Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Contribution to cancer research via a fellowship scheme

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has made a substantial contribution to training in cancer research. An EU initiative boosted the capacity of its renowned education and training activities.
Contribution to cancer research via a fellowship scheme
The IARC is an international agency that forms part of the World Health Organization (WHO). Since 1967, it has been conducting and coordinating research into the causes of cancer across countries and organisations as well as training cancer researchers. The EU-funded IARC FELLOWS (IARC International Fellowships Programme) project set out to reinforce IARC's education and training mission by funding its renowned Fellowship Programme via a grant.

The Programme provides training opportunities at IARC for scientists who wish to pursue a career in cancer research, with an emphasis on low- and middle-income countries. The Programme also aims to establish and facilitate collaborative research links between IARC and cancer researchers worldwide.

In all, 29 fellows representing 21 countries benefited from the 4 application calls that were launched during the period 2009 to 2012. The fellowships resulted in nearly 40 publications, while another 50 are currently being prepared. Most of the research output focuses on cancer control and prevention.

Several actions led to the enhancement of the fellows' career prospects. In addition to attendance at several external courses, early career scientists at IARC took advantage of newly established in-house courses in complementary skills such as management, communication and ethics. A Postdoctoral Fellowship Charter was introduced in 2011 as a set of tools to clarify respective roles and responsibilities for all postdoctoral scientists at IARC, as well as to describe the opportunities offered. The Early Career Scientists Association (ECSA) was set up for all postdocs and students at IARC in order to promote opportunities for training, career development, social activities and dialogue with IARC management. ECSA helped carry out learning needs assessments and looked into the feasibility of a mentoring programme. Over 80 % of the scientists consider the fellowship scheme as either conclusive or beneficial to their careers.

Thanks to IARC FELLOWS, the number of postdoctoral scientists enrolled in the Programme rose sharply, enhancing its visibility and drawing increased interest from participating countries. The project helped facilitate collaborative research links between IARC and top cancer researchers worldwide.

Related information


Cancer research, International Agency for Research on Cancer, education and training, Fellowships Programme, LMICs
Record Number: 180931 / Last updated on: 2016-03-30
Domain: Biology, Medicine