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European Respiratory Society Short Term Fellowship Program

The European Respiratory Society (ERS) Short-Term Research Fellowship Program (STFP) supports early career scientists and clinicians to carry out projects lasting between 1–3 months at research institutions outside of their home country. The program enables fellows to access and learn research techniques that are not available at the fellows’ home institution, supporting the exchange of knowledge and best practices across institutes. The Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Northwestern University participates in the ERS STFP.

More information on the ERS Short Term Fellowship Program can be found on the European Respiratory Society website.


 Initial Steps

The ERS fellowship is not a set training program with a prespecified curriculum. Interested candidates should review PCCM faculty profiles as well as ongoing research projects to identify faculty who fit their research interests. Candidates should reach out to specific faculty directly to inquire about their interest in serving as a mentor on ERS applications. In case of mutual interest, they should jointly develop ERS fellowship application.


Once an ERS fellowship application is developed and approved, The Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine will initiate the Appointment and Visa processes. This process takes 4 to 5 months. 

Appointment: Short-Term Research Scholars will be appointed as a Visiting Predoctoral or Postdoctoral Fellow for the 1 to 3 month duration of the ERS fellowship. For the appointment please send the following documents:

  • CV
  • Personal Data Form
  • Support Letter From Home Institution – This letter should come from your current university or program and can be written by your faculty PI or mentor. This letter should indicate the amounts and frequency financial support provided by your home institution. If they are not providing financial support during the ERS Short Term Fellowship the letter should indicate this instead. The letter should also indicate your current position, that you are in good standing with the institution, and indicate the dates during which they authorize you to be at Northwestern for the purpose of the ERS STFP.
  • Award Letter From ERS - This letter should come from the European Respiratory Society and should indicate the amounts and frequency financial support provided by ERS as well as indicate the types of expenses covered by these funds (living stipend, child allowance, travel).
  • Insurance – Having adequate health insurance is required for all visiting scholars. This is required by both the US Department of State (for all J1 visa holders and their dependents) and by Northwestern University. Most visiting scholars will need to take out a Visiting Scholar Health Insurance policy from Northwestern University’s Office of Risk Management for themselves and their dependents who accompany them to the United States. It may be possible to waive this requirement if insurance provided by your home country or home institution meets all requirements set forth on this page. To obtain the waiver you will need to provide a copy of your insurance card (for you and your dependents) as well as a copy of the policy which outlines the amounts, benefits, coverage, and exclusions provided by the policy. If your current coverage does not meet all requirements set forth on this page, then it may be possible for you to send these requirements to your insurance provider and ask them how much it would cost you to upgrade your policy so that it does meet the requirements. If your insurance policy does not meet the requirements as determined by the Office of Risk Management then you will be enrolled in the Northwestern University’s Visiting Scholar Health Insurance plan. Information on the costs related to this insurance can be found here. You will need to reimburse the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care any costs related to the Visiting Scholar health Insurance plan for you and your dependents. US health insurance can be a bit confusing, so here is a video that may help to explain the various terms.


Most ERS Fellows will receive a J1 Research Visa. Citizens of Australia (E) and Canada (TN) may have other options available and should contact Sean Campbell at for additional information. Please note that by coming on a J1 Exchange Visitor visa, you will not be eligible to return to the US on a J1 visa for 24 months after your visit here with us. In addition, if you are subject to section 212e you must spend at least 2 years in your country of citizenship before you would be eligible to return to the US as a J1, L, or H1B visa holder. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns about these requirements. For the J1 Visa please send the following documents:

  • J-1 EV Request Form
  • Copy of your passport biographical page
  • Proof of English Proficiency: Copy of your scores for TOEFL (57), IELTS (5.5), or J-Check/iTEP (3.5), or copy of degree from an english speaking university.
  • Immigration History: If you have ever visited the US before on any visa other than tourist, please send me the start and end dates of all visits as well as the visa category you entered under and the name of the sponsor (if applicable).
  • Dependents: If your spouse or children will be accompanying you on this visit please send me their names, relation to you, and copies of their passport biographical page. Please note your dependents may also be subject to the 24 month bar and section 212e as well.


Contact Information

Sean Campbell
User Services Representative 2
Northwestern Medicine and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine