Below you will find a list of courses and activities organized by the CTO PhD program

Introduction course, Hot and Happening

(5 consecutive mornings, 1,5 ECTS)

Various departments (e.g. Radiology, Radiotherapy, Surgery, Pathology etc) within the UMC Utrecht and UU that perform clinical and translational oncology research will introduce their lines of cancer research and the recent developments in detection and treatment of cancer. The aim of this course is to provide an overview of all ongoing cancer research in the UMC Utrecht and UU to promote awareness and interdisciplinary collaborations. This course is obligatory for candidates within the CTO program, but open for candidates from other programs.

Clinical Trial Development Course

(3 days, 1.5 ECTS)

Aims of this course are:

  • Give PhD candidates insight in trial development AND practical advice how to successfully write a clinical trial protocol
  • Teach PhD candidates to critically evaluate the design of a clinical study.
  • Learn to understand epidemiological and statistical aspects of studies involving patients
  • Gain knowledge of (inter)national guidelines and restrictions

After this course each participating candidate has obtained the essential knowledge to draft a clinical trial protocol and has learned what is needed to successfully execute a clinical trial. Success of the course depends on the high level of interaction between PhD candidates and faculty members (both local, national and international) that serve as experts-in-the-field and mentors.


Advanced Molecular Pathology course 

(3 days, 1.5 ECTS)

Our aim is to provide an update of the latest developments in molecular pathology where we will discuss different tumor types, the molecular alterations and how to analyze them as well as targeted treatment options. We managed to create an interesting program with teachers from different backgrounds and disciplines (clinicians, pathologists, molecular biologists).

The program contains an interesting mix of theory and practice of mutation analysis, arrays and fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) in (cancer) pathology diagnostics.

This course is therefore of interest for technicians, molecular biologists, residents, pathologists and clinicians.


Translational Immuno-oncology course 

(3 days - plus homework, 1.5 ECTS)

With this course we will bring a unique platform for students from 3 different PhD programs: Clinical  & Translational Oncology,  Infection and Immunity, Cancer Stem Cells & Development, to meet and learn from each other’s expertise.

The course will focus on Immuno-oncology, both on tumor effects on the immune system, and immune therapies. Both existing therapies, and novel therapies still under development or in trials will be discussed.

Students will be taught on the subject by medical specialists and scientists, and will be challenged to work with their colleagues from another expertise to find solutions for a clinical or experimental problem.

To promote an interactive setting, and knowledge exchange between students, we will accept a select group of students. 

PhD retreat

(1 day, 0.3 ECTS)

Only for PhD candidates of the CTO PhD program

A one-day meeting organized entirely by and for PhD candidates of the program. The PhD candidates committee composes a program of seminars by the senior PhD candidates, invited national speakers, and poster sessions by the junior PhD candidates, that are discussed between themselves without any interference from supervisors. The retreat is mandatory each year. Aim is to learn to be critical towards each other’s research and to facilitate networking.

Seminars and one-day Symposia

In collaboration with the UMC Utrecht Cancer Center and distinguished faculty, seminars and a yearly symposium will be organized with emphasis on recent developments in clinical and translational oncology. PhD candidates are obliged to attend the seminars and symposia and are encouraged to invite and host international speakers.

Participation in outpatient clinic

(0.2 ECTS/day)

PhD candidates of the program have the opportunity to experience one or more outpatient clinics of various oncology specialties to obtain insight in the clinical management of cancer patients.

Participation in courses of other PhD oncology programs

In addition CTO fellows can register for courses organized by Oncology PhD programs in Amsterdam and Leiden/Rotterdam. Participating a course counts as CTO specific courses.


Onderzoekschool Oncologie Amsterdam - Oncology Graduate School

Medische-Genetisch Centrum Zuid-West Nederland - Leiden/Rotterdam


Advanced Molecular Pathology Course

27-28-29 June 2023

Quotes course 2021:

"Very good, leared a lot about the topic and very nice and inspirational speakers"

"Great organisation of the practical session which was very educational and gave me a lot of insight in the application of the knowledge we learned"

"Everything went smoothly, I noticed the effort that was taken for this"

"It covered very well all the aspects of molecular pathology and all the different parts in the hospital were it is applied"


CTO PhD retreat

(only for CTO members)

17 November 2023

Quotes PhD retreat 2022:

"Great tips on staying focused and very nice to hear about all the various career perspectives"

"Very interesting talks and nice to bond with fellow phds"

"beautiful location, interesting program, good catering; well done!"