2019 marks the 30th Anniversary of the ESMO Fellowship Programme, a programme that has provided many young oncologists valuable educational opportunities, shaped professional lives and enhanced careers.
Launched in 1989, the programme has offered life-changing experiences to 156 long-term and more than 344 short-term fellows over three decades involving a network of more than 150 oncology institutes worldwide.
“A fellowship is a win-win situation, for the fellow and for the host institution”, explains Dr Evandro de Azambuja, ESMO Fellowship Committee Chair, who has witnessed an increase in opportunities given by the programme to young professionals over time. “Today we have a broad variety of fellowship opportunities with different durations.”
For many fellows, spending a period in a different country often led to a radical change to both professional and personal life. “I was born in Brazil and I was trained there,” he says. “I was accepted for a fellowship from Insitute Jules Bordet in Belgium in 2003, and I moved with the idea of staying for only 2 or 3 years. Now I have been living there for sixteen years. The fellowship gave me a lot of experience in clinical research, including attendance at a cancer research workshop, after which I became an ESMO member and I got involved in the Society’s activities. I could do things that I would have not been able to do in my country and it opened a lot of possibilities in terms of networking.”
The ESMO Fellowship Programme is highly competitive, and it may not be easy to get in according to de Azambuja. “Even if you don’t get selected, don’t give up. Be persistent, apply a second time, apply for a different fellowship, try with a different project, but do not give up,” he concludes.
The ESMO Fellowship Programme Session on 30 September (14:45-16:15, Santander Auditorium, Hall 3) will celebrate those ESMO Members who have received a research fellowship in 2019. It will also be the occasion to learn more about the ESMO Fellowship Programme – which is open to ESMO Members who are Young Oncologists – and how to apply.