Fellowship program

NEW: The Euro-CNS board recently decided that application is also open for trainees in countries where there is a recognized neuropathology training program. One major reason is the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) which promotes comparable, compatible and coherent systems of higher education in Europe. By opening up the program to trainees in all European countries, Euro-CNS wishes to foster the international exchange of trainees and to provide trainees with the experience of seeing how neuropathology is done in another country while giving them a cultural experience as well. If you have any questions please feel free to contact the Euro-CNS office.

Content of this page:

01. Description
02. Host institute
03. Funding
04. Criteria for eligibility
05. Application rounds and review process
06. Selection, notification and start date
07. Application documentation
08. Requirements post-training:
09. Stipulations
10. Sponsorship by third parties
11. Reports of past Training Fellowship recipients

1. Description

The Euro-CNS fellowship training program was established in 2012 and is intended to facilitate short (maximum 2 months) diagnostic training opportunities in either Tumour or Muscle and Nerve pathology for trainees in neuropathology who have inadequate access to training in their own country. The individual training plan for each Fellow appointed to the scheme will reflect the skills and knowledge that are required by the home Institution and which can be implemented upon the trainee’s return.

2. Host Institute

Host institutes are selected by the Euro-CNS Council and should be major institutes of neuropathology in Europe with adequate training facilities, typically justified by the volume of diagnostic workload available for teaching and the acknowledged expertise of the host pathologists as trainers. Euro-CNS will call for interested host institutes to supply information relating to the number of specimens and case mix, use of modern molecular neuropathology techniques, and a track record of delivery of a high quality training experience. The host institute is required to meet any additional costs in delivering an appropriate program beyond the funding available within the scheme. Each host institute must identify the lead pathologist for the fellowship scheme who will be responsible to Euro-CNS for providing an acceptable training experience to Fellows. The list of potential hosts can be obtained from the Euro-CNS Office.

3. Funding

Euro-CNS will sponsor 3 fellowships per year @ €2000. The fellowships are funded from course profits and for the time being the maximum annual expenditure will be €6000.

The host institute will provide funds up to the same amount, either as direct financial support or in another way such as complimentary accommodation. The 2000 Euro fellowship is meant to defray part of the fellow’s expenses. Actual cost is likely to be higher. Please get informed about the total cost of your trip and stay and arrange for additional sponsorship if needed. The fellowship is not intended to cover expenses related to the Fellows’ family.

Candidates should obtain information regarding the viability of the fellowship proposal, including practical issues (tax, housing, transportation, security) related to living in the host city, prior to application.

The grant will be paid as one installment shortly upon arrival in the host institution. In order to receive the grant, the trainee must fill out the payment request form (as provided by the Euro-CNS office) and return it to the Euro-CNS office. This document must be signed by the lead trainer in the host institution to validate the commencement of the fellowship. If all information is in good order, the trainee will receive the grant within the next 2 weeks. It is therefore advised that the trainee brings some spending money in order to cover expenses upon arrival.

The trainee may will receive payment by means of a wire transfer. The payment can also be sent to the host institution if this is more convenient for the fellow, and if the host agrees.

4. Criteria for eligibility

The candidate should be from Europe. She/he should be a member of a neuropathological society, and this society should be a valid (paying) member of Euro-CNS
The candidate is not older than 40
The candidate has had at least 3 years neuropathology practice
The candidate’s country does not have a recognized NP training program (see announcement on top of this page!)
The candidate must be able to communicate effectively in the host country’s language or a second language that is accepted by host and trainee (e.g. English at a Danish lab)

5. Application rounds

Applications can be submitted any time and will be judged on a case-by-case basis, depending on the availability of funds.

6. Selection method/review and start date

The selection process will be run by the executive in close consultation with host institutes. Training should start within 6 months of the selection notification date. A deferred start may be possible but should be indicated in the application. Awarded fellowships may be withdrawn if deferment is proposed following announcement of the award.

7. Application documentation

Documentation to accompany the candidate’s application:

CV, including details of training experience top date and a summary of local training and certification arrangements.
A signed recommendation letter from home mentor/head of department, guaranteeing continued or re-employment once the fellowship has been completed. The letter should state the institute’s objectives for the training fellowship, how the candidate plans to implement the newly gained knowledge and skills upon his/her return home, and how the training will benefit the trainee’s home country and host institution.
Written endorsement by the National Society of Neuropathology in the trainee’s home country. If applying from a country where there is no neuropathology practice, the candidate can apply for a fellowship training only if he/she has governmental or institutional support to set up a neuropathology diagnostic program upon his/her return.
The name of a referee who may be approached to provide additional comments about the applicants suitability.
Letter signed by Candidate guaranteeing his/her return to home country within three months of completing the training.

8. Requirements post-training

The fellow must provide a training report to the Euro-CNS leadership and the Host Institute. The report should be signed by the host and the home institute. An abbreviated version of the report will be published in the Euro-CNS news section of Clinical Neuropathology and in full on the Euro-CNS website.
Applicants will understand the relationship between this Fellowship scheme and the European Fellowship in Neuropathology examination in terms of promoting of high standards in European neuropathology. Euro-CNS strongly recommends that Euro-CNS training fellows work towards successful completion of the EFN examination.

9. Stipulations

In consultation with Euro-CNS, the host institute may terminate the training fellowship if the trainee proves to be unsuitable to undergo such training due to lack of previous experience. Such decisions should ideally be made early in the training period prior to release of funds (see above).
If candidate does not return to home country upon completion of the fellowship, all funds received from Euro-CNS and host must be refunded.

10. Sponsorship third parties

National or Regional societies may be willing to contribute donations towards individual fellowships. Such fellowships may be named after a donor (e.g. SPONSOR NAME/Euro-CNS fellowship training award) for promotional purposes.

11. Training Reports

Euro-CNS training fellowship in neuromuscular diseases

‘As a young pathologist, I have always sought the opportunity for professional training abroad. I finished specialisation in general pathology and for the last four years I have been working at the Division of Neuropathology of the University Hospital Zagreb. I heard about Euro-CNS society and the possibility of obtaining a grant for a two-months training course at one of the top centers in neuropathology in Europe. I applied for a Euro-CNS scholarship for the training program in neuromuscular diseases and I got the opportunity to spend two months at the Institute of Neuropathology, RWTH Aachen University Hospital, with Prof. Joachim Weis and his team. Since my home institution is the Reference Centre for neuromuscular diseases, we are dealing with muscle and nerve biopsies in routine practice. As a young pathologist, I wanted to learn more about the technical processing of muscle and nerve samples and their histological, immunohistochemical and ultrastructural analysis. During my two months stay at the institute, I met up with their way of work. The Aachen institute receives muscle, nerve and skin biopsies from all over Germany. The material is examined using morphological (including electron microscopy) and molecular pathology (protein biochemistry and molecular genetics) techniques. First, I started working in the laboratory with handling muscle and nerve specimens obtained by biopsy. Also, I studied cases from the vast archives of the Institute. On a daily basis we all sat together at the discussion microscope to look at slides and discuss biopsy cases for that day. At the Institute there are several research groups and I had the opportunity to see their work and attend their laboratory meetings. Young scientists presented their work during lab meetings. I also attended the biannual German Muscle Disease Research Society meeting that took place in Aachen at the end of February. Those two months were a great opportunity and experience for me. I hope to apply this knowledge and experience in my home institution and thus improve our work.

I recommend all young pathologist to apply for this scholarship and take the opportunity to improve their experience and skills.’

Submitted by Antonia Jakovcevic, Zagreb