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Fogarty Funding Concepts

Concepts represent early planning stages for program announcements, request for applications, or solicitations for Fogarty Advisory Board input. Clearance of a concept by Fogarty's Advisory Board does not guarantee it will become an initiative.

Updated September 16, 2019

Concepts

September 2019

Global Infectious Disease Research Training Program (D43)

Background and Rationale: Infectious diseases continue to impose a tremendous health burden in resource-poor countries throughout the world, claiming millions of lives annually and inflicting severe morbidity that results in significant losses in economic productivity and social progress. Attempts to control infectious diseases endemic to low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) suffer due to an incomplete understanding of the pathogens, disease manifestations and transmission mechanisms, inadequate preventive measures and interventions, and insufficient health services and disease control efforts. A major barrier to improved treatment and control of infectious diseases is the lack of capacity to conduct locally relevant infectious disease research often due to the scarcity of scientists and health professionals in LMICs with relevant research expertise. Therefore, the overall intent of the Global Infectious Disease Research Training Program is to engender scientific knowledge and skills that will enhance capacity at LMIC institutions to conduct research directly related to prevention, treatment and control of infectious diseases causing major morbidity and mortality. Applications that include countries with little current research capacity will be especially encouraged.

The specific objectives of the Global Infectious Disease Research Training Program are:

  • To develop research training opportunities and career development activities for a cadre of LMIC scientists and health research professionals to strengthen the capacity to conduct independent, sustainable infectious disease research at a LMIC institution in collaboration with a U.S. research institution.
  • To provide mentored training-related infectious disease research experience that is directly relevant to the health priorities of the LMIC.
  • To strengthen the capabilities of trainees at LMIC institutions to lead, manage and train others in infectious disease research.

Prior Initiatives: In 2003, FIC consolidated the requirements for non-HIV/AIDS infectious disease research-training programs under a single program announcement (PAR-03-012). These RFA-based programs included International Training and Research in Emerging Infectious Diseases (ITREID); Actions for Building Capacity in Support of International Centers for Infectious Disease Research (ABC/ICIDR); Tuberculosis International Training and Research; and International Malaria Research Training. The program announcement was reissued in FY2018 to include the new clinical trials requirements (PAR-18-840) and previously as PAR-17-057, PAR-14-193, PAR-10-260, PAR-08-154 and PAR-05-128. A companion program announcement (PAR 19-362), Planning Grant for Global Infectious Disease Research Training Program (D71), provides support for LMIC applicants to develop full research training program applications for this program.

Overview of Re-issued Program: Awards will support up to 5 years of mentored advanced research training (postdoctoral, degree and non-degree) for multiple trainees within an U.S.-LMIC collaboration. Each research training program should provide:

  • A strong foundation in research design, methods, and analytic techniques appropriate for the proposed infectious disease research area;
  • Jointly mentored experience conducting infectious disease research using state-of-the-art methods as well as opportunities for trainees to present and publish their research findings; and
  • Career enhancement skills (i.e. scientific writing & presentation, grant writing, data management, good clinical practice, biosafety, English as second language).

Relevance to FIC Strategic Plan:

Goal 1: Build research capacity through individuals, institutions and networks to meet future and evolving health challenges.

Strategic Priorities:

Eligibility: U.S. institutions are eligible to apply with collaborating LMIC institutions and LMIC institutions are eligible to apply with collaborating U.S. institutions. Each PD/PI must be designated as the PD/PI of at least one research award that is directly relevant to the scientific focus of the research training proposed and with at least 18 months of support remaining at the time of submission of the application.

Reissue Global Brain and Nervous System Disorders Research across the Lifespan (GLOBAL BRAIN) FOAs (R21, R01)

Proposal: The Global BRAIN program was established in 2002 to address the burden of neurological disorders across the lifespan in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The program is configured as two related trans-NIH announcements, a R21 planning/exploratory grant and a R01 application to a partner IC. As of 2018, 165 R21s and 61 R01s representing 41 LMICs were awarded. The current FOAs have one more 2019 receipt date. We propose to reissue program FOAs for another three years starting in 2020.

Purpose:

  1. Support research on nervous system development, function, health and impairment (neuro-health) at any life stage or across the lifespan on topics relevant to LMICs;
  2. Build neuro-health research capacity among LMIC partners and institutions involved in a specific research project;
  3. Encourage initiatives that lead to appropriate and innovative diagnostics, prevention, and treatment strategies;
  4. Encourage collaboration among LMIC institutions;
  5. Promote career development of young LMIC investigators in neuro-health related research.

Eligibility: Domestic and foreign institutions are eligible to apply for both the R21 and R01 FOAs. Applications must be submitted as collaborations between institutions in at least 2 different countries: a U.S. OR an Upper-Middle Income Country (UMIC) with a LMIC (including UMIC-UMIC collaborations). The R01 is intended to provide an investigator with the opportunity to further develop collaborative pilot research conducted in the LMIC countr(ies), so the scientist submitting an R01 may either have a previous R21 under this program or alternatively, show strong evidence of an ongoing research collaboration with strong global health infrastructure being developed at the LMIC institution(s). Furthermore, the research proposed in the R01 must coincide with the research interests of a participating partner organization or partner NIH IC, as FIC co-funds but does not routinely award the R01.

Priority Areas: Target research areas include broadly nervous system function, behavior, neuro-health and disease across the lifespan, including for example, neurological, neuropsychiatric, addictive, neuro-developmental and neurodegenerative diseases and disorders; and topics of special relevance in LMICs such as neuro-infectious diseases, neuro-trauma and seizure disorders. Research may cover impacts on individuals or populations at a certain life stage or across the lifespan. Researchers focusing on genetic, epigenetic and environmental drivers, factors that affect healthy brain development and aging, health care delivery, and socio-economic factors are also encouraged. Applications may focus across the spectrum of research types: basic, epidemiological, clinical, health services, translational and implementation research. Lab, human, animal and population-based studies are all accepted. As an option, applicants are also encouraged to leverage research collaboration networks within a specific diseases or disorder-related topical area to build enhanced in-country and regional research capacity.

May 2019

HIV-associated Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) Research at Low- and Middle-Income Country (LMIC) Institutions

Purpose/Goals and Objectives: Support locally relevant research in critical areas of HIV-associated non-communicable diseases (NCDs) at Low- and Middle-Income Country (LMIC) Institutions to enhance research capacity and build a network of researchers both within and across LMICs to address this critical burden. Research may be proposed in the following broad categories: basic mechanistic studies, aging process, diagnostics, therapeutic interventions, behavioral studies, clinical studies, access and continuity of care, and implementation science.

Background/Rationale: NCDs are responsible for over 70% of deaths globally and 85% of these deaths occur in LMICs, where 15 million people aged 30 to 69 die prematurely. People living with HIV (PLWH) also have high rates of NCDs. Increasing uptake of antiretroviral therapy (ART) has led to decreased mortality rates due to HIV. Thus, PLWH on ART are developing non-HIV-related chronic conditions of aging similar to the uninfected population. Moreover, HIV-infected individuals stable on ART are at higher risk of non-communicable diseases, particularly hypertension, diabetes mellitus, renal disease, pulmonary disease, cardiovascular disease, cancer, bone abnormalities and liver failure. HIV infection itself also seems to be associated with an accelerated aging process. More research is needed to understand the relationships between PLWH and NCDs in order to design interventions aimed at decreasing the effects of such co-morbidities.

Prior FIC Initiatives: Global Noncommunicable Diseases and Injury Across the Lifespan: Exploratory Research (R21 Clinical Trials Optional)

3/56 awarded grants were directed to HIV associated NCD research.

FIC conducted two initiatives in this area with multiple stake holders over the last several years that resulted in papers captured in two major journal supplements:

Overview of the Proposed Program: Through this initiative we hope to stimulate new research on the interplay between HIV and development of NCDs in PLWH and uncovering to what extent HIV infection influences the pathogenic effects of comorbid conditions. We expect that the new research will fill gap areas via exploratory studies to understand the etiopathogenesis of NCDs in HIV-positive people for effective diagnosis, prevention, therapeutic interventions and integrated clinical care.

Applicants will also be asked to address the needs of collaborating LMIC institutions to develop capacity for carrying out research in this field. Research teams should contain an appropriate mix of disciplines to accomplish the proposed studies. Partnerships between HIV and NCD researchers are expected to form the interdisciplinary teams. The small research grant mechanism to initiate new ideas and to determine feasibility is aptly suited for exploratory studies of novel approaches to understand and reduce the long-term suffering from the comorbid disorders. Applicants should develop their studies in keeping with the NIH and OAR priorities for HIV research.

Relevance to FIC Strategic Plan: The proposed initiative supports several of FIC’s strategic goals. It builds research capacity through individuals, institutions, and networks to meet future and evolving global health challenges It stimulates innovation in the development and implementation of technologies and other locally relevant solutions to address global health problems (Goal 2). It advances research on prevention and control of the dual burden of communicable and noncommunicable diseases and disabilities (Goal 4). It builds and strengthens partnerships to advance global health research and research capacity (Goal 5).

Eligibility: US and LMIC investigators for work to be done in partnership at LMIC sites.

February 2019

Hubs of Interdisciplinary Research and Training in Global Environmental and Occupational Health (GEOHealth)

Purpose: To support the development of institutions in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) that serve as regional hubs for collaborative research, data management, training, curriculum and outreach material development, and policy support around high-priority local, national and regional environmental and occupational health threats; and to support a global network of hubs that serves as a platform for coordinated research and training activities in environmental and occupational health.

Background: The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that in 2012, 12.6 million deaths globally, representing 23% of all deaths, were attributable to the environment, and that 22% of the global burden of disease is due to the environment (1). Meanwhile, more than two million workers around the world die each year due to occupational injury or illness, and 317 million people suffer from work related injuries, costing the global economy billions of dollars (2). The burden is highest in LMICs, particularly in Africa, Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific. Although LMICs suffer more from environmental and occupational hazards, in many cases, inadequate capacity exists to study and mitigate these problems.

The Global Environmental and Occupational Health (GEOHealth) Hub program originated from a reengineering of the Fogarty International Center’s (FIC’s) long-standing International Training and Research in Environmental and Occupational Health (ITREOH) program. The ITREOH program provided research training to nearly 200 scientists at 34 institutions in 43 countries. Because of this breadth, there was less investment in any one program or LMIC institution. The goal of the new GEOHealth program was to develop a handful of regional science hubs, based in LMICs, that would become internationally-recognized centers for environmental and occupational health research, ideally serving the multinational regions in which they reside (3).

In 2015, FIC funded seven GEOHealth Hubs in partnership with the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC). The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves also participates in the program by offering supplemental funding. The GEOHealth Hubs are supported by two linked cooperative agreement awards, with a research award to the LMIC institution and a research training award to the US institution. To date, the GEOHealth program has 1) supported research on air pollution, electronic waste, agricultural health, neurotoxicants, climate change and occupational health, 2) provided research training to over 100 LMIC trainees, often directly associated with the research supported through the linked LMIC GEOHealth research award, 3) supported new degree programs in environmental health at LMIC institutions, 4) supported cross-network research and training activities, and 5) engaged local stakeholders and decision and policy makers through workshops and outreach efforts.

Continued development of LMIC-based hubs that conduct high-quality research, that train a research workforce with cutting-edge skills to understand and interpret environmental and occupational health threats, and that provide a means of engagement with decision and policy makers is essential for addressing existing challenges and to be poised to address emerging global environmental and occupational health challenges.

Prior FIC Initiatives:

  • RFA-TW-14-001: Hubs of Interdisciplinary Research and Training in Global Environmental and Occupational Health (GEOHealth) - Research (U01)
  • RFA-TW-14-002: Hubs of Interdisciplinary Research and Training in Global Environmental and Occupational Health (GEOHealth) - Research Training (U2R)

Overview of the Proposed Program: The GEOHealth program will continue to support the development of LMIC-based hubs through funding announcements inviting new and renewal linked applications. The program will continue to support hubs as linked awards with coordinated management -- a research award to an LMIC institution linked to a research training award to a U.S. institution, with other collaborating U.S. and LMIC institutions as “spokes”. GEOHealth Hubs are expected to bring together multiple disciplines to advance the pace of scientific discovery, initially in one focal environmental or occupational health area.

Relevance to FIC Strategic Plan: The GEOHealth program supports the research capacity building of individuals, their institutions, and regional and global GEOHealth networks, fostering a sustainable platform to address priority needs in environmental and occupational health (Goal 1). The program supports activities that bring researchers and policy makers together to enhance uptake of evidence in policy and practice (Goal 3). The program focuses on the growing burden of noncommunicable diseases (Goal 4). The structure of the program fosters institutional research and training collaborations and benefits from several funding partnerships across the NIH, HHS, and internationally (Goal 5).

Citations:

  1. Prüss-Ustün A, Wolf J, Corvalán C, Bos R and Neira M. 2016. Preventing disease through healthy environments: A global assessment of the burden of disease from environmental risks. World Health Organization. ISBN 978 92 4 156519 6. Accessed 7 February 2019.
  2. International Labor Organization. 2012. Estimating the Economic Costs of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses in Developing Countries: Essential Information for Decision-Makers. ISBN 978-92-2-127015-7. Accessed 7 February 2019.
  3. Rosenthal J, Jessup C, Felknor S, Humble M, Bader F, and Bridbord K. 2012. International Environmental and Occupational Health: From Individual Scientists to Networked Science Hubs. Am J Ind Med 55:1069-1077. Accessed 7 February 2019.

Mobile Health: Technology and Outcomes in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Purpose: To encourage exploratory/developmental research applications that propose to study the development and validation of innovative new or emerging mobile health (mHealth) technology specifically suited for low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The overall goal of the program is to catalyze innovation through multidisciplinary research that addresses global health problems, develop an evidence base for the use of mHealth technology to improve clinical and public health outcomes, and strengthen mHealth research capacity in LMICs.

In the context of this program, mHealth is the use of mobile and wireless devices (cellphones, tablets, etc.) to improve health outcomes, health care services and health research.

Background: The Fogarty International Center (FIC) developed Mobile Health: Technology and Outcomes in LMICs in 2013 to address the need for an evidence base for mHealth interventions and tools in LMICs. The program has funded 55 applications with partner institutes at NIH and a remaining set of applications will be reviewed in March 2019. The grants funded so far have resulted in numerous publications and new knowledge regarding mHealth for behavior change, diagnostic approaches, and more. This program continues to fill a gap in research funding since there are few initiatives at NIH and elsewhere that focus on early-stage mHealth research specifically in LMICs. However, challenges faced by current grantees and the evolving mHealth research landscape has led to some changes, which are outlined below in the Overview of the Proposed Program.

Prior FIC Initiative:PAR-18-242: Mobile Health: Technology and Outcomes in Low and Middle Income Countries

Overview of the Proposed Program:

  • The revised Mobile Health program utilizes a phased innovation approach that provides two to five years of support.
  • The first two years will support milestone driven exploratory studies and, if milestones are met and the project is approved to continue, up to three years of support will be provided for further validation studies.
    Applicants should propose research on the development and validation of new or emerging technologies, platforms, systems, and analytics.
  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to form multidisciplinary teams that are necessary for the study of innovative mHealth technology.
  • Applications will be required to propose partnerships between at least one U.S. institution and one LMIC institution and must contain key personnel from both. The research plan should involve U.S. and LMIC investigators and include strategies for increasing mHealth research capacity at the LMIC institution.

Relevance to FIC Strategic Plan: By supporting the development and validation of new or emerging mHealth technology, this program directly addresses FIC’s strategic goal to stimulate innovation in the development and implementation of technologies and other locally relevant solutions to address global health problems. Additionally, the research proposed should build mHealth research capacity in LMICs, which supports FIC’s goal to build research capacity through individuals, institutions and networks to meet future and evolving global health challenges.

Global Infectious Disease (GID) Planning Grant (D71)

For the published request for applications, see the NIH Guide announcement:

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