In order to evaluate the EFNS Fellowship and how it was helpful to the grantees, we decided to ask the Fellowship winners 2008 to 2012 about their opinion and experiences. Altogether we sent the questionnaire to 55 Fellowship winners (Educational and Scientific) and received 29 answers (53%). The applications received ranged from Portugal to Uzbekistan, from Norway to Israel. The grantees were selected on the basis of quality of their project application.
• All answers were positive when we asked them if they are still in contact with colleagues from the host department; some contact is of private nature, others are finishing up the work they started, are writing an article together or even started a new collaboration.
• They all stayed in the field of neurology after their fellowship project, some had governmental duties to fulfill in-between, or even started a 2nd thesis that matched-up with the original topic.
• When we asked if they stayed with their host department or moved back to their home department, 50% stated that they extended their stay to finish the project, started a new one, or even stayed for another grant they had received based on their good work. Some moved on to another department/hospital in the host country. Some of those who returned home, used their acquainted skills to run a special clinic, started a brain-bank, or even developed a new study in their home department.
• We also wanted to know if they successfully applied for another reward or prize with their acquainted skills of their project. Almost 50% sent us a positive reply, starting from National Prizes, to Investigator Awards and Tournament participantion during the EFNS congresses, AAN scholarship, ILAE grant or various travel and congress grants.
• Approximately 50% informed that they received another fellowship or grant besides the EFNS Fellowship.
• The number of replies received regarding our interest in published papers based on the Fellowship project or afterwards was enormous. 22 grantees published altogether 97 scientific papers.
• Last but not least we were interested if our Fellowship winners also visited other congresses or meetings, and while 8 out of 29 could not find the time to go, 21 did visit numerous congresses and meetings, where they presented their work. (EFNS/ENS/AAN/ECTRIMS/ESC/ and other sub-specialty meetings)
Thanks to all those who took the time to answer our questionnaire. We are happy to learn that the EFNS Fellowship was and still is a great success.
Some personal quotes stating this impression the most are the following:
“I received a prize (The EFNS Investigator Award on Neuromuscular Diseases in 2010, in Geneva) before the fellowship. And this prize gave me courage to apply for the bursary.”
“Thank you again for the opportunity EFNS gave me to have the amazing experience abroad. I’ll never forget it and certainly it changed my life as person and as a neurologist”
“The EFNS fellowship was a great opportunity for me in many aspects. I learned how to organize a scientific project and how to write a scientific paper, I was allowed to work together with colleagues at the Movement disorder ambulance where I gained neurological experience. I am really grateful to the EFNS and I would advise every young neurologist to apply for this fellowship.”
“I would like to thank the EFNS for the opportunity to participate in the research fellowship programme, which has later defined my career, both as a clinician and a researcher.”
“I’m happy to have the possibility to say that the Scientific Fellowship represented a real milestone in my scientific and medical career. I’m very glad to answer to the following questions as I think that the EFNS Scientific Fellowship is a very good opportunity to enter in the scientific community.”
“I can say that EFNS Fellowship was really a kick-off for my professional carrier and I can just again to thank EFNS Fellowship Programme and my Host Department for this opportunity.”