HIV and Drug Use Research Fellowship, Switzerland

With the support of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the International AIDS Society (IAS) has established a research fellowship programme focusing on HIV and drug use, with the goal of contributing to advances in the scientific understanding of drug use and HIV, while fostering international collaborative research on HIV and drug use.

The fellowship programme is awarded as a stipend of US$75,000 in two categories: to a junior scientist for 18-month post-doctoral training, or to a well-established HIV researcher for an eight-month-long professional development training at leading host institutes excelling in HIV-related drug use research.

In 2011, up to four fellowships will be awarded. The fellows and their mentors will be invited to attend the IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention (IAS 2011), to be held in Rome, Italy, on 17-20 July 2011, where the awards ceremony will be held.

Post-doctoral training:
Junior investigators with a doctoral degree (e.g., PhD, MD) obtained no more than six years before the time of application in the fields of behavioural and social sciences, biological sciences, chemistry, engineering, mathematics, medicine, physics or public health (other disciplines may also be considered) are eligible. Applicants must hold a doctorate degree or equivalent before the start of the fellowship, but not necessarily when applying.

Professional development training:
The fellowship is geared towards well-established HIV or drug use scientists who are not currently active in the field of HIV-related drug use research, with a minimum of seven years’ experience beyond post-doctoral level, and with a documented scientific record that includes peer-reviewed publications.

Applications are encouraged from any country, but preference will be given to applicants from low- and middle-income countries. As there are numerous national opportunities for research training within the US, applications from US citizens and permanent residents for fellowships within the US will not be accepted.

All applicants must choose a mentor in an institution different from their current institution.

Applicants must be able to start their fellowships before 1 June 2012.

Applications must be completed in English.

Applications for the 2011 programme must be submitted by the prospective fellow through the online application form that will be available on the IAS website from 8 December 2010 until 10 February 2011 (until midnight CET). Applicants will be asked to detail their research goals, provide an abstract of their proposed project, and write a research plan for the duration of their fellowship. The research project must be related to HIV and drug use, e.g., narcotics and alcohol.

Applicants must have chosen an appropriate mentor who holds an established post for the duration of the fellowship and has a track record in research and training in HIV and drug use. Applicants must confirm that the host institute and the mentor can guarantee that space and facilities will be made available for the prospective fellow if he/she is successful in obtaining the fellowship.

After the applicant submits his/her application, the mentor must then complete his/her part of the application, specifying the support that he/she will provide to the applicant, and assess the impact that the fellowship will have on the applicant’s future career.

Applications are screened by the IAS to ensure that they are complete and eligible. All eligible applications will be independently assessed by at least two external experts.

Once applications have been reviewed, based on the reviewers’ assessments, the fellows will be selected. Selection is based on grades, reviewers’ comments, and the maximum impact each fellowship would bring to the treatment and/or prevention of HIV/AIDS and drug use, as well as to collective capacity building in the recipient’s home country.

The outcome of the selection will be made public approximately 10 weeks after the closing date. Fellows will be immediately notified by email. The fellowships must be started any time between 1 August 2011 and 1 June 2012.

Duration: Fellowships must be served continuously for the duration of the award. Fellows must start their research before 1 June 2012.

Terms: The award of US$75,000 will be made available to the host institution, which will provide the stipend to the fellow in accordance with its usual regulatory procedures. The stipend may cover only the cost of living, personal expenses (e.g., health and accident insurance) and one return journey to the country of origin during the fellowship period. The stipend may not be supplemented with funds from the NIH or any other US federal agency or another fellowship, regardless of the source. The fellow may receive supplemental support from other sources, providing that the additional funds do not impose a service and do not exceed a maximum of US $10,000 per year.

Work permit:
The mentor and the host institution are responsible for supporting the fellow in obtaining the necessary visa and work permit, insurance and ethical approval to conduct his/her research in accordance with national requirements and the host institution’s regulatory procedures.

Fellows and mentors must provide intermediary progress reports to the IAS every six months during the fellowship period, based on the template they will receive, as well as a final fellowship report, including an expenses report.

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