INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH SCIENTIST DEVELOPMENT AWARD

Release Date:  December 21, 1999

RFA:  TW-00-005

Fogarty International Center

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  February 18, 2000
Application Receipt Date:       March 29, 2000

PURPOSE

The International Research Scientist Development Award (IRSDA) is 
offered by the FIC for U.S. postdoctoral biomedical scientists, in the 
formative stages of their careers, who seek an opportunity to continue 
research in, or extend their research experience into, developing 
countries.  It provides the successful candidate with a period of 
mentored research as part of a strong, established collaboration 
between a U.S. sponsor and leading developing country scientist at an 
internationally recognized research institution.  It is expected that, 
following this experience, the candidate will be able to pursue an 
independent and productive international research career, involving 
ongoing collaboration with developing country scientists, to more 
effectively pursue research relevant to stemming a major global health 
problem.

Background

In this award the Fellow will have the opportunity to establish a 
direct collaboration with an established foreign scientist and maintain 
a scientific base with a U.S. investigator who is involved in 
collaborative research at the developing country institution where the 
applicant will work.  It is expected that these awards will serve to 
forge working relationships between outstanding U.S. scientists, early 
in their careers, who are potential future heads of basic, clinical and 
behavioral/social health research programs in the U.S., and 
established, developing country researchers, to study global health 
problems of mutual interest.

The IRSDA is part of a long-term Fogarty International Center (FIC) 
strategy to support centers of research excellence in developing 
countries that address global health research priorities. This support 
is envisioned to:

o  Attract new research talent to and enhance the multi-disciplinary 
synergy among the research collaborators at the U.S. and foreign sites;

o  Leverage existing research and training support for developing 
country scientists and U.S. scientists committed to international 
research;

o  Support the coalescence of the critical, sustainable components 
necessary to move developing country institutions with significant 
potential to new levels of research excellence;

o  Stimulate a more effective translation of the results of research on 
global health problems into practical public health actions;

Overall, this strategy seeks to reduce health disparities between 
developed and developing countries and between population groups within 
countries.

HEALTHY PEOPLE 2000

The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health 
promotion and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2000," a 
PHS-led national activity for setting priority areas.  This Request for 
Applications (RFA), International Research Scientist Development Award, 
is related to one or more of the priority areas.  Potential applicants 
may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2000" at 
http://odphp.osophs.dhhs.gov/pubs/hp2000.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

To be eligible for the award the applicant must be:

1.  A U.S. citizen or non-citizen national or lawfully admitted for 
permanent residence and in possession of an Alien Registration Receipt 
Card (I-151 or I- 551) or some other verification of legal admissions 
as a permanent resident. Non-citizen nationals are usually born in 
areas that are not states but are under U.S. sovereignty, jurisdiction 
or administration.  Individuals on temporary or student visas are not 
eligible;

2.  Hold a doctoral, dental or medical degree or the equivalent in a 
health science field;

3.  Have earned the relevant degree within seven years of the 
application receipt date (not including clinical training);

4.  Have demonstrated a commitment and competence in health research as 
well as the potential to engage in independent and productive basic 
biomedical, behavioral or epidemiological/clinical research in the 
period following the award;

5.  Have a mentor in an internationally recognized developing country 
research institution addressing one or more of that country's major 
health problems.  Eligible countries include those in the following 
regions (subject to U.S. State Department travel restrictions):  
Africa, Asia (except Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan), Russia 
and countries of the Former Soviet Union, Central and Eastern Europe, 
Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East (except Israel) and 
the Pacific Ocean Islands (except Australia and New Zealand).  
Applications to work in institutions in sub-Saharan Africa are 
especially encouraged.

6.  Have a U.S. mentor at an institution of higher learning or 
nonprofit research institution with ongoing, funded, international 
collaborative research with the foreign mentor in that scientist's 
country or region. Funding may include (but is not limited to) sources 
such as a NIH R01 grant with a foreign component, Fogarty International 
Research Collaboration Award, World Health Organization grant, 
Burroughs-Wellcome Foundation grant or other international agency 
funding. 

7.  Submit a research proposal related to but not overlapping with the 
collaborative research project of the U.S. and foreign site mentors;

8.  Candidates must justify the need for a three-year period of 
mentored research training, including research experience at the 
foreign site.  The applicant must be able to show that the proposed 
period of support will substantially enhance his/her career and/or will 
allow the pursuit of a novel or promising approach to a particular 
developing country health research problem.

9.  Applications must be submitted on behalf of the candidate by the 
U.S. mentor's institution, which must be a U.S. non- federal, public or 
private, institution of higher education (or academic medical centers 
affiliated with such institutions).  The applicant need not already be 
at the U.S. mentor's institution at the time of application, but it is 
expected that the U.S. component of the project will be carried out by 
the Fellow at the U.S. mentor's institution. 

9.  Candidates who are more than seven years beyond the Ph.D., but who 
have interrupted their careers because of illness or family 
commitments, may also apply.  They must clearly demonstrate the 
potential for productive independent research and the need for an 
additional period of mentored research experience in order to 
accomplish an effective scientific re-entry.

10.  Minorities, women, and individuals with disabilities are 
encouraged to apply.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

This RFA will use the NIH career development (K01) award mechanism.  
Planning, direction and execution of the project proposed will be the 
responsibility of the candidate, her/his mentor at the foreign site and 
her/his U.S. mentor on behalf of the applicant institution.  The 
project period should be for three years (at least two years at the 
foreign site institution and a maximum of twelve months at the U.S. 
institution, whenever most appropriate for the project).  Competing 
renewal applications may be submitted during the third year of the 
award for two additional years of funding for continuing collaborative 
international research studies by grantees obtaining tenure-track 
faculty status at a U.S. institution.

This RFA will be used to solicit applications for peer review once, in 
FY2000.  Based on an assessment of the success of this pilot effort, 
this award may be offered as part of an ongoing program announcement 
(PA) in FY 2001.  

FUNDS AVAILABLE

The FIC intends to commit approximately $500,000 to fund approximately 
seven to eight awards of up to $70,000 each in FY 2000.  Although the 
financial plans of the FIC provide support for this program, awards 
pursuant to this RFA are contingent upon the availability of funds and 
the receipt of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

RESEARCH AND TRAINING OBJECTIVES

The IRSDA provides international research opportunities (in eligible 
developing countries) for U.S. postdoctoral biomedical, 
epidemiological/clinical and behavioral scientists, with cutting edge 
technical training, and who are committed to careers in international 
health research.  The award supports direct collaboration between the 
U.S. scientist and established developing country sponsor on a research 
project of mutual interest in the context of an ongoing relationship 
between the U.S. and foreign sponsors.  The award is specifically 
designed to facilitate the candidate's transition between the U.S. and 
foreign institutions and to enhance subsequent pursuit of an 
independent research career.  In the long term, it is expected that 
these awards will serve to forge relationships between a new generation 
of U.S. scientists and established scientists in developing countries.  
It is expected that such ongoing collaborations will work to address 
global health problems and to reduce global health disparities.

The IRSDA offers three years of intensive, mentored research experience 
in a clinical, field or lab setting associated with a strong research 
collaboration at a well-recognized research institution in developing 
countries.  At least two years should be at the foreign site under the 
joint supervision of the U.S. and foreign mentors.  A total of up to 12 
months (whenever most appropriate for the project) may be spent at the 
U.S. institution under the U.S. mentor's supervision in order to 
support the transitions between foreign and U.S. institutions.  
Grantees, who obtain a tenure-track faculty position at any U.S. 
institution, upon return to the U.S., may submit a competitive renewal 
application during the third year of the award for an additional two 
years of funding for continuing collaborative international research 
studies.

The specific research training may be new to the candidate or an 
extension of the candidate's prior research, but should focus on 
international research areas pertinent to health in developing 
countries.  Applications are encouraged to address one of the global 
health research priorities defined by the World Health Organization 
(http://www.who.ch) which include, but are not limited to, infectious 
diseases, chronic/degenerative conditions and mental health disorders.  
Basic, behavioral/social and clinical biomedical research will be 
supported in clinical, field or laboratory settings. 

The FIC recognizes that there will be significant differences in the 
U.S. and foreign institutional environments, applicants, U.S. sponsor 
and foreign mentor backgrounds and approaches to international research 
collaboration among applications.  Therefore, applicants should define 
their specific research and training goals, methods to achieve these 
goals, and specific measurable objectives to enable assessment their 
proposed project with reference to the overall goals described above.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

Evaluation

Recipients may be contacted periodically after the completion of the 
award for updates on the progress of their careers including their 
employment history, publications, receipt of research grants or 
contracts, honors and awards, professional activities and achievements 
and other information required for an evaluation of the impact of the 
program.

Protection of Research Subjects

Applicable provisions for the protection of research subjects and 
laboratory animals must be met in both domestic and foreign 
institutions, including obtaining any necessary single project 
assurances.  Applicants should see Title 45 CFR, Part 46 for 
information concerning the Department of Health and Human Services 
regulations for the Protection of Human Subjects and the PHS Policy on 
Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.  These are available from: 

The Office for the Protection from Research Risks,
National Institutes of Health 
6100 Executive Boulevard, MSC 7507
Rockville, MD 20892-7507
http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/.

INCLUSION OF WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS

It is the policy of the NIH that women and members of minority groups 
and their sub-populations must be included in all NIH supported 
biomedical, clinical and behavioral research projects involving human 
subjects, unless a clear and compelling rationale and justification is 
provided that inclusion is inappropriate with respect to the health of 
the subjects or the purpose of the research.  This policy results from 
the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 (Section 492B of Public Law 103-43).

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should 
read the "NIH Guideline for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as 
subjects in Clinical Research" which was published in the Federal 
Register of March 28, 1994 (FR 59 14508-14513) and in the NIH Guide for 
Grants and Contracts Vol.23 No.11, March 18, 1994, available on the web 
at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not94-100.html.

INCLUSION OF CHILDREN AS PARTICIPANTS IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN 
SUBJECTS

It is the policy of NIH that children (i.e. individuals under the age 
of 21) must be included in all human subject research conducted or 
supported by the NIH unless there are scientific and ethical reasons 
not to include them.  This policy applies to all initial (Type 1) 
applications submitted for receipt dates after October 1, 1998.

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should 
read the "NIH Policy and Guidelines" on the Inclusion of Children as 
Participants in Research Involving Human subjects that was published in 
the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, March 6,1998 and is available 
at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-024.html.

Investigators also may obtain copies of these policies from the program 
staff listed under INQUIRIES.  Program staff may also provide 
additional relevant information concerning the policy.

LETTER OF INTENT

Prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that 
includes a descriptive title of the proposed research, the name, 
address, email address, telephone and fax number of the candidate, U.S. 
sponsor and foreign mentor, the participating U.S. and foreign 
institutions and the number and title of this RFA. Although a letter of 
intent is not required, is not binding and does not enter into the 
review of a subsequent application, the information that it contains 
allows the FIC staff to estimate the potential review workload and 
avoid conflict of interest in the review.  The letter of intent is to 
be sent to the program staff listed under INQUIRIES by the receipt date 
listed in the heading of this RFA.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

The research grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 4/98) is to be used 
in applying for these grants.  Applicants should use the additional 
instructions for preparing an Individual Research Career Awards 
Application "K" series on pages IV1-IV7 in Form 398 when preparing 
their applications.  These forms are available at most institutional 
offices of sponsored research and from the Division of Extramural 
Outreach and Information Resources, National Institutes of Health, 6701 
Rockledge Drive, MSC 7910, Bethesda, MD 20892-7910, telephone 301-435-
0714, email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov or at the website: 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/forms.htm.

The RFA label available in the PHS 398 application form must be affixed 
to the bottom of the face page of the application.  Failure to use this 
label could result in delayed processing of the application such that 
it may not reach the review committee in time for review.  In addition, 
the RFA title and number must be typed on line 2 of the face page of 
the application form and the YES box must be marked.  The RFA number 
must be typed on the label as well. The sample RFA label is available 
at the following URL: 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/label-bk.pdf.  Please note 
that this is in a pdf format.

The application must address the following issues:

Candidate

o  Establish the candidate's commitment to a career in international 
biomedical, clinical or behavioral research addressing a major global 
health problem;

o  Establish the candidate's potential to develop into a successful 
independent investigator;

o  Summarize the candidate's immediate and long-term career objectives, 
explaining how the award will contribute to their attainment.

o  Letters of recommendation.  Three sealed letters of recommendation 
from senior research scientists, addressing the candidate's potential 
for an international research career, must be included as part of the 
application.  One of the three letters should be from the applicant's 
thesis advisor, research supervisor, chief of staff or department head.  
Letters of recommendation should not be submitted from either the U.S. 
or foreign sponsor.

Career Development Plan

o  Describe the candidate's career development plan.  The plan should 
incorporate a detailed description of Ph.D. and other previous research 
experiences as well as an explanation of long-term career goals of the 
applicant and role of this award in achieving them including future 
foreign collaboration.  It should delineate a systematic approach to 
obtain the necessary basic biomedical or behavioral science background 
and research experience to launch an independent international research 
career addressing a major global health problem.

Training in Responsible Conduct of Research

o  Candidates must describe evidence of previous training or plans to 
receive instruction in the responsible conduct of research in an 
international context.  The topics of, format, frequency and duration 
of instruction as well as the amount and nature of faculty 
participation should be detailed.  NO AWARD WILL BE MADE if an 
application lacks this component.

Research Plan

o  Describe the research plan as outlined in form PHS 398 and the use 
of a basic science or clinical approach to a biomedical or behavioral 
problem including the Specific Aims, Background and Significance, 
Progress Report/Preliminary Studies, Research Design and Methods 
sections.  It should include an annual schedule of planned activities 
at the U.S and foreign sites during the award period.  The research 
plan should serve as a justification for conducting research abroad and 
provide a clear description of the relationship between the proposed 
research and current research efforts at U.S. and foreign labs.

U.S. and Foreign Mentor Statements

o  The application must include information from the U.S. and foreign 
mentors including their research qualifications and previous experience 
and record in supervising research training (number of Ph.D. and post-
docs mentored and their current career status).  Both U.S. and foreign 
mentors should submit Biographical Sketches, Other Support and 
Resources Forms.  The application must also include a detailed plan for 
the supervision of the Fellow, by both mentors, at each institution, 
during the proposed award period.

U.S. and Foreign Institutional Commitments

o  The extent and quality of the research environment, relevant to the 
candidate's research focus, should be described for the U.S. and 
foreign institutions.  The research environment includes faculty and 
staff capable of productive collaboration with the candidate, seminars 
and opportunities for interactions with other research groups and 
scientists and available research facilities and equipment.

o  A detailed description of overall research funding at the foreign 
institution (government, non-governmental and international sources), 
specific for the proposed research area, should be included to support 
its status as an existing or potential center of research excellence.

Budget

Budget requests must be provided according to instructions in form PHS 
398 as modified by the Just-In-Time Procedures instituted in 1996 (NIH 
Guide for Grants and Contracts, Vol. 25, No. 10, March 29, 1996 and as 
modified in Vol. 25, Number 16, May 17, 1996), including information on 
the mentor's pending and current research support, as stipulated.

No detailed budget is required.  However, total direct costs for all 
years must be provided in addition to the name, role on project and 
percent effort.  In addition, Other Support information for the 
applicant is not required as part of the initial application.  However, 
Other Support information is required for the mentor and co-mentor.  If 
there is a possibility for an award, necessary budget and Other Support 
information for the applicant will be requested by FIC staff following 
the initial review. 

Each award, during the initial three years, must not exceed a total of 
$70,000 per year direct costs. All awards are anticipated to be made by 
September 29, 2000.

Allowable direct costs (within the $70,000 cap) include:
1.  Salary and fringe benefits for up to $50,000 equivalent to a full 
time, 12-month staff appointment based on the level of experience of 
the candidate (i.e. comparable to other staff members of equivalent 
qualifications, rank and responsibilities in the U.S. sponsor's 
department).  The institution may supplement the NIH contribution to 
the candidate's salary up to a level that is consistent with the 
institution's salary scale.  Institutional supplementation of salary 
must not require extra duties or responsibilities that would interfere 
with the purpose of the award.  The FIC will consider a request for an 
administrative supplement, up to $20,000, during the third year of the 
award, for candidates who obtain a tenure-track faculty position upon 
return to the U.S., in order to bring the salary to a level more 
consistent to the institution's scale for that status; 
2.  Travel Costs: Round trip economy class airfare (on a U.S. carrier) 
and necessary ground transportation for the candidate to the foreign 
site up to once per year; Roundtrip economy airfare for each dependent 
accompanying the awardee for six months or more abroad; Excess baggage 
allowance;
3.  Health insurance and Living Allowance: May cover health insurance 
costs of up to $50 per month, for the candidate and each dependent, 
during the time abroad, and allow a supplemental living allowance of 
$150 per month for each dependent accompanying the awardee for six 
months or more abroad; 
4.  Research Development Support: These funds may be used for the 
following expenses:  (a) tuition, fees, and books related to career 
development; (b) research  expenses, such as supplies, equipment and 
technical personnel; (c) in-country travel required for research, 
research meetings or training; (d) statistical and computational 
services (including personnel and computer time (e) Language training. 
All expenses must be directly related to the proposed research career 
development program.  

Facilities and Administrative costs of eight percent are applied to 
allowable direct costs.

Submission of Application

Submit a signed, typewritten original and three (3) signed copies of 
the application, including the Checklist in one package to: 

CENTER FOR SCIENTIFIC REVIEW
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
6701 ROCKLEDGE DRIVE, ROOM 1040, MSC 7710
BETHESDA, MD 20892-7710
20817 (for express/courier service) 

Send two (2) copies and appendices to Dr. Madelon Halula (listed in 
INQUIRIES below).

Applications must be received by the application receipt date listed in 
the heading of this RFA.  If an application is received after that 
date, it will be returned to the applicant without review.

The Center for Scientific Review (CSR) will not accept any application 
in response to this RFA that is essentially the same as one currently 
pending initial review, unless the applicant withdraws the pending 
application.  This does not preclude the submission of substantial 
revisions of an application already reviewed, but such applications 
must include an introduction addressing the previous critique.

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Applications will be reviewed for completeness by the CSR.  Incomplete 
applications will be returned to the applicant without further 
consideration.  

Applications that are complete, and responsive to the RFA, will be 
evaluated for scientific and technical merit.  Peer review will be 
conducted by a peer review group convened by the National Institute of 
Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in accordance with the standard 
NIH peer review procedures.  As part of the initial merit review, a 
process will be used by the initial review group in which applications 
receive a written critique and undergo a process in which only those 
applications deemed to have the highest scientific merit, generally the 
top half of the applications under review, will be discussed, assigned 
a priority score, and receive a second level review by the FIC Advisory 
Board.

Review Criteria

The goals of NIH supported research are to advance our understanding of 
biological systems, improve the control of disease and enhance health.

The following specific review criteria will be applied:

Candidate

o  Commitment to an independent international research career including 
potential to contribute to knowledge that will address a major global 
health problem;

o  Potential to develop (or evidence of the capacity to develop) as an 
independent investigator pursuing international research;

o  Quality and relevance of prior scientific training and experience 
including detailed description of previous research, record of previous 
research support and publications;

Career Development Plan

o  Likelihood that the plan will contribute substantially to the 
scientific development of the candidate, the achievement of scientific 
independence and ongoing involvement in collaborative international 
research;

o  Appropriateness of the research plan to the career goals of the 
candidate;

o  Appropriateness of the plan to increase conceptual and theoretical 
knowledge in the research area proposed;

o  Consistency of the career development plan with the candidate's 
prior research and academic experience and the stated career goals;

o  Clarity of the goals and scope of the plan and the need for the 
proposed research experience at the foreign site;

o  Adequacy of the proposed training for responsible conduct of 
research in an international context.

Research Plan

o  Usefulness of the research plan as a vehicle for enhancing existing 
research skills as described in the career development plan;

o  Scientific and technical merit of the research question, design and 
methodology judged in the context of the candidate's previous training 
and experience;

o  Relevance of the proposed research to a major global health problem;

o  Relevance of the proposed research to the candidate's career 
objectives;

U.S. and Foreign Mentors

o  Appropriateness of U.S. and foreign mentors’ research and training 
qualifications for the proposed project;

o  The extent of the commitment of each mentor to supervising and 
guiding the candidate throughout the award period;

o  Adequacy of each mentor's previous experience in fostering the 
development of independent researchers highlighting persons involved 
international research;

o  Adequacy of each mentor's research productivity and grant support 
related to the proposed project.

U.S. and Foreign Institutional Environment

o  Adequacy of the research facilities at the U.S. and foreign 
institutions;

o  Adequacy of the training opportunities and quality of the 
environment for scientific and professional development at the U.S. and 
foreign institutions.  

Budget

Justification of the budget requests in relation to career development 
goals and research aims and plans.

Schedule

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:      February 18, 2000
Application Receipt Date:           March 29, 2000
Peer Review Date:                      June/July 2000
Advisory Board:                          September 2000
Earliest Anticipated Start Date:  September 29, 2000

AWARD CRITERIA

The criteria that will be used to make the award decisions include the 
scientific, technical and educational merit of the application as 
determined by peer review, the likelihood that the proposal will 
contribute to the achievement of the FIC's objectives and the 
availability of funds.

INQUIRIES

Inquiries concerning this RFA are encouraged.  The opportunity to 
clarify any issues or questions from potential applicants is welcome.

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:

Kathleen Michels, Ph.D.
Division of International Training and Research
Fogarty International Center
Building 31 Room B2C39
31 Center Drive MSC2220
Bethesda, MD 20892-2220
Telephone:  (301) 496-1653
FAX:  (301) 402-0779
Email:  IRSDA@nih.gov

Direct inquiries regarding review matters to:

Madelon Halula, Ph.D.
Scientific Review Program
NIAID DEA 
6700-B Rockledge Blvd Room 2217
Bethesda, MD 20817 (Fed Ex) or
Bethesda, MD 20992-7616 (US mail)
Telephone:  301 402-2636
FAX:  301 402-2638 (fax)
Email:  mh30x@nih.gov 

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Ms. Lee Ann Gschwind
Division of International Training and Research
Fogarty International Center
Building 31 Room B2C39
31 Center Drive MSC2220
Bethesda, MD 20892-2220
Telephone:  (301) 402-7335
FAX:  (301) 402-0779
Email:  Leeann_Gscwhind@nih.gov

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

The International Research Scientist Development Awards are made under 
the authority of Title III, Section 301 of the Public Health Service 
Act (Public Law 78-410, as amended by Public Law 99-158, 42 USC 241 and 
285) and administered under PHS grants policies and Federal Regulations 
42 CFR 52 and 45 CFR Part 74.  This program is described in the Catalog 
of Federal Domestic Assistance No. 93.121 and is not subject to the 
intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or 
Health Systems Agency review.

The PHS strongly encourages all grant recipients to provide a smoke-
free workplace and promote the non-use of all tobacco products.  In 
addition, public Law 103-227, the Pro-Children Act of 1994, prohibits 
smoking in certain facilities (or in some cases, any portions of a 
facility) in which regular or routine education, library, day care, 
health care or early childhood development services are provided to 
children.  This is consistent with the PHS mission to protect and 
advance the physical and mental health of the American people.


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