EMBO FEllOWs EMBO Fellows’ Meeting Informative, helpful and simply fun – this is how present and past EMBO LONg-TERM FELLOWS judged the annual get-together that took place last June. Ninety postdocs accepted the invitation to spend four days in Heidelberg exchanging ideas, discussing science and enjoying the social programme. Half of the attendees gave a short talk about their current projects, the other half presented posters. The meeting included a science communication session, which covered topics such as what language to use in communicating science to non-specialists, how to pitch a topic and how to spark enthusiasm with the listeners. Four EMBO Fellows give their feedback on: What was the EMBO Fellowship contribution so far to your career? What is the role of networking? And what can be done better? Siva Jeganathan EMBO Fellow 2010 –2012 The fellowship from EMBO gave me independence as a postdoc. I managed to find a position in a great lab run by Andrea Musacchio at the Max-Planck-Institute in Dortmund, Germany. The inter- views during the selection process make the grant competitive and therefore prestigious. The portal FellowsNet is useful as it makes you feel part of the network. The same is true for the fellows’ meeting, it helps strengthen contacts with other fellows. I also benefited from the Global Activities Programme run by EMBO. Via a workshop in Barcelona in 2010 I learnt much about science in India. I’ll also keep an eye on this programme in the future. Matheshwaran Saravanan EMBO Fellow 2009 –2011 It feels great to get one of the best research fellowships in the world. The fellowship gave me financial security and flexibility to choose my own project. An additional plus was the participation in the Lab Management Course for post- docs. As a recognized seal of qual- ity the grant increases my chances for a good position in Europe, although I would like to go back to India after my time at EMBL. Things are getting better in India. Generally, I think that two years are not enough for a fellowship as you can hardly complete a project within such a short timeframe. Natascha Bushati EMBO Fellow 2010 –2011 The community aspect of the fellowship is a big plus. Via the meetings and the FellowsNet you regularly get information about the positions available or you can post your own jobs. After my postdoc time in James Briscoe’s lab in the UK I would like to move on to scientific editing. I’m convinced that the fellowship will increase my job chances. The pension plan makes it exceptional too. I started paying into the scheme as soon as it was introduced. Jens H. Fritzenwanker EMBO Fellow 2008 –2010 The fellowship gave me leeway and the flexibility to decide what I wanted to focus on during my postdoc. It enabled me to spend two years at the University of Chicago in the United States. As an EMBO fellow you enjoy a high degree of independence in the lab. During my time in the US the fellows’ meetings and the FellowsNet helped me to get in touch with other postdocs and discuss topics specific to the career phase I was in. ©2012 EMBO EMBOencounters | Autumn 2012 | communications@embo.org 17 © EMBL Photolab | Hugo Neves © EMBL Photolab | Hugo Neves