Profession & Career

ESCMID Panorama

ESCMID Observerships

To facilitate international training and collaboration, we encourage our members to visit ESCMID Collaborative Centres (most often departments of infectious diseases and/or clinical microbiology) in other countries for one day to one month under the auspices of ESCMID. The Observerships should primarily focus on good clinical and laboratory practice rather than on research activities. Observers should use the observership to make improvements in their home institute (e.g. implementation of a lab technique).

General information about funding

Intra-European observership visits
ESCMID member from Europe visits an ECC in Europe (for definitions see below)
ESCMID subsidizes travel costs and subsistence for out-of-country visits to a maximum of EUR 1,200 as follows:

  • EUR 500 max. for travel expenses (air ticket, train ticket, car expenses at EUR 0.30 per km)
  • EUR 70 per diem (up to a maximum of 10 days)

We only fund visits that are submitted and accepted prior to the intended visit. Payment will be made after we receive proof of effectively incurred expenses. Please note that due to sanctions, funds cannot be transferred to bank accounts in Iran, Syria, Cuba, Sudan, North Korea, and Crimea.

Intercontinental observership visits

-ESCMID member from outside Europe visits an ECC in Europe (for definitions see below)
-ESCMID member from Europe visits an ECC outside Europe (for definitions see below)

We fund travel costs and subsistence for out-of-country visits for at least 10 days to a maximum of EUR 1,700 as follows:

  • EUR 1,000 max. for travel expenses (air ticket, train ticket, car expenses at EUR 0.30 per km)
  • EUR 70 per diem (up to a maximum of 10 days)

We only support applications that are submitted and accepted prior to the intended visit. Payment will be made after we receive proof of effectively incurred expenses as well as the evaluation and report. The report must indicate how the visit has been used to improve processes in the home institute.

Additional support by affiliated societies

Some affiliated societies agreed to provide additional per diem funding per visit to their members. This applies to observers staying longer than 10 days with payment for up to 10 additional days. Additional funding requests are to be sent and organized independently with the cooperating affiliated society. Feel free to encourage your national/specialty society to contribute. Participating societies:

Funding for intercontinental observership applications in 2017

The observership programme is one of the strongest, most popular and best funded in the society, reaching out to ESCMID members all over the world. The year 2016 was witness to a significant increase in observership applications, and in 2017 we have already received many applications. ESCMID has approved over twenty intercontinental observership visits scheduled for 2017 with funding worth up to EUR 1,700 per visit. In order to adhere to the allocated budget in 2017, ESCMID regrettably cannot approve additional intercontinental observership visits for 2017. Applications to most recently (over the past 12 months) approved ESCMID Collaborative Centers (ECCs) outside of Europe will be decided on a case-by-case basis. We will be able to consider intercontinental observership visits from the second half of 2017 for an observership in 2018. The intra-European observership programme remains unaffected and is running as planned until further notice.

What you will need to include in your application

  1. Concrete objectives for the proposed observership visit, e.g. to learn a specific lab technique, gain strategies to treat an infection, implement a particular organizational structure in home institute, etc.
  2. Rationale for choosing the host ESCMID Collaborative Centre (ECC). Indicate what expertise or knowledge at the hosting ECC will be used to achieve your objectives.
  3. Main professional interest(s). Indicate how the observership visit is relevant to these interests.
  4. Research interest(s). Indicate how the observership visit will promote your research.
  5. Curriculum vitae. The CV must include: contact information, educational qualifications, work experience, and publications/presentations.

Applications which do not include the above information or with incomplete CVs will not be accepted.

Eligibility criteria

  • The observer must be the holder of a post-graduate degree or be actively enrolled in a post-graduate degree programme.
  • The applicant must have a concrete purpose of what he/she is trying to achieve through this visit. This must be something that will benefit their own institution and has a measurable outcome.
  • The programme is open to full or young scientist ESCMID members only.
  • A member can only receive funding for one observership within 12 months.
  • An applicant may receive not more than two observerships over a five-year period.
  • There are no age restrictions.
  • The observership can only take place in Collaborative Centres.
  • Only outside-of-country visits will be sponsored.
  • All intercontinental observership applications to Europe and from Europe are eligible (e.g. ESCMID member from Europe can visit an ECC in Africa or ESCMID member from Australia can visit an ECC in Europe).  Please see the reimbursement guidelines for intercontinental observerships. Outside of Europe, an observership visit within the same continent is not possible (e.g. an ESCMID member from South Africa cannot visit an ECC in Tunisia). ESCMID observership visits within Europe are possible (e.g. ESCMID member from the UK can visit an ECC in Croatia). Intercontinental observership visits must be 10 days or longer.
  • Every application for support is subject to review and approval by ESCMID. Visits must be approved by ESCMID prior to the visit in order to be eligible for reimbursement.
  • The application has to be submitted at least 2 months before the intended observership visit starts.
  • Observers may spend time in two cooperating facilities within the same city during one observership to a maximum of one month.

Exception: For the yearly ESCMID ECDC Observership and the ESCMID WHO Observership also inside-of-country visits are funded. For further details, please check the respective websites (ECDC Observerships, WHO Observerships).

Application procedure

Applicants must submit their request for an ESCMID Observership visit through an online application form directly to the ESCMID Collaborative Centre (ECC). Only one Observership request at a time may be submitted, so applicants cannot submit a new request until the observership has been either completed or rejected.

Application procedure:

  1. Search for ECCs (www.escmid.org/ECCsearch)
  2. Select a Collaborative Centre (ECC) which you want to visit.
  3. Login as ESCMID member with your login details.
  4. Click on the link ‘Apply now for Observership visit’ and submit your request for an Observership through the online application form.
  5. The ECC will review the request for an Observership visit.
  6. If required, the ECC will clarify details of visit with requester.
  7. The ECC will accept or reject the request for an Observership.
  8. If the applicant does not hear back from the ECC within two weeks, he/she should contact the ECC directly via email or by telephone to follow-up on the request.
  9. Upon approval by ECC, the review process of the application by ESCMID will start.
  10. The ESCMID office will inform the applicant about the outcome of the evaluation.

Application deadline

For the general ESCMID Observership programme, applications can be submitted throughout the year.

The request for Observership has to be submitted at least 2 months before the intended visit starts. Please consider that the review process by the ECC host and by ESCMID can take 2 months. We recommend that you submit your request as early as possible so that you have enough time to make your travel arrangements.

Exception: For the new ESCMID ECDC Observership and the ESCMID WHO Observership there is only one application call per year (until further notice). For deadlines, please check the respective websites (ECDC Observerships, WHO Observerships).

Report

After the visit, the observer is required to complete the official evaluation form including a report to be published on the Collaborative Centre website or in other ESCMID publications.
A certificate of attendance may be issued after written confirmation of the ECC host (email sufficient) and completion of the above-mentioned report. This certificate provides proof of attendance, but not proof of proficiency in any of the specialities.
The names of successful applicants may be published on the ESCMID website and in other ESCMID publications.

Disclaimer

ESCMID excludes all responsibility or liability for problems or damages you may suffer during the observership visit. It is the observer’s responsibility to hold sufficient and valid insurance for injury and health-related issues which covers treatment abroad. It is also the observer’s responsibility to hold and prove vaccination status in consultation with the ECC host and in accordance with national/local health regulations.

Definitions

  • Intra-European Observerships apply to those cases where ESCMID members from Europe visit an ECC in Europe (list of countries below).
  • Intercontinental Observerships apply to ESCMID members from Europe visiting an ECC outside Europe or to ESCMID members from outside Europe visiting an ECC in Europe (list of countries see below).
  • ESCMID member from Europe: includes ESCMID members working in a European country.
  • ESCMID member outside Europe: includes ESCMID members working in a non-European country.
  • List of countries and respective geographic region: download here
Last update: 02 April 2013

See photos from observers in 2015-2017

To view all ESCMID Collaborative Centres, please click on search.
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Do you have a question about ESCMID Observerships? Consult our FAQ for the most frequently asked questions.

Please note (1): The request for Observership has to be submitted at least 2 months before the intended visit starts.

Please consider that the review process by the ECC host and by ESCMID can take 2 months. We recommend that you submit your request earlier so that you have enough time for your travel arrangements.

Please note (2): An ESCMID member can only submit one Observership request at a time.

Therefore, the person won’t be able to submit a new request until the review process is completed by the ECC.