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The Scholars Program

The Fogarty International Clinical Research Scholars Program

Program Established: Fiscal Year 2003

In 2003, the Fogarty International Center (FIC) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) issued the first solicitation for applications under the Fogarty International Clinical Research Scholars Program (FICRS-F) for U.S. and developing country advanced degree students in the health sciences. This program provided early career opportunities for U.S. graduate students in the health professions to participate in mentored clinical research in developing countries.

The FICRS-F Support Center was established at the Vanderbilt University Institute for Global Health, and oversaw overall program management, information dissemination and applicant selection, communications, program coordination and logistics, program monitoring and evaluation, organization of educational programs and conferences, and maintains relationships with program alumni. The FICRS-F Support Center and its programming was supported by FIC and more than 17 institutes and centers at NIH.
The purpose of the program was to encourage the next generation of clinical research investigators to focus on international health issues. The program also provided new investigators with hands-on experience working in poor and transitional countries.

Number of Awards:

FY 2004 20 U.S. Scholars and 15 International Scholars
FY 2005 27 U.S. Scholars and 27 International Scholars
FY 2006 23 U.S. Scholars and 24 International Scholars
FY 2007 25 U.S. Scholars and 24 International Scholars
FY 2008 32 U.S. Scholars and 33 International Scholars
FY 2009 32 U.S. Scholars and 32 International Scholars
FY 2010 38 U.S. Scholars and 37 International Scholars
FY 2011 23 U.S. Scholars and 22 International Scholars
Total to date: 220 U.S. Scholars and 214 International Scholars

Supporting NIH Institutes:

FIC, OD, NCI, NIDA, NIMH, NHLBI, NINR, NIAID, NINDS, NEI, NICHD, NIDCR, NIDDK, NCMHD, OAR, ORWH, OBSSR, and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Highlights:

The Fogarty International Clinical Research Scholars Program (FICRS) offered young researchers one year of mentored clinical research training at a site in a low- or middle-income country. The program was open to U.S. graduate students in the health professions, with the hope that such experiences during a formative period would encourage them to pursue careers in global health-related clinical research. The program also provided support for graduate-level clinical research activities at the international sites, as well as a stipend for an international graduate student to work alongside the U.S. trainee during the clinical research year.
Trainees have been hosted in countries around the world, including Argentina, Bangladesh, Botswana, Brazil, China, Haiti, India, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Peru, Russia, South Africa, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, and Zambia.

Training sites were selectively chosen and provided an outstanding clinical research training experience to one or more Fogarty International Clinical Research Scholars. Specifically, sites were equipped with the following: an FIC international training grant and an NIH clinical research grant; strong ethical review and oversight of clinical research; committed interest and expertise in mentoring students; appropriate research facilities; and suitable infrastructure arrangements for housing, food, and transportation.

The program builds on international training and research grants supported by FIC and collaborating NIH institutes. Such grants have been integral to the training and career development of developing country scientists and health professionals.