nEurogastro TANDEM

a Biennial ESNM Young Investigator Meeting


All of us have participated in young investigator meetings, so when we were thinking about organizing one ourselves we wanted to come up with something innovative that would produce long-lasting interactions and not just provide more tools to write a good manuscript. Today, nothing is more important than networking to buildup successful collaborations with scientific output. Therefore, we created a new format of independent young investigator meeting that we named nEUROgastro TANDEM.  In language learning, Tandem is a method based on mutual language exchange between tandem partners (ideally each learner is a native speaker in the language the proponent wants to learn). Similiarly, nEUROgastro TANDEM is teaming up one basic and one clinical scientists or practitioner to form a team and teach each other their “language” as often, the clinicians are not aware of crucial basic knowledge and basic scientists are not aware of clinical relevance.

Time and location

nEUROgastro TANDEM should take place prior to the European Neurogastroenterology and Motility meeting every two years.

Meeting structure

The meeting takes approximately two full days. Presentations should be 30 min in total (20+10 Q&A). There should be two “senior” talks embedded that are generally aimed at sharing experience or giving advice on a successful career.


After application and review process by the organizing committee, ten clinical and ten basic applicants are chosen and paired up ten weeks at least prior to the meeting. Each team is mentored by a member of the organizing committee. Teams are requested to compose a translational pilot & feasibility project proposal to be presented within 20 min at the nEUROgastro TANDEM meeting. Projects will be discussed and scored by all participants. The project/team with the highest score will get funding of 5,000 € that is intended as startup money with the goal to lead to an independent grant. The second team will receive prize money of 500 €.



  • Reinforcing the crosstalk between basic science and clinical practice in neurogastroenterology
  • Formation of long lasting cooperation between different labs
  • Establishing trans-European networks
  • Creating high impact scientific output in multinational collaborations


Applications in English language are accepted from candidates who meet the following criteria:

  • Currently work in a European country in the field of Neurogastroenterology or are interested to develop their career towards this field.
  • Have completed MD or PhD degree or are in the last year thereof.
  • Are 35 years old or younger on 1 January in the year of application, unless exceptional circumstances have significantly delayed career progression. Please note: For female candidates with children the age limit of 35 is automatically extended by two years per child.
  • Researchers from East European countries and North Africa are encouraged to apply to reach out to those with little scientific infrastructure.
  • An abstract has to be submitted to the ESNM meeting and attendance is required.
  • ·       Former TANDEM participants can apply again.





Applicants are asked to submit their CV (one page), a letter of motivation (one page) which summarizes the applicants’ research skills and interests and a publication list (if available, not required). A support letter from the applicants' PI or head of the department, which clearly states the support and assistance to carry out the project in case of success, is also required. All documents should be submitted in English language.


Women are encouraged to apply. Even gender distribution is intended.


Selection process

  • Full applications are discussed within the TANDEM committee. Based on merit, 10 PhDs and 10 MDs (or candidates) are selected. Based on merit and funds, an 11th or 12th team can be added.
  • Based on their research area and expertise, one MD and one PhD (or candidate) are paired up in a team. The pairing will be done by the organizing committee
  • All candidates are informed by email of the outcome of their application.
  • Selected teams are notified of their selection at least 10 weeks prior to the meeting.
  • TANDEM pairs are required to get in touch before the meeting.
  • Each team has to compose a research project based on their individual expertise. Blank forms can be downloaded from the homepage.
  • Five organizers will serve as mentors for two TANDEM pairs each. If twelve TANDEMs are chosen, then the sixth organizer will be another mentor. The local organizer will not serve as a mentor.  


Things, participants should take into account when composing the research project

  • Does the project tackle new and important problems?
  • Is the proposed research interesting and realistic?
  • Is the proposed project a good combination of the applicants' expertise?
  • Is the budget reasonable?


Guidelines for project development

  • Team mates should be in contact to develop the project together. Get in touch via email, phone or skype to gather ideas and come up with a project proposal.


  • Each team is provided with a mentor so please do not hesitate to contact your mentor with questions (the mentor will be happy to advise the team in an objective, scientific fashion).


  • Each team is asked to develop a translational project together that is focused on the field of neurogastroenterology and motility.


  • The presentation of the projects will be the main task during TANDEM. Each team has 30 minutes (20 + 10 Q & A) in total to present the project and convince the others of their novelty and feasibility. Please keep in mind that the project should not only be innovative but also feasible (doable and payable).


  • During the 30 minutes the team will have 20 minutes to present the project. Power point presentations with no more than 15 slides in total of which one should summarize your budget should be prepared. We expect that both team mates will speak during the presentations. Afterwards, we will have 10 minutes for questions and answers.


  • Everyone will receive a scoring sheet for each team that assesses different dimensions, including innovativeness, novelty, methods, feasibility, budget, presentation and overall impression on a scale from 1 to 5, so pay attention to every detail.


  • At the end of the meeting, there will be an extra session to discuss the different projects and cast votes.


  • The two best projects / teams will be invited to present their project during the ESNM main meeting at a special session. They will get complimentary registration for the ESNM main meeting.


  • The one best/promising project will receive 5,000 € start-up.


  • The second project will receive 500 € start-up.


  • If the second and third team score the same amount of points, they will both be awarded with the 500 € start-up prize.


Scoring and final decision

  • Every participant has to fill in a scoring sheet for each team which assesses different criteria on a scale from 1 to 5 (see score sheet).


  • Each member of the organizing committee also has to compile a scoring sheet for each team.


  • At the end of the meeting the scoring sheets will be collected and votes will be counted by the organizing committee.


  • The participants' votes account for 40% and the organizers' votes account for 60% of the final scoring.


  • The process of vote counting will be done by the organizing committee in a separate section.


Example score sheet

Evaluation based on:


Innovativeness: What will the study bring in term of concept and/or new patho-physiological pathway? May the results ultimately translate into clinical application?


Feasibility: Is the project likely to be achieved in the requested time and budget? Is the project based on the scientific/technical expertise of each team mate and/or team mate research center?

Appropriate methodology: Is the methodology suited to reach the study aims?




Budget: What is the overall budget of the research project and is the research project achievable within the budget? How balanced is the budget among the 2 team mates? What is the plan to spend the money?

Presentation: How are aim, methodology, expected results and budget presented in the time of 20 min?




Points: For each category 1-5 points can be awarded: 1 = outstanding. 2 = very good. 3 = good, 4 = average, 5 = poor







This is a low budget meeting. The funding relies on money raised by the organizers. Funding will be requested from the European Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility and the national Neurogastro societies. If they cannot contribute prior to the meeting in cash, they are asked to cover their national participants’ travel expenses.

Founding organizing committe

Ekin Demir (TU München, Germany)


Miriam Goebel-Stengel (HELIOS Klinikum, Zerbst, Germany)


Guillaume Gourcerol (University Hospital Rouen, France)


Gemma Mazzuoli-Weber (TiHo Hannover, Germany)


Andreas Stengel (Charité, Berlin, Germany)


Mira Wouters (University Leuven, Belgium)


The organizing committee oversees preparing the meeting (planning, mentoring), raising money and conducting (as a moderator and/or speaker) the meeting. For each single meeting one local organizer will be asked to join the organizing committee, resulting in n=7 at the most.


Every two years, two organizers will be replaced by two new ones. This way, continuity will be ensured. The new ones should be suggested by the organizers or advisory board.




Obligations of the organizing committee

  • The organizers should regularly check the website and recommend possible improvements
  • The organizers will do the fundraising
  • Organizers will be in touch by email, skype, phone or in person at least twice a year
  • Organizers will organize and be present at the meeting to moderate

Advisory board

Two members of the ESNM steering committee will be asked to serve as informal advisors. They will serve for at least four years (or two meetings) and can be replaced thereafter.


Decisions and rule changing

Every decision, change in the rules, proposal and new idea must be discussed within the organizing committee and ran by the advisory board before acceptance.


Patrick Kollmann (TU München) is currently in charge of keeping the website up-to-date. His payment is based on demand but will not exceed 800 Euro/meeting.