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Sciana: The Health Leaders Network An initiative bringing together outstanding health leaders in Europe to problem-solve future challenges for health and wellbeing.  


This fellowship is closed for applications.

  • We are looking for mid-to-senior level leaders from the UK, Germany and Switzerland to join the sixth cohort ofth Sciana: The Health Leaders Network. 
  • Sciana Network offers a two-year systems leadership programme for health and wellbeing and supports cross-country and interdisciplinary connections, innovation and collaboration.
  • Each cohort will comprise of up to 18 outstanding health leaders, six each from Germany, Switzerland and the UK.
  • The progamme is now open for applications and will close on 30 June 2023.

About the programme

Sciana: The Health Leaders Network is an initiative bringing together outstanding leaders in Europe, which is dedicated to the joint exploration and collective problem-solving of future challenges for health and wellbeing.

The Sciana Network offers its fellows a systems leadership programme for health and wellbeing, including health care.

It is a network supporting cross-country and interdisciplinary connections, innovation and collaboration. It inspires fellows to grow through experimenting with new approaches, exploring ways of pushing boundaries and building strong alliances.

The Sciana Network offers time for reflection and collective support to think ahead on the big issues facing our health systems and their leaders today, as well as in the future.

The programme brings fellows together to question their understanding of leadership to foster systems change. It advocates asking uncomfortable questions and gives courage to deliver change where needed.   

The Sciana Network is supported by a partnership between the Health Foundation (UK), Careum Stiftung (Switzerland) and the Robert Bosch Stiftung (Germany) in collaboration with Salzburg Global Seminar.

Aligned with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals Agenda (SDG), the network actively contributes to the challenge set out in SDG 3 to ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages and SDG 17 to create partnership for the SDG goals.

The Sciana Network consists of a two-year residential and online programme focused on systems leadership for health, cross-health systems exchange and future health challenges. Further network activities are offered to all fellows to allow for continued active engagement beyond the initial programme.

The programme seeks to prepare fellows in three domains of systems change leadership through the following ways:

  • System insights on future challenges for health systems: Encouraging reflection, analysis and experiences of complex systems change; supporting opportunities for cross-boundary collaboration strategies; and developing a collective vision.
  • Collaborative leadership competencies: Exploring value-based forms of leadership that support quality improvement in health services and promote health, wellbeing, equity and inclusion; developing mindsets and skills for horizontal leadership in uncertain times.
  • Cross-boundary community building: Fostering a trusting and collaborative community within Sciana; supporting networking and collaboration across its fellowship and influential health system organisations; and a culture of peer support across all fellows of the network.

The network is for leaders who are primarily living and working in one of the three countries of the founding partners. It has up to 18 members in each cohort, with six members selected by each foundation from the UK, Switzerland and Germany.

Each cohort attends four five-day gatherings over a two-year period at Salzburg Global Seminar, Salzburg, Austria.

The leadership programme is a peer-learning experience centred around the Sciana challenge-based curriculum, where collaborating with health leaders and tackling real issues is a key focus of learning and networking.

The network activities are organised and coordinated by Salzburg Global Seminar.

Invitation to apply

We are now inviting applications from mid-to-senior level leaders from the UK to join the sixth cohort of the Sciana Network beginning in May 2024.

The theme for cohort 6 is ‘Systems leadership for new forms of health, care and wellbeing’.

We are looking for leaders who can catalyse and empower collective action among actors, organisations, and coalitions for systems-level change in health. Fellows chosen to join Cohort 6 will exchange strategies, pioneering work, innovations, and bold ideas in their work towards developing new forms of health promotion and care.

Fellows will also be encouraged to work in smaller project teams between formal meetings to collaborate on joint projects, which involves two to four hours per month. Fellows typically remain active within the network and are invited to contribute to the Sciana Network beyond their initial two-year fellowship.

The programme will allow participants to learn from other fellow’s pioneering work across Germany, Switzerland, and the UK and from international experts. In addition, fellows will be given ample space and support to incubate and test news cross-boundary collaborations among the group in the form of an applied leadership project, called the Sciana Challenge.

The programme is led by Sir David Behan, Chair of Cohort 6 and Mary Helen Pombo, Director of Sciana in close collaboration with the founding FoundationsSciana advisors, and experts in the field.

Tentative dates for cohort 6 meetings:

  • Residential meeting 1: 1418 May 2024
  • Residential meeting 2: 2428 November 2024
  • Residential meeting 3: 1115 May 2024
  • Residential meeting 4: 2327 November 2024

Note: These dates include travel time to and from Salzburg. On the first day, participants arrive in the evening and on the last day participants travel back home in the morning. The programme takes place over three days.

How to apply

If you are interested in applying, please find further information about the Sciana Network, cohort 6 theme, the selection criteria, frequently asked questions and how to apply by visiting the Sciana website: https://www.sciananetwork.org/join-us 

Deadline for applications is 30 June 2023. 

We will be responding to applications by September 2023. If you are selected for the next application round, you'll be invited to an online interview with the foundations and Salzburg Global Seminar. The final interview will take place in person.

If you have any questions about the Sciana Network, please see the FAQs or contact Sciana Programme Manager, Charlotte Müer, cmueer@salzburgglobal.org

If you have any questions about the UK application process, after reading the selection criteria and the FAQs, contact ruth.thorlby@health.org.uk

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