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FIC logo   John E. Fogarty International Center for Advanced Study in the Health Sciences
Mission | Important Events | Director | Programs


The John E. Fogarty International Center (FIC) for Advanced Study in the Health Sciences:

  • addresses disparities in global health and builds research capacity through a range of activities;
  • supports international research and research training in targeted areas of emphasis;
  • provides leadership in global health;
  • identifies significant international research issues/opportunities and facilitates IC interest and involvement; and
  • coordinates the activities of the NIH concerned with the health sciences internationally.

Important Events in FIC History

January 18, 1967 – Rep. Melvin Laird (Wisc.) proposed to Congress to establish an international research and study center at NIH as a memorial to the late Rep. John E. Fogarty (R.I.). Subsequently President Lyndon B. Johnson announced that he was seeking funds to establish the John E. Fogarty International Center for Advanced Study in the Health Sciences.

February 26, 1968 – Departmental approval was given to establish the Fogarty International Center.

March 16, 1968 – Official notice was published in the Federal Register.

July 1, 1968 – FIC became operational. The NIH Office of International Research was abolished and several of its functions were transferred to FIC.

June 1979 – The Task Force to Assess the Missions and Functions of the Fogarty International Center reported to the director, NIH, on its year-long study of the center, reaffirming FIC’s importance as the focus for international aspects of biomedical and behavioral research at NIH, and recommending specific measures for strengthening and broadening its programs.

June 1982 – FIC was designated a WHO Collaborating Center for Research and Training in Biomedicine.

September 1985 – The first meeting of the FIC Advisory Board was held.

November 1985 – FIC was established in law (P.L. 99-158, sec. 482).

FIC Directors

Date of Birth
In Office From
Milo D. Leavitt, Jr. June 24, 1915 June 16, 1968 July 1978
Leon Jacobs March 26, 1915 July 1, 1978 June 29, 1979
Edwin D. Becker (Acting) May 3, 1930 July 1979 April 1980
Vida H. Beaven June 2, 1939 April 1980 January 1981
Claude Lenfant October 12, 1928 February 1981 July 1982
Mark S. Beaubien (Acting) October 20, 1921 July 1, 1982 January 1984
Craig K. Wallace December 4, 1928 January 1984 December 1988
Carl Kupfer (Acting) February 9, 1928 January 1, 1988 July 1988
Philip E. Schambra November 8, 1934 August 1988 September 30, 1998
Gerald T. Keusch April 30, 1938 October 1, 1998 December 31, 2003
Sharon Hrynkow, Ph.D. (Acting) October 21, 1960 January 1, 2004  

Research and Research Training Programs

Training Grants

In collaboration with NIAID, NIMH, NIDA, NIDCR, NHLBI, NINR, OAR and NCI, the FIC AIDS International Training and 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 HIV transmission.

The International Bioethics Education and Career Development Award provides funds to develop or expand on current graduate curricula in international bioethics related to performing research in low- and middle-income countries. This program is supported in collaboration with NHLBI, NIAMS, and NCCAM.

Under the International Centers for Excellence in Research (ICER) Clinical Research and Management Award Program, FIC, in partnership with NIAID, invites applications from nonprofit, private or public, domestic educational and research institutions to develop or expand current graduate health professional school curricula to provide training relevant for the conduct and/or management of international clinical research on infectious diseases at NIAID- and FIC- supported research sites in developing countries.

In collaboration with NIMH, NIDA, NIA, NCCAM and NIDCR, FIC's International Clinical, Operational and Health Services Research and Training Award supports training to facilitate collaborative, multidisciplinary, international clinical, operational, health services and prevention science research between U.S. institutions and those in developing countries, as well as emerging democracies of Eastern Europe, Russia, and the Newly Independent States (NIS).

The FIC International Clinical, Operational and Health Services Research and Training award for AIDS and Tuberculosis provides extended support for training to foster collaborative, multidisciplinary research in developing country sites where AIDS, TB, or both are significant problems. This program is supported in collaboration with NCI, NIAID, NICHD, NIMH, NINDS, NIAAA, NIDA, OAR, OBSSR, ORWH and the CDC.

The International Training and Research Program in Environmental and Occupational Health, supported by FIC, in collaboration with NIEHS, and CDC's National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and National Center for Environmental 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 hygienists, chemists and allied health workers.

FIC, in partnership with NIMH, NIA, NIEHS, NIAAA, NINDS, NHGRI, NIDA and WHO, supports the International Collaborative Genetics Research Training Program. This program will enhance and promote equitable international collaborations between investigators in the developed world and those in developing countries where a base level of institutional infrastructure for the advancement of sustainable genetic science is already established. Applications are being solicited to create innovative research training programs within existing scientific collaborations between developed and developing country researchers to begin to build a critical mass of scientists, health professionals and academics with human genetics expertise and a sustainable research environment at the collaborating developing country institution.

The Global Infectious Disease Research Training Program enables non-profit, private or public institutions in the United States or in developing foreign countries to support current and future collaborative training-related research on infectious diseases that are predominately endemic in or impact upon people living in tropical countries. This program is supported in partnership with NIAID, NIDCR and the CDC.

FIC's International Maternal and Child Health Research Training Program enables U.S. institutions to support training-related research on maternal and child health issues that are predominately endemic in or impact upon people living in developing countries. The training and research capacity building efforts supported by this program are meant to facilitate the research to be undertaken via the NICHD International Collaborations in Maternal and Child Health (ICMCH) program.

In collaboration with NICHD and NIA, FIC supports the International Training and Research Program in Population and Health, which enables U.S. universities and non-profit research institutions to support international training and research programs for foreign scientists from developing nations in population-related sciences.

The International Training Program in Medical Informatics enables U.S. non-profit or public institutions to support international training in order to build the capacity of biomedical scientists, clinicians, librarians and other health professionals in developing countries to access, utilize and construct computer-based tools that may best advance biomedical research in those countries. The program is supported in collaboration with NLM and NIAID.

Research Grants

The Ecology of Infectious Diseases Program is a collaboration between the National Science Foundation; FIC, NIAID, NIEHS and NIGMS of the NIH; and the U.S. Geological Survey. The program funds interdisciplinary research programs that strive to elucidate the underlying ecological and biological mechanisms that govern the relationships between anthropogenic environmental changes and the transmission dynamics of infectious diseases. The focus of this program is on the development of predictive models for the emergence and transmission of diseases in humans and other animals, and ultimately the development of strategies to prevent or control them.

A small grants program, the Fogarty International Research Collaboration Award (FIRCA), provides funds to foster international research partnerships between NIH-supported U.S. scientists and their collaborators in countries of the developing world. The FIRCA program aims to benefit the research interests of both the U.S. and foreign collaborators while increasing research capacity at the foreign site. U.S. scientists who have an eligible NIH grant may apply. All areas of biomedical and behavioral research supported by NIH are eligible FIRCA research topics. A similar award, the HIV/AIDS and Related Illnesses Collaboration Award, provides small grants in support of cooperative HIV/AIDS research between NIH grant recipients and foreign institutions throughout the world.

The Global Health Research Initiative Program for New Foreign Investigators promotes productive re-entry of NIH-trained foreign investigators into their home countries as part of a broader program to enhance the scientific research infrastructure in developing countries, to stimulate research on a wide variety of high priority health-related issues in these countries, and to advance NIH efforts to address health issues of global import. FIC's partners in the support of this program are: NCI, ODS, NEI, ORWH, NINDS, NIA, OBSSR, NIEHS, NIMH, NHLBI, NIGMS and OAR.

FIC's International Studies on Health and Economic Development Program, examines the effects of health and microeconomic agents and aggregate growth, and explores how health finance and delivery systems are a source of variation in health outcomes. This program is supported in collaboration with NIA, NIMH, NICHD, OBSSR and the World Bank's Global Development Network.

The Health, Environment and Economic Development Program encourages developmental and exploratory research and research capacity-building in developing countries on topics that combine the issues of health, environment, and economic development. The program is a collaboration among FIC and NIEHS, NICHD, NIDA and OBSSR.

The International Tobacco and Health Research and Capacity Building Program encourages transdisciplinary approaches to the international tobacco epidemic to reduce the global burden of tobacco related illness. The program is designed to promote international cooperation between investigators in the U.S. and other high-income nation(s) pursuing research programs on tobacco control, and scientists and institutions in low- and middle-income nation(s), where tobacco consumption is a current or anticipated public health urgency. The program is supported in collaboration with NCI, NHLBI, NICHD, NIMH, NINR and NIDA.

The Stigma and Global Health Research Program stimulates interdisciplinary, investigator-initiated research on the role of stigma in health, and on how to intervene to prevent or mitigate its negative effects on the health and welfare of individuals, groups and societies world-wide. FIC supports this program in collaboration with NCMHD, NHGRI, NIAAA, NIAID, NIDCR, NIDA, NIMH, NINDS, OAR, OBSSR and ORWHNHGRI. NIAAA, NIAID, NIDCR, NIDA, NIMH, NINDS, OAR, OBSSR, ORWH, the Health Research Services Administration (HRSA), The Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the International Development Research Centre of Canada.

The International Cooperative Biodiversity Groups Program integrates drug discovery from natural products with conservation of biodiversity and economic development in source countries. The program is funded jointly by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Foreign Agriculture Service of the USDA.

Career Development Award

The International Research Scientist Development Award supports basic research, behavioral and clinical scientists at the postdoctoral level who are committed to a career in international health research and would benefit from an additional period of mentored research as part of a strong, established collaboration between a U.S. sponsor and leading scientists at a developing country center of scientific excellence.


The FIC publicizes the availability of postdoctoral research fellowships from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, the Japanese Science and Technology Agency. FIC arranges for receipt and technical merit review of applications and transmits the applications and reviewers' comments to the awarding country for final selection and funding. In addition, FIC administers the Pan American Fellowship (PAF), which encourages cooperation in the biomedical and behavioral sciences between NIH scientists and the scientific community from countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, while assisting those countries in their capacity- building endeavors. PAF brings post-doctoral trainees, known as Pan American Fellows, to NIH intramural laboratories for 1 or 2 years of training.

International Relations

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 inter- governmental 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 arising through initiatives of the U.S. Government, foreign governments, multilateral and international organizations. The center has accepted the responsibility to serve as secretariat of the Multilateral Initiative on Malaria, an alliance of organizations and individuals from developing and developed countries aimed at advancing malaria research while at the same time promoting research capacity building in Africa and facilitating global collaboration and coordination on malaria. FIC also serves as the secretariat for the Disease Control Priorities Project, a partnership supported by The Gates Foundation, the WHO, and the World Bank to develop recommendations on effective health care interventions for resource-poor settings.

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 Councils.

The FIC director and deputy director meet regularly with IC directors and international representatives of the NIH IC’s to exchange information and views on ongoing and prospective NIH international activities.

Advanced Studies and Policy 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 identification of current and future research needs and policy issues that require international coordination;
  • international strategies to share research costs and pool efforts toward mutual scientific goals;
  • 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.

International Epidemiology and Population Studies

The Division of International Epidemiology and Population Studies (EPS) plans, designs, and conducts studies to examine factors affecting the application of health science advances for the benefit of populations, particularly in developing countries. EPS develops strategic partnerships with the categorical institutes of the NIH and other governmental and non-governmental organizations to advance a common research agenda.

This page was last reviewed on June 22, 2005 .

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