Giordano Fellowship & ESP Advanced Training (EAT) Centres

Structure of Pathology Training

A programme for the advanced training in pathology supported by the European Society of Pathology

ESP is pleased to announce that the application period for the 2022 edition of the Giordano Fellowship is now open and the deadline is Friday, 10th September 2021.


In recent decades, great advances have been made with respect to the classification of diseases with the use of more sophisticated diagnostic techniques. In consequence, a wide spectrum of diseases may be treated with individualised therapy. Furthermore, in many fields of pathology biopsies are so rare that it is difficult, if not impossible, for the pathologist to obtain sufficient diagnoses to meet the clinicians’ requirements (lung, liver, kidney, pancreas, bone, a.o.). Pathologists therefore need in-depth training in many fields of pathology:

1) to meet the needs of the clinicians and
2) to guarantee an optimal therapy for the patients.

ESP has prepared a programme to support education in highly specialised areas. This advanced training programme should help young pathologist to get in-depth experience in selected training centres throughout Europe. A fellowship, named after Professor Alfonso Giordano who initiated the foundation of the ESP, will be offered to young pathologists to support this programme.

Examples of specialist fields and techniques in pathology in which special training is necessary (other fields may be added)

Specialist fields

  • Digestive Diseases Pathology (including Liver and Pancreatic Pathology)
  • Dermatopathology
  • Lung Pathology
  • Nephropathology
  • Uropathology
  • Hematopathology
  • Bone and soft tissue pathology
  • Paediatric pathology
  • Endocrine pathology
  • Neuropathology
  • Ophthalmic pathology

Special techniques (open also to technicians/medical scientists)

  • Electron microscopy
  • Immunofluorescence
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Molecular pathology
  • Morphometry
  • Enzyme histochemistry
  • Tissue microarrays
  • Digital microscopy
  • Fine needle aspiration cytology

Selection of the Centres


1) Centres of excellence in each particular field will be selected to offer positions to the trainees. These centres must fulfill certain general conditions. They must:

  • Offer trainee positions - the number of places per year should be specified
  • Offer a one-month minimum stay, usually 3 to 6 months
  • Specify the period of the year for training (or 365/365)
  • Not charge for training
  • Assist in finding low cost accommodation
  • Assist in obtaining the necessary visa, insurance or other documents (demand for such assistance is expected to be low among members of the ESP)
  • Provide trainees with a detailed certificate describing their work after completion of their training.
  • Agree upon the duration and aim of training beforehand
  • Send the applicant a Letter of invitation.

2) The selection of centres will be performed by the Working Groups. There are two parallel ways of choosing the centres:

A) The centres may nominate themselves
B) Centres headed by internationally renowned specialists in a particular field may be contacted by Chairs of the WGs and asked whether they want to offer in depth training and to participate in the programme (no limit to the number of centres selected by each WG)

3) The application of the centre to be included in the programme must include the following details:

  1. Name of the centre, address
  2. Chair of the centre
  3. Head of the training programme
  4. Details about specific areas in which training can be offered (particular method, field of subspecialty – e.g. kidney transplantation)
  5. Number of positions offered for each year, expected duration of the training
  6. Specific periods of the year when the visit may be realised (should be defined in direct contact between the centre of excellence and the applicant)
  7. Contact address for requesting details by the applicant (accommodation options, travel possibilities etc.)

4) Information about the programme (“Current offer”) and list of selected centres (“Participating Centres”) will be permanently published on the ESP web page (see below).

5) How Centres are evaluated

  • Number of applications (centres will be excluded from the list if no candidate applies for five consecutive years
  • Number of trainees accepted in previous years (and their feedback) – This will not apply during the initial period
  • Number of papers presented (oral free papers or posters), or published by the applicant during or after the training


Terms and Conditions for Giordano Fellowship Bursary

General Principles

The ESP GF bursary provides financial support for young pathologists and residents in the final year of their specialisation to gain in-depth training in specialised areas of pathology. The scientific programme and the educational activities carried out under ESP GF grants should be ethically sound and of the highest quality and fall within the ESP scientific scope.

The annual closing date for GF grant applications will be on a specific date in mid June. Funding requests must be submitted the year prior to the start of the activity*. The application review timeline is 10 to 12 weeks. The names of the awarded Giordano Fellows will be announced each year during the annual European Congress of Pathology (ECP) in September. Written official notifications will be sent to the awardees and the host ESP Advanced Training (EAT) centres following the ECP.

*Example: For an application submitted before 17 June 2019, the GF programme at the EAT centre should be scheduled for 2020.
Exceptionally, for applications in 2021 (training in 2022) the deadline is the 10 of September. The results will be announced one month later

Applications should be submitted by email to Dr Christos Poulios, ESP Educational Manager at admin@esp-pathology.orgwith subject “Giordano Fellowship 2022"

Bursary-holders are expected to develop a personalised scientific and educational programme in close collaboration with the host EAT centre. Whilst there will be room for flexibility in planning and conducting the GF activities, major changes from the programme initially submitted will require prior approval of ESP.

The ESP will finance each Giordano Fellow up to a maximum of € 1500 per month, including travel expenses, for a maximum of three months. ESP reserves the right to decide the amount of funding individually, taking into consideration the country of origin of the successful applicant, the location of the EAT Centre (i.e. the cost of living**) and the individual’s regular income. Each year the ESP announces how many GF applications might be funded for the forthcoming year. Giordano Fellows are not eligible to re-apply for GF.

It is possible to complete a stay at one of the EAT centres also without requesting financial support from ESP (i.e. without being awarded the GF bursary). In this case, the same eligibility rules apply for applicants, but there is no need to send an income certificate.

** If the EAT centre can provide accommodation at a reasonable cost in a student home or guest room, and/or there is an opportunity to pay a reasonable price for meals in the host institution’s dining areas, please make it clear in the application.


Selection of trainees

ESP members are encouraged to apply for the GF programme. Potential applicants should contact ESP in advance of the submission deadline if they have any doubts concerning their eligibility to apply for a GF grant from ESP.

I. Eligibility criteria

Applicants must:

  • Have been a member of the ESP for at least three consecutive years
  • Have successfully passed board examination or be a resident in the last year of the training (obvious from the CV)
  • Have a good knowledge of English or a European language used at the training centre
  • Be under 40 years old
  • Currently work in a pathology centre of national repute, and be involved in teaching and research (to guarantee further dissemination of the knowledge/experience gained)

II. Information to be supplied by the applicant:

  1. An application form with name of the EAT centre selected from the ESP list. The application will specify duration and dates of the training period and personalised scientific and the educational programme developed in close collaboration with the host EAT centre (download application form)
  2. A letter of motivation describing how the newly gained knowledge and skills will be implemented at the home institution (one page)
  3. A Curriculum vitae (one page) with a scanned copy of passport /ID
  4. An income certificate (as per last year before the application)
  5. Confirmation letter from the Head of the EAT centre
  6. A letter of recommendation from the home institution
  7. A letter of recommendation from the National Society of Pathology

Submission of a Progress Report

One year after completion of the fellowship, the Giordano Fellow is required to submit a progress report to the ESP HQ. It is the responsibility of the Giordano Fellow to write the narrative, describing his/her progress, how the gained knowledge has been used and disseminated to colleagues of the home institution (or multiple institutions of the home country of the fellow). 

III. Evaluation

A. Formal evaluation
All above listed documents will be checked by the office of the ESP. If anything is missing, the applicant will be requested to supply additional materials.

B. Evaluation by the committee
Structure of the committee:

  • Chair of the WG corresponding to the field of interest of the applicant
  • Chair of the ESP education subcommittee
  • Chair of the particular centre for which application is intended
  • Advisory board member of the home country of the applicant
  • Treasurer of the ESP
  • ESP Council member
  • ESP Director General

The committee is chaired by a Coordinator selected by the President of the ESP from the members of the committee (usually the ESP Council member).
The Evaluation Committee members reply at the latest two weeks after receiving the documents. The ESP office is in charge of receiving and compiling the responses from the Evaluation Committee members.  A response from at least five out of seven Evaluation Committee members is required to make a decision.

Based on summary of the responses from all Evaluation Committee members, a final decision is taken about granting the Giordano Fellowship and the final financial sum to be provided to each applicant. In borderline cases, the Coordinator of the Evaluation Committee makes the final decision. The Evaluation Committee retains the right to accept or reject an application. If an application is rejected, a short explanation will be sent to the applicant (e.g. due to financial reason, due to reaching the yearly limit of the number of fellowships, due to professional weakness, etc.).

Finally, if the number of applications advocated by the Evaluation Committees exceeds the number of positions in any given year, ESP officers (President, Treasurer, Coordinator and ESP Director General) will determine the final list of grantees.


GF applications are provided to ESP in confidence. ESP will not use the information contained in the application for any purpose except the purpose of reviewing the GF application and monitoring it, if it is funded. ESP may disclose the application to its employees and reviewers. ESP will not otherwise disclose the information unless it is funded.

Available Training Centers


Giordano Fellowship Awardees (Edition 2022)


Giordano Fellowship Awardees (Edition 2020)

Giordano Fellowship Awardees (Edition 2019)

Giordano Fellowship Awardees (Edition 2018)

Giordano Fellowship Awardees (Edition 2017)

Giordano Fellowship Awardees (Edition 2016)

Giordano Fellowship Awardee (Edition 2015)