What is Young Forum Gastein (YFG)?
The YFG initiative enables promising young health professionals to become part of an inspiring network which offers support to over 550 members (Young Gasteiners) working in various health-related fields in Europe and beyond. In 2022, over 50 scholars were selected to become part of the YFG 2022 cohort. Besides coming together at the annual EHFG conference, YFG offers unique opportunities year-round to participate in workshops, webinars and conferences.
How to join?
Each year a number of YFG scholarships are awarded to promising young professionals working in the field of health. The call for 2022 applications closed on 2 May 2022, and all applicants have been notified on the outcome of the selection process. The next call for applications will open in spring 2023.
If you would like to learn more about the network, please watch the video below, consult the YFG factsheet, or get in touch with us.
The YFG initiative was established in 2007 as a collaboration between the EHFG and DG SANTE (at the time DG SANCO), with a vision to introduce young, promising, health researchers and officials to the Gastein way – bridging the gap between research and policy-making and facilitating cross-sectoral learning and networking. Over the past fifteen years the network has developed further, now providing Young Gasteiners opportunities to shape the EHFG conference programme by undertaking active speaking and rapporteur roles.
In the framework of an engaging YFG programme, the scholarship offers a unique opportunity to:
To engage the YFG network throughout the year, various activities are organised. Some examples of the recent activities include:
34 Young Forum Gasteiners build the fundament of the network. Closed meeting with EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection Markos Kyprianou took place.
71 young researchers & officials from 28 European countries attend the conference. A Young Forum Gastein networking workshop & specific working groups took place. Scholars met with the EU Commissioner John Dalli and the Director General for Health and Consumers Paola Testori Coggi.
As part of a pilot project the WHO Europe joined, sponsoring several scholars form eastern Europe and central Asia. The initiative expanded not just in numbers and countries represented, but also in their tasks and responsibilities during the conference.
Young professionals from 30 countries were awarded the scholarship. The mix was 43% policy-makers and 57% researchers. 60% alumni vs. 40% newcomers.
For the first time a number of NGO representatives joined as YFG scholars, covering the third of the EHFG participation pillars.
76 scholars, representing 23 countries. 60% newcomers - 40% alumni. 46 females & 30 males. 32% policy-makers, 48% researchers, 8% working for NGOs, 12% classified themselves as “others” :)
The Young Forum Gastein offered its scholars a tailor-made progamme including a skills-building workshop and a topical session on the future of public health training in Europe. Young Gasteiners had an informal meeting with Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis as well as the opportunity of careers talks and mentoring sessions.
The YFG adapts to the current situation by employing advanced communication tools replicating the YFG experience online, while allowing for an even greater flexibility and interactivity. 38 scholars from 23 countries, including 12 scholars from public sector, 14 scholars from science and academia, 8 civil society representatives and 4 private sector participants join the YFG 2020 cohort.
YFG is so special because it facilitates a cross-generational exchange between researchers, policy-makers and practitioners working on European health challenges.
For me, Young Gastein is an excellent learning and networking opportunity, where I get inspired to continue developing my work as a Public Health practitioner.
There is literally nothing more important you can make out of a conference than establishing new connections which may enrich your professional and personal horizons. And this is what Young Forum Gastein does best.
The YFG Alumni Coordinators have previously made outstanding contributions to the work of the YFG Task Force and will provide advisory support in developing the YFG Alumni Network further. With this new initiative, the EHFG wants to strengthen the communication with alumni and emphasise the importance of the network.
HealthPros PhD Fellow, University Medical Centers, Amsterdam UMC
Public Health Attaché, Permanent Representation of the Netherlands to the European Union