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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Launching Future Leaders in Global Health (LAUNCH) Research Training Program

Find below answers to frequently asked questions for applicants to Launching Future Leaders in Global Health (LAUNCH) Research Training Program (RFA-TW-21-004).

Learn more about the Global Health Program for Fellows and Scholars.

Please check this page for updates.

Updated July 1 2021

Name Change

Is the LAUNCH Program the same as Fogarty’s Global Health Fellows and Scholars Program?

Yes, the upcoming renewal of the program is officially the Launching Future Leaders in Global Health (LAUNCH) Research Training Program (RFA-TW-21-004). Although this program has had different official names over the years, it has retained the moniker of Fogarty’s “Fellows and Scholars Program” (or just “Fellows Program”).

Consortium

Can FIC assist in connecting institutions that may be interested in forming a consortium?

FIC cannot facilitate the forming of a consortia. We recommend interested PIs check out resources like NIH’s RePORTER and CUGH’s membership to identify potential partners.

Is there any flexibility on the limitation of four US institutions per consortium?

The FOA states that a consortium will consist of 4 US and 6+ LMIC institutions/sites (in addition to eligibility requirements stated in Section III). No other constraints are put on the types of other associations allowed. In the end, a consortium’s make up should be one that helps it achieve its goals.

Is it ok to add one or two other US institutions as associate members of the consortium? If so, is there a limit to the number of associates a consortium can add?

A consortium’s make-up should be one that helps it achieve its goals. It is important to avoid the superficial addition of more institutions (i.e., “window dressing”) and to ensure all associations are meaningful for all involved.

Can four separate schools within one US institution comprise a US consortium?

No, per the FOA, the consortium needs to consist of 4 US academic institutions.

Do you have any advice on the allowable number of LIMC sites?

As stated in the FOA, 6 or more LMIC institutions/sites are expected. There is no limit other than a minimum of 6. The FOA gives expectations regarding LMIC partners. In the end, the number should help the program achieve its goals.

Do the LMIC collaborating partners have to come from the same region of the world or a single region, e.g. Latin America?

The only geographical restriction placed on LMIC collaborating partners is the designation of their country as an LMIC (see below).

FOA Excerpt: Only institutions and research sites in LMICs, as defined by the World Bank classification system and as restricted by NOT-TW-12-011 'Notice of Change in Country Eligibility for Fogarty International Training Grants', are eligible to participate; foreign trainees must be nationals of these eligible countries.

Can institutions in countries that are considered fragile states (e.g., as defined by the World Bank) be LMIC collaborating partners?

Yes, as long as the institutions are within eligible LMICs. A consortium’s make up should be one that helps it achieve its goals. However, if you have a question about the eligibility of a specific country, please contact FIC to confirm.

Could you please clarify whether NGO partners could provide letters of support and additional research sites for trainees? Can they be funded partners in the program?

Only US institutions of higher education can be a consortium partner. NGOs are not eligible to apply as a partner but may serve as an LMIC research site as long as it fulfills requirements as stated in the FOA (e.g., at least one multi-year research grant, etc.).

Although an institution can be only in one consortium, can an institution be on more than one application?

Per the FOA, [e]ach U.S. institution may have a role as the applicant institution or as a member of a consortium designated in an application from another U.S. institution, but may not participate in two different consortia. Therefore, multiple applications with the same institution face the potential of future jeopardy after review.

Principal Investigator

How important is it for the PI to have current funding if they have a strong LMIC/global health background?

The FOA does not preclude a PI without a grant from applying. It is up to peer review to evaluate the strength of the PI. It is likely that the competing applications will be from other PIs with grants.

Mentors

For faculty mentors, is LMIC experience necessary or topic area expertise more important?

The FOA does not state that faculty mentors must have experience working in LMICs. It’s up to you to make the strongest case that these are the most appropriate mentors.

How many mentors do these grants typically have?

Each program is unique. Your program should have as many mentors as are needed to meet the needs of your program.

Trainees

I'm interested in developing a training program focused on a specific type of health care professional. Would this kind of program be considered by Fogarty?

The FOA does not preclude a training program that focuses on a particular cadre of researchers. Therefore, a research training program for a specific type of health care professional is allowable. In designing your program, it is important to remember the requirements and expectations of the program set forth in the FOA: both US and LMIC trainees, both predoctoral students (US only) and postdoctoral individuals (both US and LMIC), broad scientific areas that will appeal across the NIH ICs, etc.

If an LMIC citizen received a PhD in the US, would they be eligible for the post-doctoral fellowship opportunity?

Yes, an LMIC citizen who received a doctoral degree from the US is eligible to apply as an LMIC postdoctoral training applicant.

How many trainees are expected and is each US partner member expected to contribute equal numbers of trainees?

Each program is unique. There is no expected number of trainees each year. The numbers will be determined by the budget and available resources. With an independent scientific review process established by the consortium, there is no expectation that partner institutions within the consortium will contribute equal number of trainees each year.

Training Program

Can the HIV related research be broad in terms of application?

Yes, the HIV-related research can be broad but must be consistent with the NIH guidance for high priority HIV/AIDS projects.

Can the training program and outcomes be tailored for the U.S. versus LMIC trainees?

It is up to the applicant to determine the best way to design the program to achieve its goals

Do the US trainees need to be in the LMIC for the entire year?

Yes, the US trainees are expected to spend 12 months in training. Outside of time spent at the program’s orientation, US trainees are expected to carry out research training activities in an LMIC.

Can the LMIC trainees be in the US for longer than 2-3 months? Can the difference in the cost for flexibility in duration be supplemented by the U.S. institutes?

Per the FOA, applicants should propose short-term (i.e., 2-3 month) research training and skill development activities for LMIC trainees at U.S. institutions and research sites that are nested within the year-long training. However, additional external funds may be used to extend the duration, if justified. However, please remember that all trainees are expected to carry out research training activities in an LMIC.

International Training Tables

What type of trainee should be added to the training tables?

The tables should include US trainees who conducted research in LMICs and LMIC trainees who conducted research in the US or LMIC. Additionally, US trainees who are conducting global health/international research in the US may also be included.

Should applications include trainees from all mentors who may participate in the program over the five years (potentially could exceed a hundred mentors)?

The inclusion of trainees from 100+ mentors is not prudent. Unlike those listed as key personnel, some mentors may never have trainees.

Renewals

Could you please clarify whether renewal applications need to provide a progress report that consists of a program overview and progress of trainees appointed to the grant as indicated in the general guide of the training instructions (see the NIH Application Guide "Application Form Instructions - Training Instructions") on page 99? Do we need to also provide a list of publications in the progress report?

Yes, a Progress Report is required for renewal applications. This should consist of the Program Overview (Page limit: 5 pages) and Progress of Those Appointed to the Grant (Page limit: 1 page per trainee). You may provide publications, but this is not required in the Progress Report.

Program Administration

Is there a cap (% of total) on administrative costs for the budget?

The FOA does not provide a cap on administrative costs.

Do all LMIC institutions need registration numbers like SAM, NCAGE?

Similar to the DUNS, registration numbers (e.g., SAM and NCAGE) are not required for the LMIC collaborating institutions/research sites. The registrations are only required for the applicant institutions. Please note that key personnel do not need eRA Commons ID at the time of submission but will be needed later. In order to obtain an eRA Commons ID an active DUNS number is needed. Please see the link below:

Expanding Requirement for eRA Commons IDs to All Senior/Key Personnel beginning January 25, 2022 [Notice Number: NOT-OD-21-109]

Do all LMIC institutions need FWA registration for human related research?

Yes, because NIH-supported human subjects research would likely be conducted at the LMIC institutions.

What can be the role of a U.S. based NGO in the whole program? How would we budget the NGO’s work?

This is a question for the applicant to determine. You would budget according to how you think the NGO could best support your proposed program. You can set up a subaward for the NGO depending on your need or pay a specific individual as a consultant.

Are contractual agreements required between the US consortium and all separate LMIC institutes? If there are separate institutes under one administrative body, can the signing authority for that administrative body sign an agreement on behalf of the multiple institutes?

An agreement is needed between the US applicant (i.e., institution) and the main administrative body/subcontractor, if it has signing authority for all separate LMIC institutions under its umbrella. However, collaboration in some countries, such as India, takes extra steps. The applicant needs to start ahead of time to have things in place. Please contact Ranjan Gupta (ranjan.gupta@nih.gov) for detailed information.

If there are multiple institutes with one administrative body, are they considered one institution or different institutions?

If the research or training is conducted in different sites of a larger umbrella institution/organization they should be considered as separate sites.

Application Submission

Do all LMIC PIs need to have a Commons ID?

A Commons ID is required for MPIs on the application. For other key personnel, a Commons ID can be obtained at a later date. However, please note that there is an expanding Requirement for eRA Commons IDs to All Senior/Key Personnel beginning January 25, 2022 (per NIH Notice Number: NOT-OD-21-109).

Future of the Program

Will this RFA be re-issued again next year?

Generally, the timing of the release of future funding opportunities or whether a FOA will be reissued is information NIH does not provide. However, FIC does communicate to the public the status and/or its intentions with its training programs on the programs’ websites. Please note that the status for LAUNCH is “Accepting applications for U.S. consortia.” Future intentions for this program are not provided currently. In the past, this program has only been competed once every five years.

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