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Call for Applications for Cohort 6 is now open until 30 June 2023.

Cohort 6 theme: Systems leadership for new forms of health, care and wellbeing

The future of health and care depends on a systems approach in response to the dramatic changes of our times, such as ageing, crises in health care, social care, and housing; growing inequalities and burden of mental health; and innovations in technology. Adapting to these challenges requires fundamentally new forms of health, care and wellbeing, which go well beyond today’s conventional approaches to health. Sciana believes health includes health promotion, prevention and early intervention, care includes the delivery of health care and social care, and wellbeing goes beyond physical health and includes mental wellbeing.

Leaders will need to be prepared to take on unprecedented efforts to galvanise cross-boundary commitments and collaborations to steer a truly transformative future for health.

What is systems leadership?

“Systems leadership is a set of skills and capacities that any individual or organisation can use to catalyse, enable and support the process of systems-level change. It combines collaborative leadership, coalition-building and systems insight to mobilise innovation and action across a large, decentralised network.

Transforming a complex system – such as [...] health systems – is a monumental task requiring coordinated action by people with very different viewpoints. These large-scale initiatives are often driven and supported by people who fit a certain profile – those who are able to catalyse and empower collective action among others, rather than controlling or directing the action themselves. These people are increasingly described as systems leaders.”

– David Nabarro, Co-Director, Institute of Global Health Innovation, Imperial College London

About the programme

Sciana: The Health Leaders Network cohort 6 will exchange strategies, pioneering work, innovations and bold ideas in their work towards developing new forms of health promotion and care, over the two-year systems leadership programme. The programme will give participants a chance to learn from other fellow’s pioneering work across Germany, Switzerland, and the UK and from international experts. 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.

Sciana is also committed to advancing learning and exchange around a series critical of critical issues including, population health (e.g. social cohesion, inequalities and health literacy); reforms and leadership; workforce shortage and skills; and health and climate change. 

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.

Who can apply?

At Sciana, we are committed to developing a generation of leaders advancing the future of care, health, and wellbeing.

Sciana looks for mid-to-senior level leaders in Germany, Switzerland, and the UK who are able to catalyse and empower collective action among actors, organisations and coalitions for systems-level change in health.

Selection criteria

Current work

  • Involved with leading collaborative work that is cross-sector and cross-disciplinary.
  • Holding a position in the field of health and/or public policy, research, science, digital health, technology, media, community development, industry, patient advocacy, innovation, or similar fields.


  • Experience of advancing new forms of health promotion and care through innovation, research, policymaking and/or community programmes, including influencing multiple stakeholders and systems (may also include experience of working at upstream determinants of health)


  • Collaborative skills and committed to engaging actively with a community of peers and experts.
  • Knowledge of, or experience with multiple international health systems (desirable)
  • Have excellent English language skills (knowledge of further languages is an advantage).

Qualities and interests

  • Entrepreneurial and strategic thinking, understanding the scale and complexity of key challenges facing health and health care systems.
  • Deep commitment to equity, quality, sustainability, universal coverage, and patient and community-centred care and wider endeavours as outlined in the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Committed to attending all seminars and meetings, which may require travel to Salzburg and local meetings.

We encourage all gender, race, and people with disabilities to apply. At Sciana, we value diversity and strive to create an inclusive community of healthcare leaders who come from different backgrounds and bring unique perspectives to the table.

What is the time commitment?

Sciana fellows are required to attend all four of the three-day gatherings in Salzburg over two years. Fellows are also encouraged to work in smaller project teams in between formal meetings to collaborate on joint projects, which involves 2-4 hours per month. Fellows typically remain active within the network and invited to contribute to Sciana beyond their initial two-year fellowship.

The tentative dates for the in-person meetings of cohort 6 in Salzburg are:

Residential Meeting 1:    14 - 18 May 2024 

Residential Meeting 2:    24 - 28 November 2024 

Residential Meeting 3:    11 - 15 May 2025 

Residential Meeting 4:    23 - 27 November 2025 

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?

Fill out the application form by 30 June, if you are available for all four meetings.

To help you prepare, here's what to expect from Sciana’s application portal:

1. Three questions

  • Motivation and experience: What is your interest in joining Sciana? (150 words max)
  • Leading new forms of health, care and wellbeing: What strategies, interventions or new thinking are you working on to advance new forms of health, care and wellbeing? What major challenges and opportunities are you currently facing? (200 words max) 
  • Collaborative leadership: “How do you envision translating your learning from the programme (e.g. leadership vision)?” (150 words max) 

2. Request for a CV/resume

3. Personal application video (optional)

Selection process

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, please see the FAQs or contact Sciana Programme Manager, Charlotte Müer.