Fellowship Program

The RePORT Advanced Career Training (ReACT) program is designed to support the career development of early-stage Brazilian investigators by; providing mentorship and funding for pilot projects which utilize data and specimens collected by the Regional Prospective Observational Research in TB – Brazil (RePORT-Brazil) network.

The ReACT program is a one-year program which provides talented early-career scientists with the opportunity to develop under the guidance of experienced investigators in the field of TB research. Each fellow is provided a mentorship committee, which is responsible for addressing career growth through; engagement with a scientific question, proposed by the fellow, and through guidance in scientific fundamentals such as analysis, scientific writing, and project management. Fellows follow individualized plans, which seek to address their desired academic and scientific goals, preparing them to take the next step in their careers, while introducing them to a consortium of colleagues who are engaged in international TB research.

The application period will open on October 15th, 2023, and run until 11:59pm Central Standard Time (-6 UTC), November 15th, 2023.

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS – RePORT Advanced Career Training (ReACT) Program

1- INTRODUCTION

The Regional Prospective Observational Research in TB – Brazil (RePORT-Brazil) network is requesting applications for its Advanced Career Training program (ReACT). This program is intended to support the career development of early-stage Brazilian investigators by providing mentorship and funding for pilot projects that utilize RePORT-Brazil Phase 1 data and/or specimens. Data and specimens from additional cohorts, to be used in conjunction with RePORT-Brazil data and/or specimens, is encouraged but not required.

Applications are encouraged in scientific areas not currently being fully evaluated in RePORT-Brazil, but for which there is interest, expertise, and preliminary data. The ReACT program will ensure that early-stage investigators develop through mentoring with established investigators, gaining experience and skills necessary for a career in TB research.

More information on our consortium, projects, protocol, and publications can be found at https://reportbrazil.org/

2- PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The ReACT program provides talented early-career scientists one year of support and the opportunity to develop under the guidance of experienced investigators in the field of TB research. Each fellow is provided a mentorship committee, which is responsible for addressing career growth through: engagement with a scientific question proposed by the fellow, and through guidance in scientific fundamentals such as analysis, scientific writing, and project management. Fellows follow individualized plans, which seek to address their desired academic and scientific goals, preparing them to take the next step in their careers. This program will also introduce awardees to a consortium of colleagues who are engaged in Brazilian and international TB research.

3- AWARD INFORMATION

This program will support a maximum of (for the 2024/2025 cycle):

Two – Early Career Development Awards

Two – Post-Doctoral Awards

Early Career Development Award

A total of $25,000 USD in direct costs for a duration of 12 months. The Funding Period will run from July 1st, 2024, to June 30th, 2025. Funding can be utilized for supplies, assays, analyses, publication costs, research award for the fellow (bolsa), etc. Instructions and regulations pertaining to allowable and non-allowable expenses are detailed in section #5: Application Preparation and Submission Instructions.

Post-Doctoral Award

A total of $10,000 USD in direct costs for a duration of 12 months. The Funding Period will run from July 1st, 2024, to June 30th, 2025. Funding can be utilized for supplies, assays, analyses, publication costs, research award for the fellow (bolsa), etc. Instructions and regulations pertaining to allowable and non-allowable expenses are detailed in section #5: Application Preparation and Submission Instructions.

A single No Cost Extension may be requested, through a written submission to the ReACT executive committee. If granted, remaining funds can be carried over for up to a 6-month period.

*Please consider budget constraints and feasibility in the development of your proposal.

4- ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

General Requirements:

  • The application must be submitted by the Prospective Fellow
  • Applicants must be citizens of Brazil, nationals, or permanent residents of Brazil by the time of the 1st Round application deadline
  • Applicant must be fluent in English, as interviews and the program itself will be conducted in English
  • Applicant must demonstrate an interest in a career in TB research

Requirements by Award Category

Early Career Award                  

  • Applicants must have received their PhD degree, having received their diploma not before 2013, and have a position at or be affiliated with an academic or research institution.

Affiliation is understood to mean a formal role at an institution (ie. post-doctoral scholar, faculty, researcher, etc.) which provides the prospective fellow with institutional backing for the execution of the project.

Post-Doctoral Award

  • Applicants must have received their PhD degree within the last 5 years, having received their diploma not before 2018, and have a position at or be affiliated with an academic institution or research institution.

Affiliation is understood to mean a formal role at an institution (ie. post-doctoral scholar, faculty, researcher, etc.) which provides the prospective fellow with institutional backing for the execution of the project.

Additional Eligibility Criteria

  • Individuals may submit only one (1) application, per funding cycle
  • Prospective Fellows must disclose existing professional and academic commitments, and demonstrate the capacity to complete their project within the given time frame of the ReACT program
  • Proposed projects must utilize RePORT-Brazil Phase 1 Data and/or Specimens. Projects including data from other cohorts or databases are encouraged, but not required.

 

5- APPLICATION PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

The application process will be conducted in two rounds.

Round 1

Applications will be open to all qualifying individuals per section #4.

Application Deadline(s):

  • Posted Date – [October 15th, 2023]
  • Open Date (Earliest Submission Date) – [October 15th, 2023]
  • Letter of Intent – Not Required
  • Expiration Date – [November 15th, 2023]
  • Applications must be completed through the online application portal, located at https://redcap.vanderbilt.edu/surveys/?s=8YY8NL94FLEXRTRY
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered for review.

Round 2

A maximum of twelve (12) applicants from Round 1 will be selected to move on to Round 2 and submit a final application, which will consist of a Project Concept Sheet, Budget, and Budget Justification. Applicants who are selected to proceed to Round 2 will be required a data/scientific consultation with the RePORT-Brazil data team to refine the project proposed in Round 1. Dates and timeline will be provided to applicants who reach this step of the review process.

Budget and Expenses

  • Allowable Expenses: Supplies for Assays, Analyses, Computational or Laboratory Core costs, Publication Costs, Research Award(bolsa), Training and Capacity Building Activities

Research Awards(bolsas) are scaled to the CAPES limit for Post Graduate education, which means that for the 2024 funding cycle, ReACT bolsas have a request limit of R$5,200 (Early Career award at 100% effort) and R$3,750 (postdoc award at 100% effort) a month for support of the Fellow.

  • Restricted Expenses: Travel, as it pertains to the training or capacity building of the fellow, for the dissemination or research findings, and must be preapproved by the executive committee. Limited Research Equipment may be justifiable.
  • Non-Allowable Expenses: Support Costs for non-fellows, Immigration or Visa Fees, Membership Fees
  • Expenses will be managed by FIOTEC (Fundação para o Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico em Saúde – Fundação Oswaldo Cruz) and RePORT staff, based on the approved final budget and according to the budget justification. Re-budgeting of line items must be requested with justification and receive prior approval from the executive committee.

Depending on the nature of the proposal, the ReACT program may choose to issue a partial award. Final discretion for the amount, funding, and number of awards is retained by the executive committee of the ReACT program.

Data Privacy

Completion of an application to the ReACT program, is acknowledgement and an expressed agreement that the personal data informed therein will be transferred to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, located in the USA, for processing as part of the application process only. All personal data received will be protected according to Brazilian and US privacy laws and their regulations.

6- APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION

The selection process will be organized into two (2) rounds. The first round provides the candidate with an opportunity to present an outline of the intended project, which should clearly demonstrate how RePORT-Brazil data and/or specimens will be utilized, as well the applicant’s individual research background.

In Round 1 applications will be evaluated for Responsiveness, Environment, and Innovation. A maximum of 12 applications will be selected to move on to Round 2. Applicants who are selected to proceed to Round 2 will be required to schedule data/scientific consultation with the RePORT-Brazil data management team, based on their scientific goals, to refine the project as proposed in Round 1. The consultation is mandatory; failure to attend and respond to the consultation will result in disqualification.

Applications will be reviewed by a panel of Principal Investigators and Research Managers from RePORT-Brazil as well as representatives from the Brazilian Ministry of Health, the United States National Institutes of Health, and external reviewers from Brazil and the United States as appropriate. Expertise relevant to all applications will be solicited; the review will be modeled on a standard NIH study section.

Applications that are most responsive to this Call for Applications will meet the following criteria, as appropriate for the science being proposed.

a) Regarding Responsiveness

  • Proposal fits within the TB research priorities of the National Institutes of Health and the Brazilian Ministry of Health
  • Feasible based on existing RePORT-Brazil Phase 1 data and specimens; sufficient sample size and statistical power
  • Research will provide opportunities for scientific engagement with RePORT-Brazil investigators rather than just a transfer of data or specimens

b) Regarding Environment

  • Will the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success?
  • Are the temporal, spatial, and physical resources at the prospective fellow’s disposal adequate for the proposed project?

c) Regarding Innovation

  • Does the application challenge and seek to shift current research or clinical practice paradigms by utilizing novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions?
  • Are the concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions novel to one field of research or novel in a broad sense?
  • Is a refinement, improvement, or new application of theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions proposed?

Unfunded applicants are encouraged to engage with the RePORT-Brazil network to improve their applications for a subsequent submission cycle.

7- AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

Notification of the Award

ReACT program applicants will be notified of the outcome of their Round 1 application by December 29th of the competition year.

Award Conditions:

Awardees must formally accept and agree to the terms and conditions of the Fellowship award. Acceptance of the Fellowship constitutes a commitment to pursue a collaborative relationship with the RePORT-Brazil team, at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and in Brazil through FIOCRUZ, as well as the mentorship committee which is assigned to the Fellow. Expenses will be managed by FIOTEC (Fundação para o Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico em Saúde – Fundação Oswaldo Cruz) and RePORT staff.

Funding is contingent upon the signature, approval, and ratifying of a data use agreement, between Vanderbilt University Medical Center, the fellow, and the institution at which the fellow is employed. The agreement is a binding document for the transfer, use, and disposal of data and/or specimens utilized.

All funding decisions are final.

Responsible Conduct of Research

It is the responsibility of the Fellow, in conjunction with their institution, to ensure that all academic and research activities carried out in or outside the US and Brazil comply with the laws or regulations of the country in which the academic and/or research activities are conducted. These include appropriate human subjects, animal welfare, copyright and intellectual property protection, and other regulations or laws, as appropriate. All academic and research activities should be coordinated with the appropriate US and Brazilian government authorities, and necessary licenses, permits, or approvals must be obtained prior to undertaking the proposed activities. As such, the Fellow agrees to use shared data and specimens in accordance with the signed terms of a Data Use Agreement. The Fellow agrees to make no attempt to identify the research participants.

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