NEUROSCIENCE 2015, CHICAGO: THE ENP CONFIRMS ITS INVOLVEMENT IN THE INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION OF FRENCH NEUROSCIENCE

For the third  time in a row, the Ecole des Neurosciences de Paris, Aviesan ITMO Neurosciences, Cognitive Sciences and Psychiatry, the French Society for Neuroscience, the Inserm delegation in the United States and the Office for Science and Technology of the Embassy of France in the United States, have joined forces to present the stand "Neuroscience in France: from Education to Research" at the Congress of the Society for Neuroscience, held from October 17 to 21  2015 in Chicago.

This joint operation to present the French Neuroscience on the international scene continues to expand and increase its reputation. The Consul General of France in Chicago, Vincent Floreani, came to discuss with Dr Etienne Hirsch, Director of the ITMO Neurosciences and ENP board member. His visit was followed by a reception for the French scientific community which brought together about forty people at his residence.

Two actions initiated in 2014 have been renewed successfully. The first joint action, to produce and distribute to visitors a USB stick, self-financed by French research centers, has seen its popularity increase. This type of support requested by visitors contained 20% more files than last year, gathering presentations of centers, structures, jobs and fundings, along with two cards of France for research centers and doctoral schools in neuroscience.

The second action taken by the ENP team was a second participation to the Graduate School Fair, to meet with Master students from all horizons in search of a doctoral training. Former students of the program, Nima Dehghani (New England Complex Systems Institute in Cambridge) and Lyle Muller (Salk Institute, La Jolla), and current doctoral students Jenna Sternberg, Jinjin Wu and Darinka Trubutschek cooperated to the promotion of the ENP Graduate Program. They addressed approximately two hundred undergraduates students, whom trully enjoyed having direct feedback. The Graduate School Fair attracts delegations from graduate schools and students in greater numbers each time. And after the presence of the Japanese in 2014, German and French remained the only two non-American representations. The attractiveness of Paris, the diversity of fields of study proposed, the interesting monthly grant paid by the ENP, and the opportunity for students to continue their education without accumulating heavy debts were appraised.

This year the meeting gathered about 29 000 participants. The stand itself located in the area for non-profit organizations, in the immediate vicinity of the Posters, proved to be easy to identify, recognized, and attracted many visitors.

The analysis of the badge-scanner data allows us to learn that about half of the  620  identified visitors work in North America: 51% in the US, including French researchers based in the US, and 6% in Canada. About 22% come from the European zone including France, 14% from South America, including Mexico and Brazil, 4% from Asia and Pacific zone, including India, and 1% from the African continent. It is especially interesting for the ENP to note that Master and PhD students represent 49% of the identified visitors, which is 15% more than in 2014. French doctoral training offered in English proves to be a very strong asset. Of course, the daily raffle to win a basket full of French delicatessen, a profusion of Carambar, the USB stick hit the official Marianne, post-it bookmarks from the French Society for Neuroscience, and temporary tattoos with the image of the Eiffel Tower are not strangers to this success! Furthermore,Post-docs are always keenly interested in career opportunities in France, as much as short-term contracts as permanent positions, and for their part, senior researchers (26% of visitors) are always looking for information on potential collaborations with French laboratories, France-USA fundings and mobility offerings (sabbaticals).

The meeting gathered this year about 29 000 participants. The stand itself located in the space for non-profit organizations, in the immediate vicinity of the Posters area, proved to be easy to identify, recognized, and attracting many visitors.

Save the date of the next congress today: San Diego, California, from 12 to 16 November 2016, where the committee "Neuroscience in France" is already planning to host a satellite event dedicated to French Neuroscience with industrial support.