Global Oncology Opportunities

Penn Medicine Radiation Oncology logo​Career Development Track

The department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania is pleased to offer a funded one-year career development track for radiation oncology residents supporting dedicated time during residency to pursue work in oncology-related global health (research, clinical exposure, and/or policy). Penn Radiation Oncology faculty has well-established collaborative relationships in countries around the world and active projects in several countries (Botswana, India, Tanzania, and Rwanda). Residents selected for this track will have an opportunity to spend up to 6 months in an international setting with co-mentorship from Penn faculty in-country and Penn faculty in Philadelphia. The overall goal of this track is to develop future leaders in global health within radiation Oncology and to provide resident trainees the skills and expertise to establish a career in radiation oncology-focused global health. 

There is an opportunity to spend time at the following sites:

 Princess Marina Hospital, Gaborone, Botswana

 Tata Memorial Cancer Center, Mumbai, India

 IAEA, Vienna, Austria

Specific Goals of the Global Health Track

  • Develop skills to work in an international setting across diverse cultures
  • Develop skills to conduct international research and/or research outside the U.S.
  • Understand the challenges of doing research and clinical work in an international setting
  • Develop a research protocol by the end of the year that would be submitted for funding for grants such as ASCO YIA, ASCO YIA Global Oncology, ASTRO, UPENN CFAR, etc. 
  • Completion of advanced research training related to the specific protocol developed during the time in Philadelphia

In order to accomplish the goals above, residents will have to meet the following requirements:

  • Spend up to 6 months in Botswana, India, or IAEA supervised by Dr. Grover and her colleagues.
  • Use the existing database to conduct clinical research.
  • Clinical rotation with Dr. Grover with focused attention to challenges of clinical care delivery and research in low and middle-income settings.
  • Complete a research protocol with mentorship from Dr. Grover and co-mentorship from faculty in Philadelphia and submit funding applications. 
  • While in Philadelphia, completion of courses or training on specific training goals resulting from a research protocol developed such as biostatistics, cohort analysis, qualitative study design, clinical trials depending on the interest of the resident, and goals of the project.
  • Have a manuscript draft ready by the end of the year from #2 above that will be submitted for publication.


The Department of Radiation Oncology at Penn will fund travel and housing for the 6 months that will be spent at an international site.

Housing, visa, and licensing will be coordinated by the local offices such as the Botswana-UPENN partnership in Botswana. In India and at the IAEA, residents will have to organize the visas and housing themselves but will have significant help from the human resources department in India or in Vienna at the IAEA. 

During the course of the 6 months, residents are required to call in and participate in the weekly didactic session conducted at Penn.

Residents are encouraged to discuss interests with the residency program director as early in training as possible. Application and proposal submission will be required 6 months prior to the PGY 4 year. 

There will be a competitive application process for this track. A maximum of one resident will be fully funded per year. Interested residents will be required to submit:

  • Application proposal outlining planned research and training for the year
  • A one-page personal statement including past global health experience as well as short- and long-term career goals in the area of oncology-focused global health
  • 2 research mentor references
  • A personal CV

Application materials will be due 6 months prior to the initiating PGY 4 year. A committee of Penn faculty will evaluate all applications, and funding will be granted based on the applicant's commitment and potential to develop a career in global health.

UPENN Radiation Oncology introduces resident elective in Botswana

Resident Rotation in Botswana, Africa
Department of Radiation Oncology,
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

The Hospital of University of Pennsylvania (UPENN) Radiation Oncology Department presents a one-month resident rotation at the Gaborone Private Hospital (GBH) and Princess Marina Hospital (PMH) in Gaborone, Botswana.  Residents will gain exposure to radiation oncology in a middle-income setting in Southern Africa under the supervision of a University of Pennsylvania radiation oncology attending.

In addition to witnessing challenges in administering cancer care, residents will gain increased exposure to the treatment of HIV-associated malignancies that present at advanced stages.  This rotation will complement existing training in Philadelphia with further exposure to and experience in the following clinical sites and techniques:   

  • Gynecological malignancies: There are 5-8 new cervical cancer cases/week.  Residents will get extensive experience in workup and treatment (including brachytherapy) of locally advanced cervical cancer.
  • Other HIV-associated malignancies: including head and neck cancers, anal cancer, and lymphoma.
  • Palliative treatment of advanced disease: Over 70% of patients present with locally advanced disease with poor performance status. Residents will gain extensive experience in the palliative treatment of all sites especially bone and pelvic metastasis.
  • 2D and 3D planning: Most patients undergo CT simulation and 3D planning, but many palliative care patients only have 2D planning.

Logistics: Rotation will have been at least 1-month long. US residents/citizens don’t require a visa for Botswana. Residents will cover their travel (approx. $1200-$1400). Housing will be provided at the PENN flats where you would live with other residents and medical students.

There are also opportunities to participate in research projects.  Botswana-UPENN staff on the ground will facilitate licensing.  

If interested, please send the following information to Dr. Surbhi Grover.  

  1. Your full name, current residency institution, contact information, including address, phone number, and email address.  Program Director’s full name, contact information - including address, phone number, and email address. 
  2. A single paragraph explaining why you would like to complete this rotation.
  3. Your top 3 choices of the months when you would prefer to rotate at Botswana.
  4. Curriculum Vitae.

Please note that we will try and accommodate your preferences.  Once we receive the formal request, we will be in touch with you quickly. 

Global Health Oncology Career Track Brochure

If you have any other questions or would like more information about either opportunity, please contact Cordelia Baffic or Marlene Kromchad.