Selection process of a candidate into a program

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Selection process of a candidate into a program

The fellowship will have two certificates for training with different curricula, according to the primary qualification of the candidates. The fellows with Maxillofacial background will be trained for “FHNO Oral Oncology Fellowship” and will be awarded the certificate for “Oral Oncology”. The fellows with other backgrounds will be trained for “FHNO Head & Neck Fellowship” and will be awarded the certificate for “Head & Neck Oncology”.

Partner Institutes also are grouped according to their selection of the course and candidate in Group A / Group B / Group AB ( The list will be periodically updated for participation and choice of institutes.

  • Path system:
  • There will be two paths for application and selection of fellows. Path A and Path B.
  • (Please note that the candidates applying for either Path must meet essential eligibility for APPLICATION -
  • Path A:
  • Path A candidate must have a minimum 3 months experience at the Institute proposing the candidate.
  • Institutes can take only one Path A candidate in a cycle. Institutes who are eligible for more than one candidate can opt for a second candidate by Path B only.
  • Path A candidate must clear MCQ as well as Interviews.
  • Once the Path A candidate clears the exam, the proposing institute must accept the candidate.
  • A fellow can be proposed from one Institute only.
  • In case of the Path A proposed fellow does not clear the examination process, the institute will have to inform the fellowship committee in advance at the time of the proposal only, if they will like to select a candidate from general Path B list or not.
  • Affiliated centres can propose their selected candidate to FHNO. That candidate must meet criteria laid down by FHNO for application. The candidate must fill specific details required for Path A in the application form
  • FHNO will approve the application after review. Candidate also has to pass thru written examination and viva process. Upon successfully passing thru all these criteria, the candidate will be allotted to the institute.
  • Path B:
  • Those fellows who are not proposed/ do not want to get proposed by an institute can also apply to FHNO Institutional Fellowship directly if they meet criteria for application. There will be a separate merit list of them and they can be matched to rest of the institutes, who have not proposed their candidates and are willing to take these candidates.
  • Except application and selection process, rest of the process, rules and path of fellowship will remain same for candidates selected via both the paths.
  • Information
  • The FHNO institutional fellowship website ( will display a list of the participating institutions and their contact information for convenient reference. The website will also display the common application period, central exam/ interview date and tentative notification date of eventual selection. The notification date will be around three months prior to the tentative start date of the fellowship program (usually first week of June).
  • Prospective applicants will download and complete an application form, available on the FHNO institutional fellowship website ( . They should include their current resume (mandatory) and a maximum of two letters of recommendation (desirable but not mandatory) as part of their application materials. The same documents should be scanned and mailed to with the subject matter ‘Application for FHNO institutional fellowship (commencement year)’. Candidates with incomplete applications will not be allowed to participate in the central exam.
  • The candidate will need to submit a non-refundable fee of Rs 10,000 as application fees to FHNO along with the form.
  • The central exam will be conducted over one or two days (depending on number of applicants) at a venue designated by the Task Force. Venue will be preferably at annual FHNO meeting. It should be conveniently accessible by multiple modes of transport. The exam will be conducted as a written test followed by a personal interview/ review of application materials, which will both bear equal point value. Members of the task force will be present for the central exam.
  • Center selection choice list: Each candidate of Path B will need to give a choice list of his/her selected centres in chronology (in written as well as mail) between 12 noon to 3 pm on the day of interviews.
  • Each accredited institute will form institutional rank order list of candidates, usually based on their review of application of the candidate and/or other information.These lists will be submitted to the Fellowship Committee prior to interviews, and will be kept confidential. Institutes need to submit the list by the morning of the day of the interview (between 9 am and 11 am) (written as well as mail). FHNO will look for the possibility of arranging a meeting place between institute representatives and candidates during FHNO annual conference prior to interview.
  • Written Exam
  • The written test will be multiple choice question (MCQ) based in a single correct option format.
  • The written test will be multiple choice question (MCQ) based in a single correct option format. The questions will be limited to basic aspects of prevention, diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, surveillance and research pertaining to head and neck oncology.
  • The approximate distribution of the 60 questions will be:
    1. Basic sciences incl. head and neck anatomy and physiology- 10
    2. Questions on published clinical, basic and outcomes research- 10
    3. Surgical decision-making including incision, approach, resection, neck dissection and reconstruction- 15
    4. Multidisciplinary decision making e.g. adjuvant therapy- 10
    5. QoL/Rehabilitative strategies incl facial, swallowing, speech and other functional rehabilitation- 5
    6. Strategies of prevention and early detection- 5
    7. Future directions- 5
  • 50 questions out of the 60 (and no more) must be answered. The candidates will get 90 minutes to answer the 50 chosen questions. If a candidate answers over 50 questions, the first 50 marked answers will be considered.
  • To accommodate the multidisciplinary applicant base, no more than 5 questions will pertain to a single site within the head and neck.
  • Given the multidisciplinary applicant base, the questions will be limited to basic aspects of prevention, diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, surveillance and research pertaining to head and neck cancers.
  • Advanced aspects will be in the scope of fellowship training, including decision making on controversial or evidence-insufficient topics- these subjects will not constitute part of the exam. There will be no intended ambiguity or duality in the answers, which will embody the application of standard practice guidelines obtained from high-quality evidence and standard textbooks. A suggested bibliography will be available on the FHNO institutional fellowship website.
  • Minimum passing mark for written examination is at least 50%.
  • Interview
  • The candidate who scores at least 50% in written exam will be called for interview.
  • They will be interviewed by a panel, in order of merit based on marks scored in written exam.
  • The interview process will include general assessment, appraisal of short-term and long-term goals and a review of application materials including resume, training background, past experience, letters of reference and personal statement.
  • The Fellowship Committee will subsequently collate the institutional and candidate rank order lists, to ensure optimal candidate selection, during this matching process. Matching during subsequent fellowship cycles will be computer-based and automated.
  • The final list of selected candidates will be displayed on the FHNO institutional fellowship website.

FHNO institutional fellowship task force can change above mentioned schedule and process. Candidate and Institutes needs to refer for updates on the FHNO institutional fellowship website and keep updated.