attached to a specific EORTC group, a medical or a methodological research programme in the Belgian capital.  It is a unique way to absorb all aspects of creating, activating and bringing cancer clinical research projects to maturity, from the inside.

The EORTC Fellowship programme does not just provide training in clinical research methodology for physicians and other interested professionals. It is also a chance to use EORTC’s rich databases to work on publications that will benefit EORTC and the individual fellows.  EORTC fellows acquire a high level of expertise in clinical research methodology which can contribute to future career success. In addition, all research work is performed internationally, which promotes a rapid spread of clinical trial results.

Support for the EORTC Fellowship Programme comes from several sources, and more than 170 fellowships covering 35 countries have been awarded.

Selection process

A preliminary screening of applications will be done to verify their completeness and conformity with the above mentioned eligibility criteria. Eligible applications will then be forwarded to the relevant Head(s) of Department(s) for assessment. The applicants will be contacted to arrange a telephone interview.

All applicants will be notified of the outcome of the selection process.

For more information about the Fellowship Programme, contact us.

Current fellows

Laila Ait Hassou, EORTC Fellow

Laila Ait Hassou (Morocco)

Laila Ait Hassou is from Morocco, she holds a master of mathematics and statistics and a PhD degree in Statistics from the University of Mohammed V of Rabat, Morocco. In 2019, she was an exchange student at Vrij University of Brussels.
During here master thesis she conducted a regionalization of statistical parameters of hydrological data, as a part of the Projet ‘FACE’ (Faire Face Aux Changements Climatiques). During her Phd, she worked on modelling dependence using copulas with application to Economics and Environment. She worked also on class prediction algorithm with application to microarray big data.
She joined EORTC in June 2020 as a fellow in the statistics department. She will be involved in the RECIST project.


Najlaa Alyamani, EORTC Medical FellowNajlaa Alyamani (Saudi Arabia)

Dr. Najlaa Alyamani joined the EORTC in May 2020 as an Emmanuel van der Schueren Fellow. Alyamani received her Medical degree from King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. She worked as a Pre-Scholar resident in Radiation Oncology at National Guard Hospital-Riyadh before starting her Internat (residency) at Centre Jean Perrin, Clermont-Ferrand, France. She then did her residency at The Ottawa Hospital Cancer Center in Ottawa, Canada. At EORTC, her focus will be on Radiotherapy Quality Assurance of EORTC-1201/PEACE-1 trial. She will be involved in projects related to Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of RTQA in Clinical Trials as well as assisting Dr. Denis Lacombe and the medical team in activities related to restructuring ROG. Alyamani’s fellowship is supported by Kom op Tegen Kanker.



Felix Boakye OppongDunson Ejedepang (Cameroon)

Dunson Ejedepang is from Cameroon and he holds a bachelor of science degree in Biochemistry from the university of Buea, Cameroon and a master of science degree in statistics from the university of Hasselt, Belgium.
He did his master thesis with novasanis, a spin-off company of the university of Antwerp, where he conducted statistical analysis to evaluate the efficiency of a first-void prototype urine collection device (Colli-Pee) against the standard urine collection cups on the detection of both HPV and human DNA and the effect on the time of collection.
He joined EORTC as a research fellow in Biostatistics in December 2019 and will be working on projects in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) Such as the MAGRIT study.




Felix Boakye OppongFelix Boakye Oppong (Ghana)

Felix Boakye Oppong is from Ghana and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Statistics and Actuarial Science from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana, and a Master of Science degree in Biostatistics from Hasselt University, Belgium.
He joined the EORTC as a fellow in Biostatistics in September 2019 and works on research projects with the Brain Tumor Group (BTG). Before joining EORTC, he worked at the Kintampo Health Research Centre (KHRC) in Ghana as a Biostatistician. Felix is interested in improving the well-being of cancer patients worldwide, through the application of modern and accurate statistical methods.




Emma WillemsEmma Willems (Belgium)

Emma Willems is a Belgian fellow who joined the EORTC in September 2019. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Economics and concluded her Master’s degree in International Business. Both degrees obtained at the Free University of Brussels, Belgium. She worked as an intern in the National Bank of Belgium at the international statistics department. Her work at the bank overlapped with her Master’s thesis topic where she reviewed the effectiveness of the European governance structure regarding crisis prevention. The interest in governance and research remained, as for which she decided to pursue a PhD project in collaboration with the Free University of Brussels and the EORTC. This fellowship is focused on reviewing the governance structure of the EORTC as a non-profit organization.



Rachel EffeneyRachel Effeney (Australia)

Dr Rachel Effeney is Australian and joined the EORTC in August 2019 as a Medical Fellow. She holds a Bachelor of Science in biophysics and a Medical Degree from the University of Queensland, and a Master of Medicine (clinical epidemiology) from the University of Sydney.
Prior to joining the EORTC, she worked as a Radiation Oncology trainee in Queensland, Australia, and recently completed fellowship examinations with the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists. She has a keen interest in improving patient outcomes through quality improvement in radiotherapy.
Rachel will work with the EORTC and the European Society for Paediatric Oncology (SIOPE) on the QUARTET project, which is developing a radiotherapy quality assurance programme for paediatric, adolescent and young adult tumours across Europe.


Abigirl Machingura Abigirl Machingura (Zimbabwe)

Abigirl Machingura is Zimbabwean and she holds a Master of Statistics degree in Biostatistics that she obtained at Hasselt University in Belgium.

During her studies, she worked on the comparison between Generalized Pairwise Comparisons and weighted log-rank test when hazards are not proportional and treatment effect is delayed.

She joined EORTC in July 2019 as a fellow in the Quality of Life Department. At EORTC, she will be involved in the Q-RECIST project. The aim of the project is to construct a standardized RECIST-type endpoint based on the QLQ-C30 questionnaire for use in the longitudinal evaluation of Health Related Quality of Life data (HRQoL) in oncology RCTs at the international level.



Yuko Takahashi Yuko Takahashi (Japan)

Dr. Yuko Takahashi joined EORTC in August 2019 as a Medical Fellow. She obtained her MD degree from Okayama University, Japan in 2010. She became a board certified general surgeon, breast oncologist and also medical oncologist after finishing all of those fellowships at St. Luke’s International Hospital and Okayama University Hospital by 2018.

Since October 2018, she has joined the Japan Clinical Oncology Group (JCOG) headquarter at National Cancer Center to learn the methodology of multicenter clinical trials by belonging to the several research groups: Breast, Gastrointestinal, Urologic cancer, etc. She also focused on translational research of gene expression profiling analysis in breast cancer as her PhD research project.

At EORTC, she will be involved in projects, including implementing quality assurance of surgery and collaborating with JCOG.

Facundo Zaffaroni

Facundo Zaffaroni (Uruguay/Brazil)

Facundo Zaffaroni is Uruguayan/Brazilian and holds a bachelor’s degree in Statistics (UFRGS – Porto Alegre, Brazil), obtained in 2015.
As the first and only statistician working at LACOG (Latin American Cooperative Oncology Group) from 2015 to 2019, he worked 80-100 hours/week with statistical analysis, sample size calculation, development of protocols, abstracts, posters and papers.

Facundo joined the EORTC in March 2019 as a fellow in Biostatistics. He will be working with the Soft Tissue and Bone Sarcoma Group (STBSG). Specifically, he will be working with the projects STRASS (62092), CABOGIST (1317) and 62024, as well as with projects under development and new projects.



Josephine Lopes

Josephine Lopes Cardozo (the Netherlands)

Josephine Lopes Cardozo joined the EORTC in May 2019 as a medical fellow. She obtained her MD degree in 2019 from the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. In medical school she always had a special interest in surgery, and breast cancer surgery in particular. To learn more about the different aspects of treatment in breast cancer and the collaboration between different specialties, she organised clinical internships at the Radiotherapy department and the Plastics and Reconstructive Surgery department. During her last year of medical school she has performed a retrospective study to determine the additional value of removing more than on sentinel node in breast cancer, at the OLVG hospital in Amsterdam.
At the EORTC Josephine will work on MINDACT related projects for the Breast Cancer Group as part of a PhD project under supervision of Prof. dr. Emiel Rutgers, dr. Caroline Drukker and dr. Marjanka Schmidt from the NKI in Amsterdam.


 Eva Cantagallo (Belgium)

Eva Cantagallo is Belgian, with Italian origins, and joined the EORTC in February 2019 as a biostatistics fellow. She earned a master degree in biomedical engineering in 2017, and recently graduated from a master degree in biostatistics, both from Université catholique de Louvain. She carried out her biostatistics master thesis at EORTC during 6 months, working on a novel method for the estimation of the treatment effect in clinical trials, called the generalized pairwise comparisons approach, and in particular on its extension to competing risks settings.

At EORTC she will keep working on the development of generalized pairwise comparisons in the framework of the BENEFIT project on one side, and will be involved in some research projects on the other side, including in the Brain Tumor Group.


Marjan Sharabiani

Marjan Sharabiani (Iran)

Marjan Sharabiani joined the EORTC in December 2018 as a medical physics fellow. She holds an MSc in physics. During her studies she developed a keen interest in novel methods of utilizing nanoparticles as radiosensitizers in radiotherapy, specifically gold nanoparticles to enhance the effect of radiation on the tumor target volume, while sparing the healthy surrounding tissues. She carried out a Monte Carlo simulation project on gold nanoparticle-based brachytherapy enhancement of human eye choroidal melanoma tumor and the pivotal parameters of delivering the nanoparticles to the region of interest.
Having gained her master degree, she joined the biophysics department of Ludwig Maximillian University of Munich (LMU) in Germany as a research fellow. During a period of six months laboratory fellowship at the LMU, her research mainly focused on DNA nanotechnology. Regarding her deep interest in cancer treatment research, she proposed a project, using the concepts of DNA nanotechnology and its high programmability, to specify DNA strand breaks with high precision in the presence of radiosensitizers during radiation.
Her research at the EORTC will be focused on benchmark case analysis, investigation of sources of variation in tumor delineation and finding out strategies to reduce the source of variability during clinical trials.

Georgios KantidakisGeorgios Kantidakis (Greece)

Georgios Kantidakis joined the EORTC in November 2018 as a fellow in biostatistics. He obtained his BSc in mathematics at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Later he earned his master of science diploma in statistics at Leiden university with a specialization in the life and behavioural sciences. He has worked as intern in the National Bank of Greece and in Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), where he carried out a project about clinical data regarding osteosarcoma. George will realize research projects for the Soft Tissue and Bone Sarcoma Group (STBSG) and a PhD project on predicting survival of cancer data with machine learning under the supervision of Prof. Marta Fiocco and Prof. Hans Gelderblom from LUMC in The Netherlands. Methodology developed will be applied to analyse the STBSG database and develop new designs for clinical trials.


Robbe SaesenRobbe Saesen (Belgium)

Robbe Saesen is Belgian and joined the EORTC in October 2018. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences, as well as a Master’s degree in Drug Development, both of which he obtained at the University of Leuven, Belgium. During his studies, he became fascinated by clinical research, which is why he decided to pursue a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy research unit of the University of Leuven, under the mentorship of Prof. Isabelle Huys.

His PhD project is organized in collaboration with the EORTC, where he is working under the supervision of Dr. Denis Lacombe on re-engineering the process of clinical cancer research in today’s data-driven healthcare systems. His research will mainly be qualitative in nature.



Sarah Kelly

Sarah Kelly (UK)

Sarah Kelly joined the EORTC from the UK in October 2018. She holds a BSc in Radiotherapy, IPEM Diploma of Clinical Technology with a Radiotherapy Physics specialism and an MSc in Physics and Engineering in Medicine- Radiation Physics specialty. Sarah’s previous experience includes treatment delivery and quality assurance of radiotherapy but her main area of practice is in treatment planning. She has most recently focused on the development and planning of complex sites including paediatrics, lymphoma and sarcoma.

Sarah is a research fellow on the QUARTET project, which aims to improve outcomes for children and young adults with cancer across Europe. In a collaboration between SIOPE and the EORTC, the project will develop standards for quality control of radiotherapy in paediatric clinical trials and implement an online prospective quality assurance programme.

Teodora Lalova

Teodora Lalova (Bulgary)

Teodora Lalova is Bulgarian. She obtained her LL.M. degree at KU Leuven (Belgium) in 2018, specializing in International and European Business law. She holds a Master of Law diploma (2016) from Sofia University (Bulgaria). Her previous professional experience includes various internships, both in the private sector (at an acclaimed Bulgarian law firm, active in the field of commercial and business law), and at public institutions, such as Sofia Regional Court, and the Pardons Committee at the President of the Republic of Bulgaria.

Teodora joined the EORTC as a fellow in September 2018. She is conducting legal research in the sphere of Cancer Survivorship and the right to be forgotten.

The project, in which Teodora is involved, provides also the foundation for her PhD studies at KU Leuven, where she is working under the supervision of Prof I. Huys (Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences), and the co-supervision of Prof P. Valcke (Faculty of Law).

Nicolas SauvéNicolas Sauvé (France)

Nicolas holds the equivalent of a Master of Science (MSc) degree from the National School for Statistics and Information Analysis (ENSAI) that he obtained in Rennes, France.

He is specialized in Biostatistics and gathered experience from his time in one of INSERM MRU (Mixed Research Units) called SPHERE (methodS in Patients-centered outcomes and HEalth ResEarch) where he was to evaluate the impact of gambling involvement by using an observational cohort of gamblers.

Nicolas joined the EORTC in April 2018 as a fellow in Biostatistics. As part of the Soft Tissue and Bone Sarcoma Group, Nicolas’ current work includes a retrospective evaluation of neo-adjuvant/adjuvant treatment in angiosarcoma, as well as a research project that aims at assessing the prognostic significance of bone metastases in soft tissue sarcoma. Nicolas is also involved in the redesign of a Head and Neck clinical trial evaluating the efficacy and safety of chemotherapy vs androgen deprivation therapy in patients with recurrent and/or metastatic, androgen receptor expressing, salivary gland cancer.

aimee umiwanaAimé Uwimana (Rwanda)

Aimé Lambert Uwimana is Rwandan and he holds two Masters Degrees in Statistics with specialization in Biostatistics as well as in Epidemiology and Public Health Methodology (EPI), both obtained at Hasselt University, Belgium. He earned his first master’s degree in Biostatistics in September 2016 and his second in EPI in September 2017.

In December 2017, Lambert joined the EORTC as a fellow in Biostatistics in order to carry out a research project on Breast Cancer such as MINDACT and clinical trials design.

Mekdes Taye (Ethiopia)

Mekdes Taye is Ethiopian and she holds an Advanced Master in Public Health Methodology from Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and Master of Statistics degree with specialization in Biostatistics from Hasselt University, Belgium. She joined EORTC in August 2017 as a fellow in the Quality of life department. At EORTC, Mekdes will be involved in the project “Determining reference value for EORTC-QLQ-C30 for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (HL) and Breast Cancer”. This Project aims to provide a more evidence-based approach to interpreting health-related quality of life (“HRQOL”) scores of the QLQ-C30, using data from Phase II and III clinical trials conducted by the EORTC.