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 J√§kel, 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 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 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

  • 3,5 days a good mix of lectures and presentation of submitted research projects, discussions and working on improvement of projects


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.


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

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


ESTRO members can order products at substantially reduced prices. Please note that in order to benefit from the member price, you must renew your membership for 2022 before registering to the course.To benefit from these member rates, please visit the membership page to become a member or renew your membership BEFORE proceeding with your order.



Flat rate

In-training members*

  350 EUR


  400 EUR 

Non Members

  500 EUR

* Members with specialty RadiationTherapist (RTT) may register at the In Training fee

The fee includes the course material, coffees, lunches, and the social event.


Insurance and cancellation

The organiser does not accept liability for individual medical, travel or personal insurance. Participants are strongly advised to take out their own personal insurance policies.   

In case an unforeseen event would force ESTRO to cancel the meeting, the Society will reimburse the participants fully the registration fees. ESTRO will not be responsible for the refund of travel and accommodation costs.

In case of cancellation, full refund of the registration fee minus 15% for administrative costs may be obtained up to three months before the course and 50% of the fee up to one month before the course. No refund will be made if the cancellation request is postmarked less than one month before the start of the course.

Reduced fees

Members from emerging countries may register at a preferential rate of 350 Euro. Emerging country fee applies to individuals from low-income and lower-middle-income economies according to the World Bank listing here.

Additionally, all specialties from the following countries can benefit from this preferential rate: Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine.  In addition, medical physicists from Cyprus can email to apply for this fee.

The preferential rate of 350 Euro is granted automatically when your application is accepted and the three conditions below are met:

  1. Only ESTRO members for 2022 are eligible (please make sure your 2022 membership is in order) 
  2. Only one course per person per year can be subsidized by ESTRO
  3. Sponsored candidates are not entitled to reduced fees (the invoicing address has to be the one of the participant)  



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 1 February 2022 by sending them to the course manager, Mieke Akkers ( By the end of February, 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 course. 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 the start of the course, participants should prepare a 10 minute Powerpoint presentation (use the format also used for the proposal (above)). You must present your PPT during the course.  It will be the basis for further improvement of the research proposal.