Summer School in Lyon

The  next Summer School will be held in June-July 2021. 

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The aim of the IARC Summer School is to stimulate research in cancer epidemiology and cancer prevention by improving scientific knowledge and developing skills among researchers worldwide. Special attention is given to countries where resources for the control of chronic diseases in general and cancer in particular are limited. By helping to develop local expertise and by strengthening research institutions through international collaborations, IARC aims to enhance cancer prevention.


The Summer School is organized in modules. All lectures are complemented with practical sessions and group work. Three modules were offered this year during the IARC Summer School 17 June-5 July 2019 (see details in the left menu):
  • Module Epidemiology: “Introduction to Cancer Epidemiology”  – 17-28 June (two weeks)
  • Module Registration: “GICRNet Master Class: Analysis of Population-based Cancer Registry data”, 1-5 July (one week) in parallel with the:
  • Module Prevention: “Implementing Cancer Prevention and Early detection”, 1-5 July (one week)

Target participants

Ideal candidates are epidemiologists, statisticians, physicians and oncologists, public health specialists and others with a direct interest in working in cancer epidemiology, registration and activities related to cancer control particularly in low- and medium-resource countries. The programme aims to provide training for personnel at all levels of experience, leaders in research as well as supporting workers. Applicants are accepted from any institution or group involved in cancer monitoring, in the evaluation of care practices and preventive interventions, or in etiological research. The selection is based on the details provided in the application, the motivation of the participant and the support of her/his institution.

Equipment and material

Participants will be provided with manuals and textbooks. Personal computers and software as required during the course.
Practical sessions and demonstration exercises will make use of widely available software (i.e. Canreg5). IARC is committed to assisting participants with obtaining such software for use in their home institute.

Participation requirements

The modules are open to cancer registry staff, health workers, health-related professionals and post-graduate students interested in initiating or pursuing work on cancer epidemiology, cancer control activities and related disciplines. Priority is given to applicants from countries in greatest need of developing human resources in this areas.

All participants must be fluent in English, the working language of the course.
Participants may take one or two modules (motivation to attend one or two modules will be requested) and may return in different years to take different modules.
Please note that this is an intensive course with homework assignments during the Modules and also prior to the Modules. The daily schedule is 09:00 to 18:00 Monday to Friday. Training material along with pre-course recommended reading and assignments will be shared and communicated to participants through a dedicated space on the IARC learning platform. A good internet connection is required to access the learning space before the Summer School starts.
Prior to the start of Module 2 participants may wish to familiarize themselves with the course text book, Cancer Epidemiology: Principles and Methods, edited by I. Dos Santos Silva, available in pdf format at

We do not insist that participants have qualifications in statistics, but some experience would be beneficial to take full advantage of the course. Experience with STATA software would also be useful.

Course Certificate and Assessment

Participants are expected to be present throughout the full duration of the course. Upon completion of the course, each participant will receive a certificate of participation provided that all sessions have been attended. There is no formal examination.


Course Fee: Participants based in the low, lower-middle and upper-middle income countries as listed in the World Bank current classification by income (can be uploaded here in XLS format) are exempt from a course fee. For participants from high-income countries there is a fee which will be communicated at the time of the call which includes course materials and tea/coffee at each break. 

Participants are responsible for the cost of travel and accommodation. Financial support for travel and accommodation is available for a limited number of participants from low- and medium-resource countries. Selected participants from LIC and LMIC as listed by the World Bank would be offered travel and living expenses whereas those from UMIC would be offered living expenses only and would have to find other financial support for their travel.


Lecturers will be a combination of IARC scientists and external invited specialists.

Visa and accommodation

Participants are responsible for obtaining a visa to France, if required. IARC will provide them with an invitation letter to facilitate this process. IARC will assist participants in arranging accommodation in student-type residences in Lyon at preferential rates.

Application procedure

(1) Make sure that a support letter on headed paper is completed and signed by your supervisor prior to completing the application form. Applications will not be considered if this support letter is not provided as instructed (headed paper, completed and signed by supervisor, stamp from Institute). (2) Complete the online application form in English. Answer each question. All relevant information should be included in the application form.

Online application will be opened from November 2020. Results will be notified in March 2021 by email.


 IARC Courses Programme
 International Agency for Research on Cancer
 150 cours Albert Thomas
 F-69008 Lyon
 Tel: +33 4 72 73 80 72