The Vanderbilt-MMC Fogarty International Clinical Research Scholars Support Center (FICRS) seeks to nurture and manage global health research training within centers of excellence identified by the NIH in developing countries. Our goal is to help train and inspire both US and foreign graduate students in research techniques and topic areas applicable to resource-limited and/or tropical countries. Our response to this RFA builds on our experience as the current partner of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) in the management of the FIC/Ellison Medical Foundation """"""""Overseas Fellowships in Global Health and Clinical Research"""""""", now terminating. Our proposed FICRS will have expanded responsibilities, as delineated by the RFA, including direct funding of the sites responsible for the mentorship of the Fogarty International Scholars (FIS), funding the stipends and expenses of the scholars, and substantial web-based information systems. These duties join the incumbent responsibilities of organizing the selection and matching process for FIS yearly, providing the orientation training at the NIH in July, and establishing a very long-term (20 year) trainee tracking system. The substantial administrative role of funding the sponsoring sites and the FIS will also be centralized into the FICRS. One vision underlying our application is efficient administration of career-transforming experiences designed to nurture careers in international clinical and public health research. We have capped our total budget at 15% for administration, ensuring that 85% go into the direct training and support of the FIS themselves. To further maximize the number of trainees that can be supported and the quality of research that they can do, we propose to seek co-payments from the graduate schools of the selected students, investing the schools themselves with a concrete interest in the training outcome, and seeking to institutionalize this program, at least in part, in U.S. academia to ensure its sustainability.
The Specific Aims focus on facilitating all aspects of mentored clinical research training for graduate-level U.S. health sciences students and host country counterparts at international sites collaborating with competitively funded U.S. investigators of renown. We have reached out to schools of medicine (allopathic, osteopathic, and veterinary), nursing, public health, dentistry, optometry, and pharmacy so far, including minority-serving institutions and FIC/NIH """"""""Global Framework"""""""" grantees.
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