Request for Information (RFI): Organization and Configuration of the HIV-Related Research-Training Programs Administered by the Fogarty International Center

Notice Number: NOT-TW-10-006

Update: The following update relating to this announcement has been issued:

  • December 22, 2011 - See Issuance of PAR-12-070 (D71), PAR-12-069 (G11) and PAR-12-068 (D43).
  • February 16, 2011 - See Notice NOT-TW-11-010 Fogarty International Center to Consolidate HIV Research Training Programs.
  • December 13, 2010 - See Notice NOT-TW-11-004 and NOT-TW-11-005 This notice is to inform potential applicants that the competition for the Phase II International Implementation, Clinical, Operational, and Health Services Research Training Award for AIDS and Tuberculosis Program (U2R) and the competition for the AIDS International Training and Research Program (AITRP) (D43) has been suspended for the FY 2012 funding cycle.has been suspended for the FY 2012 funding cycle.

Key Dates
Release Date: May 18, 2010
Response Date: June 15, 2010

Issued by
Fogarty International Center (FIC) (

This Request for Information (RFI) is for information and planning purposes only and should not be construed as a solicitation or as an obligation on the part of the Federal Government, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Fogarty International Center (FIC). The FIC does not intend to make any awards based on responses to this RFI or to otherwise pay for the preparation of any information submitted or for the Government's use of such information.

Purpose and Objectives

FIC is seeking feedback and input on the design and organization of its two HIV-related research-training programs. FIC programs can be found at the FIC website: AIDS International Training and Research Programs ( and the International Clinical, Operations and Health Services Research Training Award for AIDS and TB ( The goal of the FIC HIV research-training portfolio is to maximize the contribution of research-related training to the ability of institutions in low-and middle-income countries (LMIC), as defined by the World Bank classification system, to respond to the evolving HIV-related epidemics in those countries. The objective of the potential redesign is to adjust the programs to most efficiently and effectively address this goal.


For over 20 years, the AIDS International Training and Research Program (AITRP) has been supporting innovative, collaborative research training for scientists from over 50 LMIC, contributing to sustainable research capacity in these countries. Over its history, the research training provided in the AITRP awards have responded to the evolving research agenda to address the HIV epidemic in the collaborating LMICs. The initial awards in 1988-92 were focused primarily on short-term laboratory and epidemiology training for individual scientists from LMICs. Currently, the AITRP is designed to support longer-term and higher-degree training in the full range of HIV-related scientific areas to strengthen the research and research training capacity of the LMIC institution.

U.S. institutions with strong HIV-related research training experience and with HIV-related research collaborations with LMIC institutions are eligible to apply for an AITRP award. Only one award is allowed per applicant institution. These US institutions partner with their LMIC collaborating institutions to define the research training needs and identify candidates from the LMIC to receive training in their joint research training programs. The size of each award varies and co-funding is provided by several NIH institutes and offices. In recognition of the increasing research and research-training capacity in many LMIC institutions, beginning in 2007, LMIC institutions became eligible to apply for two-year planning grants.
In 2002, a new program, International Clinical, Operations and Health Services Research Training Award for AIDS and TB (ICOHRTA-AIDS/TB) was designed to extend the research training supported through the AITRP. The ICOHRTA AIDS TB program supports integrated clinical, operations, health services and implementation research across the full range of HIV- or TB-related conditions. Only one award is allowed per LMIC institution. The ICOHRTA AIDS TB program has three unique features that differed from the AITRP:

  • The research training supported in the ICOHRTA AIDS TB is focused on clinical, operations and health services research to address the skills needed at institutions to design and conduct HIV/AIDS and TB research for the scale-up of promising interventions to the population and health care system level. Research training for implementation science was recently added to study strategies to adopt and integrate evidence-based health interventions and change practice patterns within specific LMIC settings.
  • To give the LMIC institutions a leadership role, the program is implemented in two phases with only LMIC institutions receiving planning grants in the first phase. The planning grant awardees determine their US partners and together they designed a training program in their applications for the full awards for research training made in the second phase.
  • The ICOHRTA AIDS TB program explicitly encourages training to develop and extend core research support capabilities at the institutional level that are necessary for long-term sustainability of the research capacity in the LMIC institution. These capabilities include expertise in ethics, compliance issues, fiscal management/ budgeting, program and grants administration, information technologies, technology transfer and management of intellectual property.

Current Situation

Over the past four years, the research and research capacity areas supported by the AITRP and ICOHRTA AIDS TB programs have begun to merge. At the same time, the flexibility of the FIC HIV-related research training programs to respond to emergent research training needs and opportunities with competing supplements has been reduced. In addition, FIC recognizes that the level of sophistication and the ability to support HIV-related research and research training has increased in many countries, particularly those in the Upper Middle Income grouping (see for list of the countries by income group).

Information Requested

FIC is seeking input, particularly from the US and LMIC scientific community, into opportunities to re-configure these two research training programs in order to continue to support the range of HIV-related research and research capacity needs of LMIC countries, but in a more flexible and timely way.

The following is a list of items for which FIC is seeking input:

  • Recognizing the areas of research training overlap between the two programs, input is welcome on the distinction and need for two separate HIV-related research training programs.
  • Elements of the programs that should/or should not be maintained in a possible re-configuration in order to support the existing and new research training partnerships between US and LMIC institutions.
  • Impact of the current restriction of only one award per applicant institution in each program on the ability to respond to emergent opportunities and needs.
  • The minimal level of funding needed to support a research training program with a distinct scientific focus.
  • Ways that the FIC research training programs might foster the investment of LMIC governments into their own research and research capacity.
  • Different ways and levels of support through FIC research training programs for low-, lower middle-, and upper middle-income countries
  • Ways in which the FIC HIV-related research-training programs can support the HIV-related research in LMICs supported by other NIH Institutes, Centers and Offices.
  • Options for the HIV-related research-training grants to support the Presidents; Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the broader Global Health Initiative of the U.S government.
  • Identification of research capabilities which are critically needed by a LMIC institution for long-term sustainability of the research capacity, but being neglected, and recommendations for ways that FIC programs can support training for these neglected capabilities.
  • Current important HIV-related scientific areas in LMICs that should be covered in the FIC research training program.

The above list of topics is not exclusive, and FIC welcomes any additional input on aspects on the organization and focus of its HIV-related research training programs. It is not necessary to respond to all of the points listed above.

Responding to this RFI is open and does not require that the responder have any prior connection to the current FIC HIV-related research training programs. Responses may be made anonymously.


Response will be accepted through June 14, 2010 and may be submitted electronically in MS Word or PDF format via email to (


Inquiries regarding this NOTICE should be directed to:

Jeanne McDermott
Division of International Training and Research
Fogarty International Center, NIH
Building 31, Room B2-C39
31 Center Drive, MSC-2220
Bethesda, MD 20892-2220 USA
Phone: 301-496-1492
Fax: 301-402-0779