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Working together: how to find a fellowship and obtain a grant

Workshop moderated by Dr Marie-Claude Morice and Dr Gabor Toth - EAPCI Summit 2013

Workshop 1 - "Working together: how to find a fellowship and obtain a grant"

A report from Gabor Toth

Aim of the workshop

Discuss, how candidates can find the proper fellowships, and how they can obtain funding for that.

"The perfect match between the fellow and the hosting centre"

We all agreed already at the beginning that the key of a successful fellowship is the perfect match between the aims of the fellow and the aims of the hosting centre. The remaining question was how this perfect match can be reached, and what can a candidate do for that.

  • The candidate needs to know well before applying what are the fields of interest (coronary, structural, etc.) and what are the main goals (research, clinical practice, both). Personal aspects (where, for how long, alone or with family) need to be considered also well in advance.
  • For all these aspects a support of a mentor at the mother-institution is practically indispensable. It could be also the duty of a mentor to suggest potential ‘target centres’, to help in creating connections, but even to supervise such trivial things as writing a proper application, including an impressive CV.

How to achieve this?

  • Internet provides lots of sources to find data about centres all over the world with fellowship program, but we would be grateful to see a centralized website for all this information.
  • As we learnt during the discussion the CathGo database is already launched and it offers many features what we were desperately seeking for. However, on the other side the hosting centres still miss the feature that allows searching for potential candidates, who might just have been not selected for other grants or positions.
  • We would also add the option that allows making comments on the fellowship program of a given centre, mainly by former fellows. This kind of information is sometimes thousands more valuable than any kind of ‘self-advertising’.

"Visting the hosting centre before applying"

We all agreed that visiting the hosting centre before applying is crucially important. It gives the opportunity to get some information about the life of fellows, tasks of fellows or the satisfaction of fellows in that given centre. But such a visit can provide the opportunity for the team to interview the candidate before making their decision.

"Once a candidate is accepted"

Once the application of a candidate is accepted there are a few steps that need to be taken before the arrival.

  • Learning at least the basics of the local language is something which should be mandatory for all the fellows. This is not only necessary when treating a patient, but also a polite gesture towards the hosting team, including physicians, nurses, etc.
  • Preparation of research projects need to be started well in advance, otherwise even long-term fellowships can be insufficiently short. But this is not only the duty of the fellow, but also the duty of the hosting team. Internet provides all the opportunities to start a collaborative work right after the candidate is accepted for the fellowship.
  • Even if a fellowship is always a long-term investment for the fellow, finding a sufficient funding is the cornerstone of a fellowship, and so it is also one of the most difficult steps. Here are some suggestions:
    • We would suggest to all the candidates to apply to as many grants (local, national, international, industrial) as possible in order to have a chance to gain a sufficient amount of money.
    • But we also agreed that hosting centres should cover, at least partially, the costs of the fellows, especially during the second part of a long term fellowship. With all the work a fellow can do, they are valuable members of the team and so they really deserve to be paid somehow.
    • In case of lack of sufficient support, Eastern European centres should be considered always as potential hosting centres, since the cost of life is remarkably lower, while the number of procedures are often far above compared to the western part of Europe.

To conclude...

There is still a need to improve the ‘hide-and-seek’ between candidates and hosting centres in order to increase the rate of the perfect matches. And the proper funding is still the ‘missing link’ between candidates, hosting centres and a successful fellowship project.

The EAPCI offers each year several grants. During EuroPCR 2013, 5 candidates have been awarded and will receive 25,000€.
Read more about the EAPCI Fellowship programme.

Discover CathGo.

Read more about the EAPCI Summit 2013.