Jobs & Karriere

NCT Fellowship Program HSO²

The NCT Heidelberg School of Oncology (HSO) offers a tailored fellowship program (HSO²) in the field of clinical cancer research that is open for Medical Scientists and Clinician Scientists.

The National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg is a joint institution of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), the Heidelberg University Hospital (UKHD) and the German Cancer Aid (DKH). As a leading center for translational cancer research, the NCT Heidelberg aims to accelerate the transfer of scientific ideas from bench to bedside and vice versa.

HSO² Fellowships

Current Topic Areas are:

  • Digital Oncology/Big Data: In the midst of a technological revolution in health care-driven data, artificial intelligence, and deep learning, translational cancer research is fueled by computational approaches aimed to support clinical practice, e.g. by predicting drug response and improving cancer diagnostics.
  • Clinical Trials: Current advances in the biological characterization of individual tumors lead to ever smaller groups of “similar patients” and increasingly personalized treatment strategies. Today’s challenges in creating innovative clinical trials include (a) the rapidly growing knowledge about the heterogeneity of individual tumors, (b) the increasing availability of disease mechanism-oriented therapies and the potential to combine them, (c) the need for new statistical approaches, and (d) increasing legal and regulatory requirements.

Next Call for Applications will be in 2022.


  • A research project within the topic areas of the call.
  • Fellowship contracts are offered for a duration of two years and may include additional funding (e.g. consumables).


  • During the two-year NCT HSO² Fellowship, each fellow will be supported by two mentors (from DKFZ or UKHD) to guide, motivate, and prepare the fellows for a career in translational oncology. To ensure a constant interaction between fellows and mentors, the curriculum includes regular advisory meetings.

Exchange and Training

As scientific and clinical interactions represent a key factor in linking preclinical research
and clinical practice, the NCT HSO² Program supports:

  • Attendance of a limited number of national or international conferences or external course per year.
  • Attendance of an annual HSO² Meeting – a platform for interactions among peers that integrates fellows from other programs, such as the DKFZ Clinician Scientist Program, the DKTK School of Oncology, or the Physician Scientist Program of the Medical Faculty of Heidelberg.
  • A career service specifically tailored to Clinician Scientists and Medical Scientists offered by the DKFZ Career Service.

Application Process


  • We are looking for candidates who wish to focus their careers on translational and clinical cancer research within the topic areas of the current call.
  • Applicants must have a doctorate or PhD in a relevant field or provide evidence of equivalent academic achievement.
  • Candidates should be at an early stage of their career.

Medical Scientists: up to five years after obtaining their PhD
Clinician Scientists: before the end of medical specialization (German: Facharztausbildung)

How to apply for a HSO² Fellowship

To apply for a position please use our online application portal.

To prepare your application, please compile all required information in one PDF document that you need to upload during the online application process:

  • Curriculum vitae including list of publications
  • Relevant certificates, e.g. doctorate or PhD certificate, medical license, etc.
  • Letter of motivation (max. one page)
  • Contact details of two references who are familiar with your work

Applications need to be submitted in English.

Selection Process

NCT HSO² Fellows with an excellent track record that are committed to pursue a career at the interface of translational cancer research and patient care will be selected via a competitive process:

Step 1: Application documents that meet the eligibility criteria will be evaluated by the NCT
HSO² Selection Committee consisting of external reviewers as well as principal investigators from DKFZ, UKHD, and the Medical Faculty of Heidelberg. We will then invite candidates who have successfully passed this first selection step for a visit to Heidelberg. Letters of invitation will be provided for visa application if necessary.

Step 2: An NCT HSO² Symposium (including interviews) will be held in Heidelberg. Applicants will have the opportunity to visit departments and investigators to discuss potential research projects. Thus, applicants are encouraged to get in contact with potential hosting groups (at DKFZ or UKHD that are involved with activities at the NCT Heidelberg) before the symposium. In addition, candidates will give a presentation to the NCT HSO² Selection Committee that should include a summary of their career paths and research background, a presentation of a previous research project or scientific publication, and an outline of their future career plans as well as their motivation to apply for an NCT HSO² Fellowship. Each presentation will be followed by a panel interview.

Step 3: Applicants will be informed about the outcome of the selection process shortly after the symposium. Fellowship positions should start no later than six months after the fellowship has been awarded.

NCT HSO² Fellowship Program

National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg
Im Neuenheimer Feld 460
69120 Heidelberg


The HSO² Fellowship Program aims to bridge medical science and clinical practice by:

  • Strengthening the research profiles of Clinician Scientists (physicians who are undergoing specialized medical training and are active in research) and Medical Scientist (non-physician scientists or physicians not active in patient-care who are working in clinical translational research). The fellowships include 2-year funding at NCT Heidelberg.
  • Responding to current unmet needs in cancer research: A hallmark of the NCT HSO² Fellowship Program is the selection of 1-2 research topics for each call that reflect current unmet needs and/or emerging areas of particular relevance to translational cancer research.
  • Learning from experts and peers: We offer a tailored mentoring and career service program. In addition, fellows be well integrated into existing networks within other, complementary programs such as the DKFZ Clinician Scientist Program or the Physician Scientist Program of the Medical Faculty of Heidelberg.

DKFZ Clinician Scienstist Program

Please also check out the current call of our partner-program at the German Cancer Research Center: DKFZ Clinician Scientist Program