HYBRID COURSE ONLINE PART – 15-29 June 2021 & LIVE PART – 24-26 October 2021 Budapest, Hungary

Research course in Radiotherapy Physics

  • Early starters in research (including PhD students) in radiotherapy physics or related fields like imaging science, computer science, mathematics, and biophysics, who want to develop research skills. Possibly, but not necessarily, they have relevant experience outside research, e.g. in a radiotherapy clinic.
  • Residents in medical physics who want to develop research skills.
  • Clinical medical physicists that want to be more involved in research.

Course director 

  • Ben Heijmen, Physicist, Erasmus Uiversity Medical Center (Erasmus MC), Rotterdam (NL)


  • Claudio Fiorino, Physicist, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan (IT) 
  • Ann Henry, Radiation Oncologist, Cookridge Hospital, Leeds (UK)
  • Mischa Hoogeman, Physicist, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam (NL) 
  • Oliver Jäkel, Physicist, German Cancer Research Centre, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg (DE) 
  • Stine Korreman, Physicist, Aarhus University, Aarhus (DK) 
  • Eirik Malinen, Physicist, DNR - Norwegian Radium Hospital, Oslo (NO)
  • Uwe Oelfke, Physicist, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, London (UK) 
  • Uulke van der Heide, Physicist, Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam (NL) 
  • Peter van Luijk, Physicist, University Medical Centre Groningen, Groningen ( NL)



Attendants to this Research course submit an initial proposal or idea for a research project they want to do, e.g. aiming at a scientific paper, an abstract, or a project grant proposal. All proposals are further improved under supervision of a team of internationally renowned scientists. By discussing the submitted proposals in small groups in a safe and friendly atmosphere, based on short powerpoint presentations, attendants will learn by example from their peers and the attending faculty how to turn an initial research idea into a successful project with scientific output. Leading in the discussions are questions such as: “What are the interesting research hypotheses and messages, and how can they be improved?”, “Why would others be interested in knowing about the work?”, and “Is the proposal feasible (in the working environment of the attendant), and what are risks?”. During the course, attendants work on improvements of their projects by updating their powerpoint presentation, based on received input.

In addition, for a broad range of radiotherapy research fields, expert faculty members will give lectures to highlight current trends and discuss important unresolved issues with future research opportunities. Some general aspects of scientific research (e.g. paper and grant writing) will also be covered by lectures.

Ample time will be allotted for discussions with faculty members and fellow attendants, allowing development of new, potentially long lasting, scientific/mentorship relationships.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course participants should be able to

  • Critically evaluate and enhance the quality of research projects concerning novelty, potential impact, urgency, and feasibility and risk.
  • Effectively discuss research ideas/projects with colleagues to maximise scientific value.
  • Discuss current trends and research opportunities in radiotherapy physics and related technical fields.

Course content

  1. Discussions on research projects submitted by participants, aiming at improving the projects, and to learn, by example from peers and the expert faculty, how to turn research ideas into successful projects.
  2. Lectures 
    • Trends, unresolved issues and research opportunities in:
      1. MR imaging in radiotherapy
      2. PET imaging in radiotherapy
      3. IGRT and adaptive therapy to compensate for anatomical variations
      4. Dose response modelling
      5. Biophysics in radiotherapy
      6. Brachytherapy physics
      7. Treatment planning
      8. Respiratory motion management
      9. Radiotherapy dosimetry
      10. Extreme spatio-temporal modulation of radiation fields: Microbeam RT and FLASH
      11. Particle beam therapy
    • Tips and tricks for writing a successful grant proposal
    • Tips and tricks for writing a scientific paper and get it accepted

Methods of assessment

Evaluation form.

Teaching methods

  • ​  2 days of online lectures
  •   2,5 days for presentation of submitted research projects, discussions and working on           improvement of projects


Mercure Budapest Castle Hill

Krisztina Korut 41-43

1013 Budapest


A preliminary programme is available here

Key words

  • Research,
  • Physics,
  • Imaging science,
  • Computer science,
  • Mathematics,
  • Biophysics


Application for CPD recognition is submitted to the European Board For Accreditation in Medical Physics (EBAMP), as a CPD event for medical physicists. Information on the status of the applications can be obtained from the ESTRO office


Attendance to the course requires submission of a proposal for a research project. Proposals can be on large or small projects, advanced or more basic technology, clinical research or more basic research, etc. etc. Basically, the only condition is that the proposal is about performing research in radiotherapy physics or a related field.


Submitted research proposals must be in pdf format with a maximum 750 words. Please strictly adhere to the following format: 

1. Title

2. Name and affiliation of investigator

3. Background of research

4. Proposed research and research hypotheses

5. Expected results and conclusions/messages. 


A brief CV is also needed (pdf, max 500 words).


The research proposal and CV need to be submitted by 15 May 2021 by sending them to the course manager, Mieke Akkers (makkers@estro.org). By the end of May, the course director will then verify whether i) the proposed research topic is suitable for the course (radiotherapy physics or a related field), ii) the research proposal is clear and formatted as described above. With a positive verification, the applicant can then register and for the course. Payment must be received before the start of the online part. Attendance will be limited to 32 participants. Selection will be on a first come, first served basis, using the moment of formal registration as the evaluation time point.



Prior to coming to the course, participants should prepare a 10 minute Powerpoint presentation (use the format also used for the proposal (above)). The pptx will be presented during course, and will be the basis for further improvement of the research proposal.

Take a look at the course report from one of the participants in 2019 here.  Happy reading!

Application deadline: 15 May 2021