Frequently Asked Questions for the International Research Scientist Development Award (IRSDA)

    Following find answers to frequently asked questions International Research Scientist Development Award (IRSDA) applicants for the program announcement PAR-13-072, released January 4, 2013.

    1. I have independent research funding. Am I eligible for an IRSDA award?

      No. Former and current PDs/PIs on major research grants supported by the NIH, the Federal Government or other funding organizations are not eligible for an IRSDA.


    2. Are there any restrictions on research topics?

      There are no restrictions on research topics. However, please note the following:

      • The research has to be conducted in a developing country.
      • The topic should be relevant to the priority health needs of the developing country.
      • If the methodology includes a clinical trial, applicants should consult with relevant Fogarty staff as it is beyond the scope of this award for Fogarty to be the primary sponsor of a clinical trial. (See question 14, Can I conduct a clinical trial under this award?)

    3. How do I find out what countries are classified as "developing?"

      For a current listing of developing countries, please refer to the list of low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) defined by the World Bank.


    4. How much time am I required to devote abroad?

      IRSDA recipients must agree to spend a minimum of 50 percent of the total grant period and at least three months per year physically in-country conducting research at the LMIC research institution.


    5. How many mentors am I required to have?

      IRSDA applicants must have two mentors: a U.S. mentor and a LMIC mentor. The U.S.-based mentor must be located at the sponsoring institution. The LMIC-based mentor is expected to have a primary faculty appointment at the LMIC research institution. Details about the roles and responsibilities of both mentors are described in detail in the announcement. Additional mentors may be included in a mentoring team.


    6. Are foreign applicants eligible?

      No, the individual must be a citizen or a non-citizen national of the United States or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence (i.e., possess a currently valid Permanent Resident Card USCIS Form I-551 or other legal verification of such status).


    7. Am I required to have research experience beyond my doctoral degree?

      Yes, candidates must demonstrate that they have research experience beyond their doctoral training as evidenced by lead authorship of and/or significant contribution to research publications in peer-reviewed journals, presentations at international meetings, and research fellowships. The research or health-professional doctoral degree must have been received at least two years prior to the IRSDA application deadline.


    8. How much support can I get through the grant?


      • Salary support: up to $ 75,000 plus applicable fringe benefits per year.
      • Research support: up to $ 30,000 per year.

    9. How many years of support will be covered?

      Applicants can request three to five years of support.


    10. How do I designate the LMIC institution in my application?

      The LMIC institution must be designated as an Additional Project/Performance Site Location.


    11. How many awards will be issued each year?

      The total number of awards will depend upon the quality and merit of applications received and contingent upon availability of funds.


    12. If my initial application is unsuccessful, can I reapply?

      Yes, you can. Please note that the new rules limit you to only one resubmission. For details please see NIH Notice on the updated NIH Policy on Resubmission (Amended) Applications (NOT-OD-09-003), released October 8, 2008.


    13. If I do not meet the eligibility requirements for IRSDA, are there other career awards that I can apply for?

      You may be eligible for other NIH career development awards offered through other NIH Institutes and Centers.


    14. Can I conduct a clinical trial under this award?

      It is beyond the scope of this award for the Fogarty International Center to be the primary sponsor of a clinical trial.

      The NIH defines a clinical trial as a prospective biomedical or behavioral research study of human subjects that is designed to answer specific questions about biomedical or behavioral interventions (drugs, treatments, devices, or new ways of using known drugs, treatments or devices).

      If the research proposed in the IRSDA application includes a clinical trial, the candidate must identify the primary sponsor of the trial and provide documentation that the sponsoring institution has an approved data and safety monitoring plan in place and provide a brief description of the key elements in the plan. Candidates proposing to conduct clinical trials should consult with relevant Fogarty International Center staff.


    15. What are the allowable costs for the research development funds?

      • Tuition and fees related to career development
      • Research expenses, such as supplies, equipment and technical personnel
      • Travel to developing country site for research, research meetings or training
      • Statistical and computational services including personnel and computer time

      Salary for mentors, secretarial and administrative assistance, etc. is NOT allowed. In addition, in no case may funds be requested that duplicate funds already being provided by other research support.

    Updated January 2013

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