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Thoracic Surgery Foundation / Francis Fontan Fund International Travelling Fellowship


  • Grant: €16,500
  • Location: TBC
  • Duration: 4-16 weeks learning a novel technique, adapting innovative technology and/or fostering collaboration between surgical investigators in another institution.


This unique and prestigious Fellowship supports the advancement of cardiothoracic surgical care through the sharing of clinical experiences across the global cardiothoracic community.

The International Travelling Fellowship – a collaboration between EACTS and the Thoracic Surgery Foundation – fosters the continued growth and development of cardiothoracic surgeons by providing opportunities to learn from the highest standards of cardiothoracic care and gain knowledge of novel techniques and innovative technologies used by other institutes around the world.

Fellows will use the valuable learnings and collaborative relationships developed throughout the Fellowship to further the progress of cardiothoracic surgery at their home institution and support the delivery of the highest quality patient care.

Fellowship overview

The purpose of this Fellowship is to facilitate the continuing education of a deserving young faculty surgeon. The award is to be used for international travel to another institution for 4-16 weeks for the purpose of learning a novel technique, adapting innovative technology and/or fostering collaboration between surgical investigators in order to further the progress of cardiothoracic surgery at the recipient’s home institution.

The successful applicant will have a record of excellence in training and academic achievement. He/she will have secured a position at a host institution, and a mentor capable of providing continued growth and development in the realm of cardiothoracic surgery.


Awards of €16,500 for 4-16 weeks will be granted to cover the travel and living expenses for the fellowship period. In addition, you will receive free registration to both the 2024 EACTS Annual Meeting and the 2024 STS Annual Meeting, along with a travel bursary to attend both meetings.

Amy G. Fiedler, MD, University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA

“Professor Large and his team at the Royal Papworth Hospital in England are at the forefront of innovation with respect to non-thermic regional perfusion heart transplantation. They have managed to increase the volume of heart transplantation at their center by over 30% due to their innovative techniques, which I hope to acquire. I feel honored and privileged to receive the International Travelling Fellowship.”

Application and selection criteria

 The TSF/FFF grant applications will be reviewed and evaluated by the TSF/FFF Awards Committee.


In order to apply, you must:

  • Be a cardiothoracic surgeon who has completed a program leading to certification by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery or its equivalent in a country outside of the United States, or who will be certified (or eligible for certification) by the grant start date (1 January 2024), and who is within seven years of their first faculty appointment.
  • Be a surgeon who has achieved appropriate certification or recognition of their achievements in cardiothoracic surgery, and who devotes their professional efforts to the interests of the specialty.
  • In possession of a full and unrestricted license to practice medicine in his or her respective geographic area and have no action pending which could adversely affect the applicant’s qualification for staff privileges at any hospital.
  • Be a member of EACTS (if applying from outside the USA).


Applicants from outside North America (USA & Canada) will be expected to identify a host/mentor surgeon in North America, willing and able to host the applicant for a suitable period of time in order to undertake the Fellowship. The educational and training content and length of the Fellowship is to be determined by the applicant in consultation with the hosting surgeon, provided the Fellowship’s objectives (listed above) have been achieved. The applicant will also be invited to submit a budget, up to the maximum available, justifying the living and learning costs associated with the Fellowship.

In summary;

  • Applicant is responsible for the selection of his/her mentor.
  • Applicant is responsible for securing a position with the mentor at the host institution.
  • Mentor must be an STS or EACTS member.

The following documents must be provided as part of your application: 


  • Biographical Information
  • Personal Goal
  • Career Goal
  • Education Environment at Host Institution
  • Mentor/Convenor Information

Required Application Materials: 

  • Applicant CV
  • Mentor CV: Restricted to one page CV / biography / NIH Biosketch / or equivalent
  • One (1) Letter of Support from Mentor: The letter should confirm: (a) the availability of adequate training environment/educational experience that will provide the proposed training, and (b) his or her agreement to serve as mentor.
  • Letter of interest detailing the way in which you meet the above application criteria, along with your career aspirations, as well as how you believe the Fellowship will impact your career.
  • Budget (approximate breakdown of funding costs)

Application guidance

Please ensure that all documents submitted are written in English, and that they are submitted either as word documents or PDF. We do not accept images or handwritten applications. We are unable to provide advice or guidance about visa applications, so please ensure that you understand the visa requirements before applying for this Fellowship.

At the end of the Fellowship, the Fellows will produce a full report on their experience based on the Francis Fontan Fund Committee guidelines.