NIH 1998 Almanac/The Organization/FIC/
John E. Fogarty International Center for Advanced Study in the Health Sciences: Research Programs
In collaboration with NIAID, NICHD, and other NIH institutes, the FIC AIDS
International and Training Research Program enables U.S. universities and other
institutions to provide HIV/AIDS-related research training to scientists and health
professionals from developing nations and to forge collaborative ties with research
institutions in countries impacted by the AIDS virus. The program focuses on prevention of
In collaboration with NIEHS and CDCs National Institute of Occupational Safety
and Health and National Center for Environmental Health, the International Training and
Research Program in Environmental and Occupational Health funds nonprofit public or
private institutions to support international training and research programs in general
environmental and occupational health for foreign health scientists, clinicians,
epidemiologists, toxicologists, engineers, industrial hygenists, chemists and allied
In cooperation with NICHD, the FIC International and Training Research Program in
Population and Health funds U.S. nonprofit public or private institutions to support
population-related sciences research.
The FIC, in collaboration with NIAID, funds nonprofit public or private institutions to
support the International Training and Research Program in Emerging Infectious Diseases.
NIDR also has contributed resources to this program, which aims to: train scientists and
health care workers from developing nations in research, control, and prevention
strategies; facilitate collaboration; and enhance domestic research programs in emerging
and reemerging infectious diseases.
FIC is also the U.S. Governments organi-zational focus for the International
Cooperative Biodiversity Groups Program, an inter-agency effort to integrate improvement
of human health through drug discovery, incentives for conservation of biodiversity, and
new models of sustainable economic activity through research and capacity-building
programs in biodiveristy-rich developing countries. The program is funded and maintained
jointly by NIH, the National Science Foundation, and the Foreign Agricultural Service of
In collaboration with NLM, the FIC supports and International Training Program in
Medical Informatics. The program, which has an initial focus on Subsaharan Africa, aims to
build the capacity of biomedical scientists, clinicians, librarians, and other health
professionals in developing countries to access, utilize, and construct computer-based
tools such as automated libraries, online communication, databases, and analytical
software that may best advance biomedical research and public health in those countries.
International Training Program in Medical Informatics
In cooperation with the NIH Office of Research on Minority Health, FIC has established
a Minority International Research Training Program to provide international educational
training and research opportunities to groups underrepresented in the scientific
professions. Training grants are provided to U.S. colleges and universities, including
consortia with minority representation, to stimulate students to pursue scientific careers
by enhancing their undergraduate and graduate training through international experiences.
Awards are provided to faculty members to conduct independent research and to serve as
mentors to students abroad.
A small grants program, the Fogarty International Research Collaboration Awards, or
FIRCA, is offered to U.S. institutions for collaboration between U.S. principal
investigators on regular NIH research grants and scientists in Africa, Asia (except Hong
Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan), Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America
and the non-U.S. Caribbean, the Middle East, and Pacific Ocean Islands (except Australia
and New Zealand). The FIRCA provides funds for supplies and equipment necessary to the
collaborative research project (for the foreign collaborators laboratory only), and
funds for travel for the U.S. principal investigator, the foreign researcher, and/or
associates. A similar award, the HIV/AIDS and Related Illnesses Collaboration Award,
provides small grants in support of cooperative research between NIH grant recipients and
foreign institutions throughout the world.
Fellowship programs administered by the FIC enable foreign scientists to pursue their
research interests in U.S. laboratories and, conversely, provide opportunities for U.S.
researchers to work in foreign laboratories. The International Research Fellowship Program
enables promising postdoctoral biomedical or behavioral scientists from developing and
emerging nations to gain further research experience by working in the laboratory of a
distinguished U.S. scientist on a problem of mutual interest.
The Senior International Fellowship Program provides opportunities for mid- and
senior-career level U.S. scientists to conduct biomedical research studies at foreign
institutions. The fellowship is intended to enhance the exchange of ideas and information
in the biomedical and behavioral sciences.
Several foreign countries support fellowships that enable U.S. biomedical researchers
who hold doctoral degrees to spend up to a year in a foreign research laboratory. The FIC
is involved in the initial stages of these programs, but the funding and administration is
by the foreign country. The FIC publicizes the availability of postdoctoral research
fellowships from the Israeli Ministry of Health, the Japan Society for the Promotion of
Science, the Japanese Science and Technology Agency, the Swedish Medical Research Council,
the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany, and the National Science Council in
Taiwan. The FIC also arranges for receipt and technical merit review of applications and
transmits the applications and reviewers comments to the awarding country for final
The FIC serves as the coordinating link between NIH and other U.S. agencies, foreign
governments and international organizations on international biomedical research matters.
It is responsible for the administrative oversight of all intergovernmental agreements in
which the NIH participates.
The center also fosters and facilitates international cooperation in biomedical
research by disseminating information on foreign biomedical research activities to the NIH
research institutes and informing foreign agencies and institutions, including WHO, about
the international activities of the NIH; initiating, developing and supporting, in
cooperation with other NIH offices, new activities to address international health
problems; preparing background materials for NIH senior staff participation in
international meetings and discussions; providing advice to the director and deputy
director, NIH, and to senior staff of the NIH research institutes on policies and
procedures relating to international activities; assisting the institutes by obtaining
clearances for awards requiring State Department approval and by interpreting DHHS and
State Department procedures relating to international travel; serving as a channel for
communications to and from U.S. embassies abroad and foreign embassies in Washington; and
coordinating responses to inquiries on international issues.
The FIC ensures that NIH interests are represented as new opportunities for research
collaboration in the life sciences arise through initiatives of the U.S. Government,
foreign governments, multilateral and international organizations.
In its role as a WHO Collaborating Center for Research and Training in Biomedicine, the
FIC provides research fellowships and grants, conducts studies, and sponsors workshops
involving the NIH, WHO, PAHO and U.S. and foreign biomedical research organizations to
identify and further strengthen the health of the U.S. population and contribute to the
enhancement of health worldwide.
As the NIH focus of international activities, the FIC has both an integrative and
administrative role in activities supported by other PHS components and other Federal
agencies. The FIC is the NIH representative in maintaining liaison with such international
organizations as WHO, PAHO, the European Union, and the European Medical Research
The FIC director meets regularly with international representatives of the NIH
ICDs to exchange information and views on NIH international activities and to
discuss implementation of related policies and procedures.
International Services Branch
The ISB provides support to foreign scientists in the NIH visiting, special volunteer,
and guest researcher programs.
For foreign scientists engaged in NIH intramural research, the ISB handles
administrative and immigration matters ISB also provides visa assistance to foreign
special experts, exchange scientists, special volunteers, and visiting fellows engaged in
research in the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, FDA.
International Science Policy and Analysis
FIC exercises leadership by advancing NIH research needs and opportunities in a global
context, and by analyzing international policy issues that affect the course and conduct
of biomedical science. The center provides continuing analysis of cross-cutting policy
issues and promotes international fora on emerging scientific and medical challenges.
Emphasis is placed on:
- the idenfication of current and future research needs and policy issues that require
- international strategies to share research costs and pool efforts toward mutual
- the role of international programs and policies in meeting U.S. and global human
resource needs in biomedical research;
- ethical, social, and legal consideration related to international research; and
- national competitiveness issues and international cooperation.