Research Training Fellowships For Clinicians

This Training Fellowship aims at providing clinicians with an opportunity to perform high quality basic, clinical and public health research in a laboratory, clinical or community environment of their choice. It is expected that the Training Programme presented in the application is built around a rigorous research focus and should provide comprehensive training in research methodology and experimental design to the applicant.
 
Remit   The focus of the training program is to encourage basic, patient-oriented and translational research
Eligibility
MD/MS/DM/DNB (or equivalent degree) qualified candidates and Allied health professionals with educational training similar to MS/MD
MBBS qualified candidates with MPH degree
Duration of Fellowship 2 years and an option to request an extension for another one year.
Time Commitment Allowed to perform clinical and teaching duties - 2 days per week
Roles on application Mandatory: Host institution in India
Sponsor, Principal Supervisor (Clinician/Basic scientist); must be based in the Indian Host Institution
A Co-supervisor (Basic Scientist/ Clinician); must be based in an Indian Institution
Optional: Mentor; can be from any institution from around the world
Components of the application (1) Online application form, (2) Letters of support from the principal supervisor and co-supervisor: detailing their support and commitment to the applicant, proposed research, and training plan, (3) Letter of support from the Sponsor.
Letter of recommendation (optional)
Letter of support from mentor (optional)
Funding INR 34 lakhs for two years will include personal support and research training costs.
Personal support: INR 75,000/month i.e. INR 18 lakhs for two years
Decision making body Clinical and Public Health Selection Committee
Application process Annual competition
One combined application will be invited from the candidate and the supervisor, which will be subjected to an appropriate review process.
If shortlisted, Principal Supervisor will have to attend the interview along with the candidate

 

Research Training Fellowship is suitable for clinicians who wish to undertake high quality research training in India under the supervision of experts in basic, clinical and public health research, who are also based in India.

  1. Research Training Fellowships are open only to Indian nationals.

  2. Applicants can be in the final year of MD/MS/DM/DNB (or equivalent) or those who have completed their MD/MS/DM/DNB (or equivalent) at the time of application. Applicants who have an undergraduate medical degree followed by an MPH are also eligible to apply.

  3. Applicants who are registered for a PhD programme, those pursuing a PhD or those who have completed a PhD are not eligible to apply for this Fellowship.

  4. Fellowships may not be taken up prior to the completion of MD/MS. The Fellowship must be started within one year of being awarded.

  5.  Allied health professionals with education and training similar to MD/MS/DM/DNB are eligible to apply. The applicants must either be in the final year or have completed a postgraduate degree in the respective allied health science stream at the time of application. They should submit an official document from the concerned Government authority confirming the equivalence and that training is undertaken as a "Full Time Allied Health Science" course. Please note that correspondence/distance learning courses would not be considered as a part of training towards deciding on the eligibility. It is important that the final year students should have secured their degree at the time of activation of the Fellowship award

  6. The qualifying clinical degree must be recognised by the Medical Council of India.


 

To apply, the Applicant and the Principal Supervisor must submit a Joint application. The Application form is made available on the India Alliance online application system IASys, when the competition is launched. Please refer to the IASys userguide for guidance on completing the application form and the submission process.
 
This application seeks to understand how the training will prepare the Applicant to undertake an independent research career.
 
Careful thought should be given to the choice of Supervisors and the Host Institution. The application should clearly specify the roles of the Principal Supervisor, Co-Supervisor and the supporting Host Institution.
 
With the assistance of Supervisors, the Applicant should identify the area in which he/she wants to get trained, rationale of choosing the area of development and how the acquired expertise will lay the foundation of their future research career.
 
Applications go through a peer-review process before being considered by the Clinical and Public Health Selection Committee. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview. It is mandatory for the Principal supervisor on the application to attend the interview along with the candidate.
 
Both the candidate and Principal supervisor are interviewed together to get a clear understanding of the purpose of the Training Program developed by them. Both of them, therefore, are advised to work together, as the extent of involvement would be carefully reviewed to understand the impact of the program.
 

This Fellowship is awarded for two years; with an optional 1 year extension

The total award for the Research Training Fellowship is fixed at INR 34 lakhs for two years. This includes the contributions set by the India Alliance towards personal support, research-related cost, travel cost, a contingency fund and 10% institutional overheads. 

Personal Support for the Fellow: The Training Fellowship offers a consolidated amount of INR 75,000/month, i.e. 9 lakhs/annum.

1. In cases where no financial personal support is forthcoming for the applicant from the Host Institution, the total amount indicated above is calculated towards salary. 

2. In cases where an applicant has been receiving or has commitment to receive a salary from the Host Institution, top up to the salary will be calculated to meet the level indicated above.

3. If the Host Institution’s contribution to the applicant’s personal support quoted on the application exceeds that of India Alliance cap indicated above, no funds towards the salary component will be provided. 

4. In cases, where an alternate arrangement might be required for the applicant to get adequate protected time for pursuing the training programme, India Alliance may consider making an exception to the above policy, within the personal support cap fixed for the Research Training Fellowship scheme. This must be highlighted in the application.

Please note that India Alliance retains the right to periodically review and revise its provisions for the Fellows’ personal support.

Research & Training cost includes funds for Travel (INR 1 lakh/ year) and contingency funds (INR 91,000/ year).

1. Research-related costs include requests for laboratory consumables, animals (for animal studies), access charges, etc. Support to attend scientific meetings is provided under the Travel head. 

2. Inclusion of formal course work within the Training programme will be required to complete the Fellowship. Applicants for this Fellowship are advised to identify their training needs and include the course details under the section “Development of training programme” in the application. It must be justified in terms of the requirements of their training. The candidates are expected to cover this cost using contingency funds and a separate entry should not be made for this cost in the Finance section.

3. Support funds for any major requirements (equipment or infrastructure) or support staff are not provided. It is expected that applicants will choose appropriate laboratories/ environments where majority of the necessary equipment and facilities required for carrying out the training project are already available.

4. Please refer to standard costing policy for details on categories of funds allowed under the provisions of the RTF scheme. The options indicated under miscellaneous costs should be used within the scope and budget allowed for the Research Training Fellowship.

Components of application

» Letter of intent from the candidate: The candidates have to submit a letter describing their academic background, research experience, career goals and what motivates them to seek a career in clinical and translational research.

» Letter from Principal supervisor: detailing his/her support and commitment to the applicant and the proposed research and training plan. Letter should describe:
 
The research project that the candidate will work on
Supervisor’s expertise and experience in the area of proposed research
How the proposed research fits into supervisors’ research program
Plan for the applicant’s career development
 
» Letter from Co-supervisor: detailing his/her support and commitment to the applicant and the proposed research and training plan. Letter should describe:
 
The research project that the candidate will work on
Co-supervisor’s expertise and experience in the area of proposed research
How the proposed research fits into Co-supervisors’ research program
 
» Letter from Mentor: A letter from the mentor must include a mentoring plan. It should specifically indicate what sort of mechanism he/she would be adopting to discuss the research program with the candidate and to review his/her progress from time to time.
 
» Recommendation letter: The candidate can provide a letter of recommendation from anyone who is aware of his/her education and interest. This is not mandatory.
 
» Application form: The Applicant and Principal supervisor need to submit a joint application, which will be made available through the India Alliance online application submission system IASys, when the competition is launched.

A Training Fellowship depends heavily on the supervision and training environment. It is therefore important that the applicant receives adequate guidance to satisfy the scientific and administrative requirements of the training program in the desired format. The following roles are identified on the application to encourage a mentorship program.
  • Principal Supervisor
  • Co-Supervisor
  • Sponsor
  • Mentor (optional)
India Alliance advocates a dual mentorship program, to provide the Fellow an opportunity to train with a clinician and a basic scientist/public health researcher. This is to ensure that the Fellow gets an opportunity to learn the principles of basic science research/public health research and this process facilitates cross talk between clinicians and basic science researchers/public health researchers.
 
It is, therefore, mandatory to identify a Principal supervisor and a Co-supervisor on the application with expertise to cover both, the clinical and basic science/public health remit. One should necessarily be a clinician researcher and the other a basic science researcher/public health researcher.
 
This competition invites a joint application from the Applicant and the Principal supervisor.
 
Principal supervisor: The Principal supervisor can either be a clinician scientist or a basic science researcher or a public health researcher under whose supervision the Applicant carries out the Fellowship at the Host Institution in India.
 
Principal supervisor should guarantee the applicant access to laboratory space (if required) and resources required for the research training as well as provide relevant scientific guidance for the tenure of the Fellowship.
 
It is mandatory to have a Principal supervisor on the application. A letter of support from this role is mandatory for the application process.
 
Co-supervisor: A Co-supervisor can be either a basic scientist , a clinician researcher or a public health researcher in whose laboratory the applicant receives training to perform that part of the training program, which cannot be performed in the Principal Supervisor’s laboratory.
 
The Co-supervisor must be based at an Indian institution.
 
The Co-supervisor can be identified at the Host Institution or at a different place in India depending on the requirements of the training program.
 
The Co-supervisor should provide guidance in designing the training program proposed to be undertaken in his/her lab.
 
It is expected that the Principal supervisor will guide the applicant in identifying appropriate Co-supervisor.
 
It is important that the applicant and supervisors carefully develop this partnership to propose a robust training plan, which will be critically assessed during the review process.
 
For training fellowship application,supervisors should carefully consider the relationship of the research programme to the training needs of the applicant, and ensure that the programme is appropriate in keeping with applicant's experience.
 
In consideration of the key role that the Principal supervisor would play in developing this training program, the Principal supervisor will also be invited for interview along with the shortlisted candidates.
 
Sponsor (mandatory): The Sponsor has an administrative role on the application and will, on behalf of the Host Institution, sign up to the Award Conditions & Policies. The Sponsor is required to hold a contract of employment (with the Host Institution) that extends beyond the tenure of the proposed Fellowship. In some cases, the Sponsor and Principal supervisor may be the same individual.
 
The Sponsor is expected to support the application by agreeing that, if an award is made,
» the candidate will be granted the status and prerogatives of other academic staff of similar stature
» the candidate will devote a minimum of 4 days/week to the Research Training Fellowship
» the candidate will not have to spend more than two days per week on clinical activities and other activities unrelated to the Fellowship (e.g. teaching and ‘on call’ duties)
» space and resources will be made available to the candidate for the duration of the Fellowship.
 
A signed letter of support from the Sponsor is mandatory at the time of application.
 
Mentor (optional) : The Mentor has an advisory role on the application and can be selected from any part of the world. This role is not mandatory for the application process. However, if chosen, a signed letter of support from the mentor will be required at the time of application.
 
A good Mentor should be an established researcher who is in a position to provide intellectual inputs to facilitate various aspects of the application process and must be willing to extend their support, knowledge, and guidance during the tenure of the Fellowship through thoughtful exchange of ideas and discussions.
 
The Mentor need not be based in India.

Please find overview of the application process and associated timelines here. Note: the timelines are to aid applicants to plan their application appropriately. India Alliance reserves the right to modify competition timelines for operational convenience.