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ESC Grants for the Women Transforming Leadership Programme

Outstanding opportunity to develop your career and leadership skills

About the grants and course

The ESC offers eight grants for its members to attend the innovative Women Transforming Leadership Programme. This executive education programme is run by the Saïd Business School of the University of Oxford (UK). The 2019 course will take place from 7-11 October.

The ESC grants cover the course fees and winners will need to arrange and pay for their travel and accommodation. The course focuses on different ways of dealing with organisational challenges and provides women with tools for finding their own leadership style.

How to apply

Applications for the 2019 course will open in Spring 2019.

The following documents should be submitted with the application.

Motivation letter, including specific reference to the:

  • ESC-WTLP grant selection criteria
  • Applicant’s plans on how to build on the skills acquired by attending the WTLP

Short Curriculum Vitae, including specific reference to:

  • Postgraduate career including present employment
  • Previous training in Clinical Cardiology
  • Research experience/Academic record
  • Publications in referred journals relevant to this application (including journal title, page number(s) and names of co-authors)
  • Role in ESC and/or National Cardiac Society boards, nuclei, task forces and working groups, etc.
Donna Fitzsimons, ESC Board member, attended the course and explains why you should too!


Who can apply

  • Women in cardiology, who are thinking of taking on a new leadership role, or have recently done so, within the ESC, their National Cardiac Society or their workplace.
  • Any female member of the ESC who is a citizen or permanent resident of an ESC Member Country or an ESC Affiliated Country, for at least three years preceding the application date. Periods of residence dedicated to full time education will not be accepted as ordinary residence for this purpose.

Selection and grading

The ESC-WTLP grants graders will only evaluate the documentation submitted via the online application. Only complete applications submitted by the deadline will be considered. The final review of top-graded applicants will be made by the Women in ESC leaders.

The selection criteria are:

  • Potential to become increasingly involved in ESC activities
  • Potential to become an advocate for the Women in the ESC initiative
  • Personal professional standing relative to seniority
  • Desire to take on Leadership positions or leadership experience
  • Motivation and need
  • Selection will be based on merit in line with geographical strategic objectives in further promoting the ESC-WTLP

The top eight applicants will be awarded the ESC-WTLP grants. In the event of equal grades, the applicant with the highest grade for the criterion ‘potential to become increasingly involved in ESC activities’ will be retained.

In case of absolute necessity (personal medical condition, imperative business or personal prior engagement) successful ESC WTLP Grant applicants may request to postpone their WTLP attendance to the following calendar year. However, please note that the grant cannot be transferred for a second time.


Successful candidates were informed by email about the results on ahead of the ESC Congress. Due to a large number of applications, only successful candidates are contacted.

The names of the grants are officially announced at the ESC Congress.

Testimonials from course alumnae

Read this short article which brings together the views and experiences of past participants.



Barbara Casadei, FESC - ESC President Elect 2016 - 2018 (UK)

"Focus on your strengths, choose the leadership style that suits you best and do what only you can do. These and other lessons have stayed with me years after I attended this course. So, come forward and take this opportunity! Be prepared to engage, be courageous and don’t be afraid of being a leader – our success depends on you."

Avital Porter, Head of Step Down ICCU, and The Women’s Heart Clinic, Rabin Medical Centre, Petah Tiqva , and the Tel Aviv University , Israel

"This course was a beginning and a real turning point for me. I direct an intensive cardiac care unit. With no formal education on how to do that, I met with many struggles and frustrations along the way. The course allowed me to learn from other women who encounter the same struggles as me. It provided me with practical tools to better lead not only staff, but liaise with peers and stakeholders. It also made me want to DO something - not just think and talk about it. Now I lead a group of women cardiologists in Israel - it's collaborative and a great support network."

Carol Ann Remme, ESC Working Group on Cardiac Cellular Electrophysiology, Vice-Chairperson & Treasurer, 2016 - 2018 (Netherlands)

"I got to the point in my career where it was challenging, exciting and at the same time daunting. The course gives you the tools to identify your strengths, your weaknesses; it's helped me build my independence as a leader and find my voice. The decisions I make in my leadership role, not only affect me and my career, but those of my team. That's a huge responsibility and the course has made me feel more confident about doing that well."

Susanna Price, Acute Cardiovascular Care Association President Elect 2016- 2018 (UK)

"This course helped me understand my leadership style and how I can best use it to serve my institution, team and patients. It didn't change how I handle certain challenges, but made me worry less about whether or not I'm ’doing the right thing'. I learned to assess whether I'm doing the best I can, with the information, tools and resources at my disposal. It's been very empowering."

Ekaterini Lambrinou, Chairperson of ESC Council on Cardiovascular Nursing and Allied Professionals (Cyprus)

“Becoming a leader in my workplace meant collaborating with different professionals - clinicians, academics, health stakeholders - and engaging them to deliver the outcomes I wanted. This course really helped me learn how to manage my relationships with these people, and how to establish my aims in a way that was clear for everyone. It’s made a big difference and I’d definitely recommend attending.”



Women Transforming Leadership Course Alumnae with ESC Chief Executive Officer, Isabel Bardinet

ESC Grant Winners

2018 Grant Winners

  • Sarah CLARKE (UK)
  • Victoria DELGADO (Netherlands)
  • Isabel GONÇALVES (Sweden)
  • Julia GRAPSA (UK)
  • Tina Birgitte HANSEN  (Denmark)
  • Tiina HELIÖ (Finland)
  • Loreena HILL (UK)
  • Renate SCHNABEL (Germany)

2017 Grant Winners

  • Elena ARBELO (Spain)
  • Jelena CELUTKIENE (Lithuania)
  • Vanessa FERREIRA (UK)
  • Lene HOLMVANG (Denmark)
  • Carolyn LAM (Singapour)
  • Ekaterini LAMBRINOU (Cyprus)
  • Ida Gjervold LUNDE (Norway)
  • Julia MASCHERBAUER (Austria)

2016 Grant Winners

  • Donna FITZSIMONS (N-Ireland)
  • Kristina HAMBRAEUS (Sweden)
  • Lixin JIANG (China)
  • Josepa MAURI-FERRE (Spain)
  • Avital PORTER (Israel)
  • Carol Ann REMME (The Netherlands)
  • Raquel YOTTI (Spain)

2015 Grant Winners

  • Marisa Generosa CRESPO-LEIRO (Spain)
  • Sigrun HALVORSEN (Norway)
  • Nina JOHNSTON (Sweden)
  • Susanna PRICE (UK)