Dear colleagues,

We are happy to announce that the Princess Máxima Center Butterfly program will enroll 28 PhD students in pediatric oncology around the world. The overall aim of the Máxima Butterfly program is to train a new generation of talented PhD students in pediatric oncology at the Princess Máxima Center in Utrecht, The Netherlands, and to undertake excellent research in one or more of the five research areas: Brain Tumors; Hematologic Malignancies; Solid Tumors; Quality of Life; and New Technologies.

Under the QoL umbrella, 2 positions are available for obtaining a PhD degree at the University of Utrecht with a focus on psychosocial (working with Martha Grootenhuis) and neuropsychological outcomes (working with Marita Partanen) in pediatric oncology. We would like to ask you as a professional in our field to share this announcement with colleagues or students who could possibly have an interest in applying for this program.

Details are available at:

Grootenhuis Group (pediatric psychosocial oncology) – 1 PhD position

20A- Psychosocial risk screening across the trajectory of treatment

20B- Implementation of psychosocial risk screening for children and parents

This project is in close collaboration with Dr Anne Kazak (USA) and Dr Maria McCarthy (Australia) with a focus on the Psychological Assessment Tool (PAT). Students will spend three months on site at Nemours Children’s Health, Wilmington, Delaware and three months on site at Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia as part of their training.

Partanen group (pediatric neuropsychology) – 1 PhD position

22A- Neurocognitive development in young children

22B- Machine learning approaches to predict neuropsychological outcome


  • Applicants must have an undergraduate or master’s degree in health psychology, behavioral science or a related field.
  • Interest and/or experience in working with and conducting research related to children with pediatric illnesses and their families.
  • Ability to work independently and with collaborators.
  • Assets (but not requirements): experience with clinical research and Dutch language.

What does the Butterfly program offer

  • 28 PhD positions for the duration of 4-years in pediatric oncology at the Princess Máxima Center in Utrecht, including a competitive salary, travel allowance and family allowance (if applicable).
  • 52 different PhD projects to choose from, within one of our 26 participating research groups, ranging from fundamental to translational to clinical science, and involving all pediatric tumor types – and 2 PhD positions in the area of Psycho-Oncology.
  • Multiple international networking opportunities.
  • 2 intersectional secondments.
  • 4 summer schools and 3 winter schools offering a broad spectrum of scientific and transferable skills.
  • Additional courses will be offered by the graduate schools of the Utrecht University in which each PhD student will be enrolled.
  • Professional development programs and opportunities for leadership training.
  • High quality doctoral training rewarded by a PhD degree from the Utrecht University.
  • A position for an applicant who has not resided in the host country (Netherlands) for more than 12 months in the last 3 years.

All information about this program is found at:

Deadline for the applications: before January 31st 2023 by 23:59 hours CET by using the electronic application form.

For more information you can reach out to:

Martha Grootenhuis:

Marita Partanen:

from the Princess Maxima Center, the Netherlands