Since 1967, IARC has made a substantial contribution to the development of human resources for cancer research worldwide, through the strengthening of:
- global knowledge as well as global and national capacities for cancer research and science; and
- professional skills of cancer scientists and researchers in the areas of expertise of the Agency, in particular: surveillance of cancer, understanding the evidence of causes, the interpretation of evidence with regard to national settings, and the design and implementation of effective, quality-assured, and affordable interventions.
In addition, learning and capacity-building activities have inspired and shaped IARC’s research portfolio, and have contributed to broaden the Agency’s network of collaborators and to promote IARC as an international cancer research organization.
IARC’s capacity-building activities were restructured in 2005, with the goal of ensuring that IARC’s resources were devoted to providing a unique contribution to training in cancer research. As a result, since 2005 IARC Fellowships have been tenable only at the Agency, and they now target scientists from low- and middle-income countries.
The IARC Summer School in Cancer Epidemiology, held every other year, is an educational highlight of the Agency. Research branches have also increasingly organized courses specific to their research programmes, mainly using extrabudgetary funding.
In this context and recognizing the importance of education and training activities as part of the Agency’s mission, a distinct structure was established to coordinate the various related IARC initiatives and promote them both internally and externally. The Education and Training Group (ETR), which was initially set up within the Office of the Director in 2010, was restructured in 2021 to become the Learning and Capacity-Building Branch (LCB) within the area of Knowledge Mobilization, one of the fundamental priorities of the Agency in the IARC Medium-Term Strategy 2021–2025.