Tsimpolis Alexandros

PhD student about his exchange from the Graduate Program in Neuroscience (University of Crete, Greece) to the Doctoral School Brain, Cognition, Behaviour (University Pierre and Marie Curie, France) in 2022.

“I evaluate my NENS Exchange experience as quite replete, as I was given the opportunity to further validate and significantly enrich my already existing results, get trained and acquire new research skills that will follow me for the entirety of my research career, meet and become friends with new colleagues/future collaborators and expose myself in a different lab culture and environment. In my opinion, it is a must-have experience for all young and passionate neurobiology researchers.”

Liudmila Saveleva

PhD student about her exchange from the Doctoral Programme in Molecular Medicine (Institute for Molecular Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland) to the PhD training in neuroscience (Institute of Experimental Medicine AS CR, Prague, The Czech Republic) in 2021.

“NENS stipend allowed me to gain unique expertise that is impossible to obtain at my home institution. Since my highly multidisciplinary PhD study requires multidisciplinary approaches and expertise it is impossible to evolve without international and diverse collaborations. The outstanding experience of host groups together with the exciting perspective of my project, reflects exactly the brilliant environment that will enable me to give a significant contribution to the neuroscience field. This internship helped me to acquire new knowledge, learn new techniques, establish promising collaboration, discover new fields of research and potential place for my postdoctoral career. (…) I want to encourage everyone to apply for this amazing opportunity that allows you to achieve new skills and experiences. I am incredibly grateful to NENS committee that made my visit happen!”

Meike Rogalla

PhD student about her exchange from the University of Oldenburg, Graduate School ‘Oltech’: PhD Program Neurosensory Science and Systems (Oldenburg, Germany) to the University of Salamanca, Instituto de Neurociencias Castilla Y Leon (Salamanca, Spain) in 2019.

“I would like to thank Manuel Sanchez Malmierca for the opportunity to get a methodological training in his lab. I thank him for the excellent support, his trust and the nice chats we had about the future cooperation we are currently planning. I thank all the lab members for their excellent supervision, training and teaching, for being patient and always willing to help. Especially I’d like to thank Lorena Casado Roman, Ana Belen Lao Rodriguez, David Perez Gonzalez and Guillermo Varela Carbajal, who have been the best supervisors I could ask for during my training stay. Additionally, I’d like to thank the NENS for giving me this great opportunity for conducting such a fruitful training stay abroad. This experience not only helped me to develop new skills and learning new methods, it also helped me to develop personally and it gave me new insights into auditory neuroscience from a whole new perspective.”

Daniela Doda

MSc student about her exchange from the European Master of Neurosciences (University of Bordeaux, France and University of Goethingen, Germany) to the BioEM Facility of EPFL (Lausanne, Switzerland) in 2019.

“Thanks to the NENS Exchange Grant I had the chance to learn an innovative and light electron microscopy method developed at the BioEM Facility at EPFL, Switzerland. Not only, I also learned how to obtain 3D models from bidimensional electron microsocpy (EM) images. These two are helping to overcome two of the biggest limitations of the EM technique. I really loved to work with Graham and his team, very prepared and available people, where I could go every time I had questions. Moreover, being at EPFL made this experience even more enjoyable because of its highly active scientific environment. There were different series of seminars taking place all over the campus from basic neuroscience research to its industrial applications. Finally, spending six months in the beautiful Lausanne with its spectacular views on the Lac Leman made it an invaluable life experience.”

Joko Poleksić

PhD student about his exchange from the School of Medicine, University of Belgrade (Belgrade, Serbia)  to the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (Athens, Greece) in 2018. 

“It is a big pleasure to share my experiences during the six weeks professional training I completed in Athens at NKUA under the supervision of professor Antonios Stamatakis. As a young researcher without so much experience in molecular biology techniques, I was very enthusiastic about this opportunity but at the same time slightly sceptical about my performance. From the first day, I had perfect support from Professor Stamatakis. He gave me clear instructions and practical guidance throughout the training process. I was very much encouraged with his words “Joko, you will have to make a mistake sooner or later…”. I would also like to emphasize the highly productive and enjoyable working atmosphere I experienced during my spell in the lab. It was very easy to cooperate and communicate with the lab mates who were all very friendly, interesting and helpful. Every day we spent time discussing our work issues and troubleshooting the ongoing experiments. These conversations were very valuable for developing my general skills and knowledge. Also, I would like to note the substantial amount of help provided by Dr Repouskou and Prof Kitraki during my Western blot training. In every aspect, I found the research training a great and unforgettable experience. Most importantly, I was able to take away the knowledge I learned in Athens and bring it home to our lab in Belgrade. I whole heartedly recommend the NENS Exchange research training to every young scientist looking to acquire new skills and gather international experience.”


Judita Huber

PhD student about her exchange from the Graduate School for Systemic Neurosciences (Munich, Germany) to the Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) in 2019.

“I stayed in the lab of Martijn van den Heuvel at Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam for 2 months. The aim was to learn more about network analysis to evaluate differences between human functional connectomes. Specifically, I arrived with preprocessed functional magnetic resonance (fMRI) data of participants who underwent different stimulation paradigms in the scanner. During my stay, I wanted to determine an analysis strategy and start implementing this analysis. (…) Overall I enjoyed the experience in the lab of Dr. Martijn van den Heuvel a lot. I felt a strong passion for science by all lab members which led to fruitful scientific and even philosophical discussions. These happened not only during lab meetings but also during our “Tuesday Cake Day” and Friday social get-togethers. (…) Thanks to NENS for providing me with this unique opportunity and financially supporting this exchange. Without this programme, I would have probably not had the idea to visit another lab during my PhD, and not have the financial means of doing so. I would highly recommend applying for the NENS exchange grant because it provides the opportunity to gain new methodological skills and to connect with fellow scientists.”

Hendrik Heiser

MSc student about his exchange from the Max Planck Research School Neurosciences (Göttingen, Germany) to the EDNE Doctoral Program in Neuroscience (Lausanne, Switzerland) in 2019

“Thanks to the NENS Exchange grant I was able to perform my master thesis project in the lab of Johannes Gräff at EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland. There I was benefitting from the world-class research environment and cutting-edge technology available at EPFL. Additionally, the financial support offered by NENS allowed me to experience working and living in Lausanne at the shore of Lake Geneva in the Swiss Alps, a region characterized by its outstanding beauty and high living standard.”

Ann-Kathrin Herrmann

PhD student about her exchange from the University Medical Center of Johannes Gutenburg University Mainz (Mainz, Germany) to the Wolfson Centre for Age-Related Diseases (London, United Kingdom) in 2018. 

“The NENS exchange program gave me the unique opportunity to travel to London and learn whole-cell patch clamping. Not only was the lab of Nicola Hamilton-Whitaker, PhD, at King´s College the ideal address to study electrophysiology, I also improved my communicational skills and critical thinking during my training stay at this international lab. The team was great, I had a really good time and I was able to bring a lot back to my lab. I am grateful for the NENS exchange grant, without whose support I would never have had the chance for this experience.”