FKNE > Community engagement > Mentoring



2018, Prizes
& Awards Winners
2018, PhD Prize Finalists
2016, Prizes
& Awards Winners

ALBA-FKNE-YIBRO Diversity Grants for the FENS 2020 Virtual Forum

The ALBA Network, the FENS Kavli Network of Excellence (FKNE)Young IBRO (YIBRO) in partnership with FENSIBRO, the Federación Latinoamericana de Neurociencias y el Caribe (FALAN), the Federation of Asian-Oceanian Neuroscience Societies (FAONS), and the Society of Neuroscientists of Africa (SONA), are offering diversity access grants to the FENS 2020 Virtual Forum.

The grants correspond to waived registration to the FENS Forum 2020 for scientists from countries classified as low, low-middle and upper-middle income economies by the World Bank country classification (see full list here).

This call is open to all members of FALAN, FAONS and SONA (i.e., members of the associated member societies) but applications from scientists in other eligible countries are also encouraged. While priority in the selection shall be given to early career scientists (MSc, PhD students, Postdocs), the call is open to all eligible scientists. 


If you are eligible and wish to apply for a grant, please fill in this online form by clicking on “start your application”.

Deadline: 14 June 2020 (23:59 CEST).

Please note:

  • Abstract submission and poster presentation are not included in the grants.
  • Selected scientists should not register individually to the FENS 2020 Virtual Forum. They will be provided support for their registration by the FENS Forum administration after the results are announced.


FKNE PhD Thesis Prize 2020          



FKNE Mentoring Prize 2020





ALBA-FKNE Diversity Prize




Childcare grants

As a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the FENS Forum 2020 will be a virtual one. The registrants will be able to attend the events at the live FENS 2020 Virtual Forum, followed by three months of on-demand virtual access. As such, the childcare grants initiative will not be implemented at the FENS 2020 Virtual Forum, but the collected funds redirected to childcare grants at FENS Forum 2022.



Awardees of the Mentoring and PhD Prizes 2018

Congratulations to the awardees!

> download the press release

Professor Fotini Stylianopoulou (University of Athens) has been awarded the FENS-Kavli Network of Excellence Mentoring Prize for her outstanding contributions in facilitating the careers of neuroscientists in Europe.  FENS-Kavli Scholars recognise the essential of role mentoring in facilitating both careers of neuroscientists and also in scientific progress and founded this prize to recognise and promote outstanding mentoring. 30 nominations came in from across Europe, all demonstrating an inspiring commitment to mentoring. Prof. Stylianopoulou was nominated by current and former colleagues for going above and beyond in her efforts to teach and champion researchers, showing them that “the sky is the limit” and that “a true scientist never stops inquiring, combining information, seeing beyond the obvious and the dogma, but most importantly listening to what others have to say no matter if they are colleagues or undergraduate students.” Along with the stellar support of direct trainees, Prof Stylianopoulou has made an enormous difference to the European Neuroscience community. She was a pioneer of neuroscience research and teaching in Greece being one of the first people to teach neuroscience to graduate students in Greece and a founding member and former president of the Hellenic Society for Neurosicence. Prof. Stylianopoulou has also served as Secretary General of FENS, demonstrating her commitment to fostering neuroscience careers both in her own laboratory and throughout the world community.


Dr. Arseny Finkelstein has been awarded the inaugural FENS-Kavli Network of Excellence PhD Thesis Prize. Dr. Finkelstein conducted his PhD project in the lab of Dr. Nachum Ulanovsky at the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, Israel. With meticulous work, he discovered and quantitatively characterized 3D head direction cells in the freely moving bats using his own custom developed tracking device. This system can be considered a 3D compass in the brain. Dr. Finkelstein and colleagues published these results in Nature in 2015. Then, he went on to show that certain neurons of the bat hippocampus encode the directions and the proximity of spatial goals, potentially forming the basis of goal-directed navigation, which work resulted in a shared first author publication in Science. These results are groundbreaking, because navigation is traditionally studied only in two dimensions and extending it to the full space required the development of novel technology applied to an uncommon model organism. This convinced the jury to select Dr. Finkelstein as the winner of 54 entries, which were often also of outstanding quality. Dr. Finkelstein continues his work at Janelia Research Campus, HHMI, USA with Dr. Karel Svoboda.


The prizes, which consist of a special plaque and €2,000 Euros each, have been awarded at the FENS Forum 2018 on the 9th July.



10 Scholars selected:
Alessandro Furlan

Current affiliation: Cold Spring Harbor, USA
Place where the PhD was conducted: Karolinska Institutet, Sweden

Ana González-Rueda

Current affiliation: MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, UK
Place where the PhD was conducted: University of Cambridge, UK

Anna Stöckl

Current affiliation: Universität Würzburg, Germany
Place where the PhD was conducted: Lund University, Sweden

Constanze Lenschow

Current affiliation: Champalimaud Foundation, Portugal
Place where the PhD was conducted: Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Germany

Lena Schmid

Current affiliation: University College London, UK
Place where the PhD was conducted: University Bonn/German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases Bonn, Germany

Marco Wittmann

Current affiliation: University of Oxford, UK
Place where the PhD was conducted: University of Oxford, UK

Marta Carus-Cadavieco

Current affiliation: Leibniz Institute for Molecular Pharmacology (FMP)/NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence, Germany
Place where the PhD was conducted: Leibniz Institute for Molecular Pharmacology (FMP)/NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence Berlin, Germany

Riccardo Bocchi

Current affiliation: Ludwig-Maximilians-University Münich, Germany
Place where the PhD was conducted: Université de Genève, Switzerland

Roeland Vanhauwaert

Current affiliation: Stanford University, USA
Place where the PhD was conducted: KU Leuven, Belgium

Samuel Walker

Current affiliation: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, USA
Place where the PhD was conducted: Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown Lisbon, Portugal

Awardees of the FKNE Mentoring and PhD Prizes 2016 

Congratulations to the awardees!






Download here the Press release

Prof. David Attwell, Fellow of the Royal Society (University College London) has been awarded the inaugural FENS-Kavli Network of Excellence Mentoring Prize in 2016 for his outstanding contributions to mentoring the careers of neuroscientists. This prize was funded because FENS-Kavli Scholars recognize that mentoring plays an essential role in fostering the career development, but mentoring efforts are often not recognized or rewarded in a scientific career. Close to 30 nominations were submitted from across Europe. Professor Attwell, Jodrell Professor of Physiology at University College London (UCL), was nominated by current and former mentees who praised his strong support throughout their careers. His students and postdocs are personally trained in all aspects of scientific rigour and thought, they are encouraged to present their work at excellent conferences, and are guided in writing papers, theses, and grant applications. Prof. Attwell aids trainees in planning their career progression and provides personal, as well as professional, support. The many letters of support for the nomination also cited Prof. Attwell’s strong mentoring of scientists through the difficult transition into juggling parenthood and a scientific career. Along with supporting his direct trainees, Prof. Attwell has started a world class PhD programme in neuroscience at UCL, which improves the choice of PhD project and mentor for students by integrating lab rotations. This is the most competitive neuroscience PhD programme in the UK with high level of success for students. Prof. Attwell also participates in public engagements and hosts school children in his lab.


Dr. Linda Katona (University of Oxford) has been awarded the inaugural FENS Kavli Network of Excellence PhD Thesis Prize. The thesis published by Dr. Katona – originally from Romania, who graduated from the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Oxford – is a masterpiece for its depth, the originality of the experimental approach employed, as well as for the new insights obtained by her results. During her thesis conducted under the joint supervision of Professors Peter Somogyi (University of Oxford) and Thomas Klausberger (University of Vienna), Dr. Katona physiologically and molecularly characterized in depth the role of different types of GABAergic interneurons in the hippocampus of freely moving rats during distinct oscillatory states. Her results have not only been obtained with state-of-the-art techniques, but will also help to better understand rhythmic network functions during memory processing. Her work led to several publications in top neuroscientific journals and culminated with a first author paper in Neuron. On top of that, Dr. Katona’s thesis is excellently structured, flawlessly written and well illustrated, and convinced the jury to select her as the winner of over 45 other entries, which were often also of outstanding quality. Dr. Katona is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Oxford and continuous to delve into the mysteries of brain rhythmicity underlying different memory systems.


The prizes, which consist of a special plaque and €2,000 Euros each, were awarded at the FENS Forum 2016 on the 4th July.