Message from the President, Prof. Barry Everitt.
In 2015, FENS and IBRO launched a joint venture to provide, for the first time in Europe, high-level, hands-on training courses in a wide range of neuroscience techniques for early career neuroscientists. The Cajal Advanced Neuroscience Training Programme was established in partnership with the Bordeaux Neurocampus (now boasting a purpose-built training centre) and the Champalimaud Foundation. By the end of this year, over 15 Cajal courses will have been held in the two venues, with attendees from across the world. Topics covered include: computational neuroscience; connectomics; glial cells in health and disease; interacting with neural circuits; synapse biology and behaviour; and neural systems. The Cajal courses have been, and will be, of the highest quality, featuring internationally renowned neuroscientists as teachers, instructors and leaders of the courses to provide high-level, hands-on training in residential courses for 2-3 weeks duration.
FENS and IBRO made a very considerable financial investment to establish and maintain these courses. Despite this, it soon became clear that the costs associated with providing six such courses each year, some in partnership with other organisations, exceeded the resources available. Happily, discussions with Sarah Caddick of the Gatsby Foundation revealed a shared interest in, and strong commitment to, training in neuroscience in Europe, providing a training environment would match those established over many years at Cold Spring Harbor and Woods Hole in the US.
The result of these discussions has been that the Board of Trustees of the Gatsby Foundation, have joined FENS and IBRO as an equal partner in this training venture, providing an annual grant of €250,000 for five years. This new partnership is intended to achieve two goals. Firstly it will secure the operation of six training courses each year for the next five years between the venues in Bordeaux and Chamaplimaud. And secondly it will secure the long-term future of the Cajal Advanced Neuroscience Training Programme by overseeing its transition to an independent and securely funded organisation in the future.
FENS and IBRO are extremely grateful to the Gatsby Foundation for its generosity in supporting this venture and look forward to establish for the long-term a vibrant and essential European Neuroscience Training Programme.