Medical Scholar Visiting Funding Summary: European Chapter

  • Posted on: Fri, 10/16/2015 - 23:28
  • By: admin

Europe has world-leading healthcare system, with tremendous strength in basic medical sciences and clinical research. According to a recent report by CSIC, the largest public research body in Spain, 30 out of the top 100 hospitals all around world are located in Europe. In additional, scientific research in Europe is widely supported by the governments, Europe Union and professional organizations, Medical scientists have many opportunities to obtain sufficient funds to support their visiting and studying in Europe. It worth noting that some funding sources have no limitations on applicants’ nationalities provided the visiting institution is inside the Europe, and some funding opportunities are only open to physicians from China and other non-European countries. However, these opportunities are often ignored by Chinese physicians who are preparing for studying aboard. As such, OCHIS has investigated different types of funding sources and summarized their requirements and salaries. Articles in this series will introduce relevant funding provided by four EU professional societies and three government organizations.

Professional Organizations

Wide range of medical professional organizations and societies exist in Europe, including respiratory medicine, radiology, cardiology, neurology, molecular biology etc. Most of these organizations provide fellowships, some of which are also available for non-EU specialists including clinicians and investigators from China. For these applicants, their host institutions for research and visiting should be located in Europe. Aiming at transferring techniques, cultivating outstanding young doctors and so on, these fellowships are focused either on basic medicine research or clinical medicine. Most fellowships can fully cover living and travel expenses of the awardees and potentially provide extra benefits. A few examples are listed as below.

European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer(EORTC)

EORTC Fellowship

  • Introduction: established in 1991, the EORTC fellowship aims to encourage physicians , statisticians and scientists from all over the world to work at EORTC headquarters in Brussels. This program provides clinical research training for physicians and other professionals interested in cancer research. It is possible to do research based on the data in EORTC databases. To enhance the diffusion of the clinical trial results, all research work is based on international cooperation.

  • Duration: Up to 3 years

  • Requirements:

    • Be a young oncologist (under 35) with master degree or above.

    • Be interested in cancer clinical research.

    • Any nationalities.

    • Have some clinical experience preferably.

    • Be fluent in English and computer literate, excellent in communication.

    • Good in cooperation with others in an international environment.

  • Subsistence rates: €18,000 to €25,000

  • Application process:

    • Positions are released occasionally, one vacancy is open now.

    • Applicant needs to submit a letter of motivation, 2 reference letters, a full CV

    • It should be noted that this fellowship can only be undertaken at the headquarter of EORTC in Brussels.

  • More details:

European Respiratory Society(ERS)

ERS Short-Term Fellowship for Scientifically Developing Countries

  • Introduction: to enable young scientists and clinicians from scientifically developing countries in the early-stages of their research career in respiratory medicine to visit a Host Unit in a (European) country, with the aim of learning a research technique not available in the Home Unit. The research training should benefit the Home Unit when the applicant returns there, by leading to research developments and activities back onsite.

  • Duration:1-3 months

  • Requirements:

    • Candidates must be ERS members. ERS membership for candidates under 35 years old is free of charge.

    • At a minimum, applicants should have graduated with an MD, MSc or equivalent.

    • Open to all nationalities.

  • Subsistence rates:

    • Living subsistence range from € 2,200 to € 3,400 depending on different counties.

    • Living subsistence for each dependent range from €220 to € 280 depending on different counties.

    • One off travel flat rate of €700 (including dependents).

  • Application deadline:This round of call end on Oct 1st, 2015; Approximately 15 applications are selected annually

  • More details:

Long-Term Research Fellowships

  • Introduction: Research Fellowships are established to enable investigators and clinicians in the early stages of their career to carry out basic, translational or clinical research projects and to acquire and apply advanced research procedures and techniques not available in the Home Unit; Fellows are encouraged to return to the Home Unit at the end of the Fellowship.

  • Duration:6-12months

  • Requirement:

    • Candidates must be ERS members. ERS membership for candidates under 35 years old is free of charge.

    • At a minimum, applicants should have graduated with an MD, MSc or equivalent.

    • Open to all nationalities.

  • Subsistence rates:

    • Living subsistence range from € 2,200 to € 2,750 depending on different counties.

    • Living subsistence for each dependent range from €220 to € 280 depending on different counties.

    • One off travel flat rate of €700 (including dependents).

  • Application deadline: This round of call end on Jan 31st, 2016; Approximately 10 applications are selected annually.

  • More details:

Clinical training fellowship

  • Introduction: ERS clinical training fellowships enable members in the early stages of their careers in respiratory medicine to visit a host institution in a European country other than their own to learn a skill or procedure not available at their home institution. The medical training should benefit the home institution when the successful applicant returns there.

  • Duration:maximum 6 months

  • Requirements:

    • All applicants must be ERS members at the time of application.

    • Candidates should be qualified clinicians or healthcare professionals currently employed in respiratory medical practice.

    • Open to all nationalities and for European and non-European based candidates.

    • When applying, candidates must already hold an agreement with the host institution where the fellowship will be carried out.

    • Candidates must have adequate fluency in a language that permits effective communication at the host institution.

  • Subsistence rates: Subsistence is enough to cover travel, accommodation and living expenses during project.

  • Application deadline:The coming two deadlines are Aug 3rd 2015 and Feb 1st 2016 respectively.

  • More details:

European Society of Cardiology (ESC)

ESC basic research fellowship

  • Introduction: The ESC Basic Research Fellowship is designed to allow researchers to spend one year in a European research laboratory.

  • Duration: One year.

  • Requirements:

    • Applicants should not be older than 35 years at the time of the application deadline.

    • Applicants must have activity in the area of cardiovascular sciences.

    • This fellowship is open to candidates of all nationalities.

  • Subsistence rates:25,000 Euros is awarded per calendar year.

  • Application Process:

    • Next around should be open in 2016.

    • Application documents: A letter of acceptance by the host institution, A letter of support from your current institution, One letter [maximum two pages] of motivation.

    • Awardees accept to present their work related to the fellowship at the next basic science meeting "Frontiers in Cardiovascular Biology".

    • Candidates accept to be interviewed via Skype.

  • More details:

European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO)

Long-Term Fellowships

  • Duration: 12 months to 24 months

  • Requirements:

    • Holding a doctorate degree.

    • Having at least one first (or joint first) author paper in press or published in an international peer reviewed journal before the application deadline.

  • Subsistence rates:

    • Subsistence allowance which could cover the cost of living in the host country. The value depends on the visiting countries.

    • Additional allowance for dependent children under the age of 18

    • Healthcare subsidy: 600 annually (2015).

    • Travel allowance: cover travel costs up to the amount of €5.000 for the fellow and his/her family to and from the receiving institute.

    • Part-time work: it is possible to work part-time during the fellowship for child-care reasons.

    • According to research progress and outcomes, it is possible to apply for Advanced Fellowships (additional 2 years).

  • Application process:

    • Two rounds of online applications annually: 1st January to 12th February and 1st July to 14th August.

    • Required documents: two references and receiving institute acceptance.

    • A pre-screening and twice the number of available fellowships is selected for an interview.

  • More details:

Short-Term Fellowships

  • Introduction:Facilitate valuable collaborations with research groups applying techniques that are unavailable in the applicant's laboratory.

  • Duration:90 days.

  • Requirements

    • Obtained PhD degree (or equivalent) no more than 10 years, or pre-doctoral scientists (PhD students). However, candidates with very little research experience will be given lower priority for funding.

    • Either the home laboratory or the host laboratory must be within an EMBC Member State.

    • On completion of the fellowship applicants must return to their home laboratory for at least six months.

  • Subsistence rates:

    • A subsistence allowance which could cover the cost of living in the host country. The amount depends on the visiting countries.

    • Travel allowance.

    • All allowance only for the fellow.

  • Application process:

    • No deadline for applications, however it is recommended to apply three months before the proposed starting date. Applications received or completed only after the start of the visit will not be considered.

    • Required documents: two references and receiving institute acceptance.

    • Applications are refereed by EMBO Members or Young Investigators expert in the area of the research project through a written evaluation. The reviewers are asked to judge the quality of the candidate, the research project and the receiving laboratory.

    • The major criterion is the projected benefit to the home laboratory of the applicant.

  • More details:

ERS | EMBO Fellowships

  • Introduction:To encourage collaboration between clinicians and basic researchers and to bring more clinicians into basic science. The ERS is interested in offering such fellowships particularly to clinicians working in the field of respiratory medicine.

  • Duration:1 year or 3 months.

  • Requirements:

    • Holding a degree of MD, MSc, PhD, MD-PhD

    • Candidates must be ERS members. The ERS membership fee is free for members under 35.

  • Subsistence rates:

    • Living subsistence range from € 2,200 to € 2,700 depending on different counties.

    • Living subsistence for each dependent range from €220 to € 280 depending on different counties.

    • One off travel flat rate of €700 (including dependents).

  • More details:

Government Projects

European Union

Almost all the European Union funding budget comes from the biggest European research and innovation program framework named Horizon 2020 (H2020), which lasts 7 years (2014-2020) with a total budget of €80 billion. Within this framework, the following 5 grants (but not limited to) can be applied by medical doctors from China.

  • Introduction:This program is evaluated by the European Commission. It aims to promote international collaborations in 8 major fields, including life science. Research institutes in China need to collaborate with at least two other institutes from two different European Union (EU) member state and its associated countries (including Switzerland, Norway, etc…). This program finances the costs of staff secondment, training, networking and project collaboration.

  • Duration: Each project can be as up to 4 years; individual secondment time can be between 1-12 months

  • Requirements:Participants can be early stage researchers (have not been awarded a Ph.D. degree and with less than 4 years of research experience), or experienced researchers (awarded a Ph.D. degree or holding a Master degree but with at least 4 years of full-time equivalent research experience).

  • Subsistence rates:EU contribution will cover the living and travel cost during the secondment; it will also cover the relevant institutional cost of the grant awarded institutes/laboratories., including research, training, conference and other regular management expense)

  • Application deadline:The next MSCA-RISE call is in 2016 )

  • More details:


  • Introduction :The application is evaluated by the European Commission, aiming to promote the excellent international fellowship programs in every the scientific field, including medicine.

  • Duration:3 months to 5 years

  • Requirements:The applicants must hold a Ph.D. degree or a Master degree with at least 4 years of full-time equivalent research experience. It does not support experienced researchers who are already employed in the hosting organizations.

  • Subsistence rates:This grant need to combine with other grants in order to cover the living, mobility and family allowance.

  • Application deadline:The 2015 call will be closed on 1st Oct, 2015.

  • More details:

ERC Starting Grant/ Consolidator Grant/ Advanced Grant

  • Introduction:The 3 grants above will be evaluated by European Research Council (ERC)). They are established respectively for the young, promising researchers to achieve research independence and future research leaders (Starting Grant), research talents with proven potential to consolidate their own independent research teams or projects (Consolidator Grant), and exceptional established research leaders who have already achieved certain prestigious scientific discoveries (Advanced Grant).

  • Duration: Up to 5 years

  • Requirements: The applicant must have a Ph.D. degree. He/she has to spend more than 50% of his/her working time in research institutes located in EU member state or associated countries.

  • Funding:

    • The Starting Grant winner will be awarded maximum 1.5-2 million euros, with additional 0.5 million euros to cover eligible “start-off” cost moving from outside EU.

    • Consolidator Grant will provide up to €2million funding for a 5 year period, with an additional 0.75 million euros for “start-up” cost moving from outside EU.

    • The Advanced Grant will finance the winner maximum 2.5 million euros with 1 million euros “start-off” cost moving from outside EU).

  • Application deadline:Starting Grant closes in February every year; Consolidator Grant ends in March every year; Advanced Grant call closes in June every year.

  • More details:

UK and France

Chinese clinicians and investigators also could apply for the programs and funding provided by individual governments. Examples are given as below.

Newton Advanced Fellowships

  • Introduction: The Academy of Medical Sciences, in partnership with the Royal Society and the British Academy, is offering Newton Advanced Fellowships to support early to mid-career international researchers from partner countries (including China) who have already established, or are well advanced in the process of establishing, a research group or network and a research track record in clinical or patient-oriented research.

  • Duration: One to three years

  • Requirements:

    • Applicants must have a PhD or equivalent research experience.

    • Applicants should have no more than 15 years of postdoctoral experience.

    • The current round is open to applicants from China, who hold a Distinguished Young Scholar or Excellent Young Scientist award from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC).

  • Funding:Maximum £37 000 each year.

  • Application process:

    • This scheme will close on 16 September 2015;

    • Applicants should find a partner in the UK who is from UK universities or not-for-profit research organizations to apply the funding together;

    • Assessment: if applicants possess an existing in-house capacity to carry out research that materially extends and enhances the UK research base and are able to demonstrate an independent capability to undertake and lead research programs.

  • More details:

Enhanced Eurotalents

  • Introduction:The program is supported by The French Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission (CEA), Enhanced Eurotalents offers international scientists the opportunity to carry out research at CEA, which conducts research in 4 research areas (including Life sciences and biotechnology).

  • Duration:1 to 3 years

  • Requirements:

    • The applicants must hold a Ph.D. degree or a Master degree with at least 4 of full-time equivalent research experience.

    • The applicants must not have lived in your potential outgoing country for more than 12 months in the two years prior to the submission of your research proposal.

  • Subsistence rates: The grant will cover the living, travel cost and family allowance during the research period.

  • Application deadline: Three rounds of call each year in January, May and September respectively.

  • More details: