FENS-Kavli Network of Excellence

FENS Kavli Network of Excellence Logo

The FENS-Kavli Network of Excellence provides some of Europe’s most promising young neuroscientists with a unique opportunity to expand their scientific horizons, influence science policy and facilitate the exchange between science and society. It is jointly sponsored by the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) and The Kavli Foundation. There are currently 35 FENS-Kavli Scholars from 16 European countries, with expertise spanning the disciplines of molecular, cellular, computational, behavioral and clinical neuroscience. Up to 15 scholars are chosen bi-annually by an international committee. Scholars serve a term of four years.

Scientific Activities

FENS-Kavli SchlarsFENS-Kavli Scholars at the 2016 Scientific Annual Meeting, Chichley Hall, London.

FENS-Kavli Scholars participate in special meetings focused on identifying key challenges in neuroscience and discussing strategies to tackle them. These challenges range, for example, from the development of new experimental techniques for brain research to community issues such as peer review and open-access publishing. Network members also participate in scientific meetings that encourage collaboration among the scholars, their lab members and invited speakers, and organize symposia on various topics at neuroscience meetings such as the FENS Forum and the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting.

Community Activities

Mentoring: FENS-Kavli Scholars recognize the importance of providing strong mentorship to the next generation of neuroscientists, which includes both young faculty whose careers are blossoming and students who are embarking on their academic journey. Scholars engage in a variety of mentorship activities, for example, authoring a series of opinion articles in the European Journal of Neuroscience, which offer advice and guidance to early-career investigators on topics such as setting up a lab, securing funding, building a research team and balancing family with science.

Linda Katona, David Attwell, 2016 FENS-Kavli Prizewinners2016 FENS-Kavli Mentoring and PhD Thesis Prizewinners: Linda Katona (left) and David Attwell.

Prizes: The FENS-Kavli Network of Excellence awards a pair of prizes annually at Europe’s largest neuroscience meeting, the FENS Forum. The FENS-Kavli Network of Excellence Mentoring Prize honors a scientist who has demonstrated leadership in fostering the careers of neuroscientists. The FENS-Kavli Network of Excellence PhD Thesis Prize is awarded to a young neuroscientist for his/her outstanding PhD thesis in any domain of neuroscience. These prizes are unique in celebrating both excellent mentors and mentees.

Outreach and Science Policy: Part of the mission of the FENS-Kavli Network of Excellence is to communicate with the general public and policy makers about brain research findings, discuss ongoing issues, and highlight diverse opinions and points of debate in the field. For example, the Network has surveyed 300 early-to-mid career principal investigators in Europe to asses their level of satisfaction regarding funding schemes, the manuscript review process, and more. The results will be presented to the European Commission in the form of a white paper, with the goal of influencing science policy. Outreach activities also include “pub talks” for the general public, which showcase the most interesting areas of neuroscience in an entertaining and engaging way.