Trainee Bridge Fund (TBF)

Trainee Expansion Program

 DEADLINES

Trainee Bridge Fund (TBF) application deadline:

 30 June

Selection decisions by the Revision Board:

 1 September

Earliest start date of the funded activity:

 1 October

ABOUT TBF

The Trainee Bridge Fund (TBF) aims to provide awardees with a bridge toward becoming an independent professional in a career focused on an aspect of human milk and lactation research that was outside the focus of an awardee’s doctoral program (or other academic program/training), OR to allow an awardee to move into the field of human milk and lactation, even if that was not the focus of the awardee’s doctoral program (or other academic program/training). The TBF will cover long-term activities, achievable within one year.

TBF-funded initiatives could include, for example:

  • Supporting a trainee or early career professional’s research project as she/he transitions toward an independent position in the field of human milk and lactation
  • Helping an awardee gain national or international exposure
  • Establishing collaborations and building a career-centered portfolio in an aspect of human milk and lactation that was not the focus of their prior training

The TBF covers up to USD 100,000 per awardee for visa-related costs, roundtrip transportation to/from the activity destination, accommodation and personal expenses (food, local transportation). Basic activity expenses are also covered, such as: laboratory costs, conference fees, workshop fees, flights to collaboration sites and ISRHML conference travel/accommodation for presentation of results and experience. The registration fee for the ISRHML conference is excluded, as ISRHML will waive the registration fee. 1-2 awards will be granted per year.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

To be eligible for a Trainee Bridge Fund, the applicant must:

  1. Be an ISRHML member in good standing (no pending dues at application deadline date) ) at the time of application deadline and at the time when proposed expansion (bridge) occurs
  2. Fulfill at least one of the following criteria at application deadline:
    • enrolled in an academic program for a Master’s, PhD or MD (or equivalent) that will be completed by start date of the Bridge Fund project OR
    • completed an academic program for a Master’s, PhD or MD (or equivalent) within the last 3 years OR
    • is enrolled in a postdoctoral training program, clinical training program, medical residency or medical fellowship that will be completed by start date of the Bridge Fund project OR
    • has completed a postdoctoral research program, clinical training program, medical residency or medical fellowship within the last 12 months
    • enrolled in an academic program as mentioned above in other fields, such as Public Health, Health Economics and other health-related topics in the field of human milk and lactation
  3. Propose a project that is relevant to research in human milk and lactation
  4. For those transitioning into the field: demonstrate a commitment to the field of human milk and lactation in earnest
  5. Restriction of Activities of Awardees: The Awardee shall not conduct any research sponsored by, or otherwise collaborate with, companies that promote the use of infant formula, with or without modification, for use as a partial or total replacement of breast milk for healthy term-delivered infants during the term of the Award Agreement

SELECTION CRITERIA

Awardees are selected based on evidence that their proposed project and hosting environment will provide the necessary training to support  and help them progress through early career transitions toward an independent position in the field of human milk and lactation. Awardees will also be selected on the basis of potential for career growth in the field of human milk and lactation.

Applicants will be assessed within the context of their specific disciplines. Successful applications would meet the following criteria:

  1. Applicant
    • The applicant’s academic record is of high quality.
    • The applicant’s career goals are related to, and have the potential to advance, human milk and lactation research and/or practice.
    • It is clear that the applicant is able to both excel at and benefit from the proposed project.
    • It is clear that the applicant has the potential to develop into a productive, independent scholar in the field of human milk and lactation.

Evidence of service to the field of human milk and lactation research is advantageous.

  1. Proposed Project
    • The project plan is clearly and logically articulated. The applicant’s role in the project is explicitly stated.
    • The need for, and value of, the proposed project for advancement of the field of human milk and lactation is clear.
    • The project timeline is logically justified in relation to both learning objectives and project specific aims.
    • The project is feasible, given the applicant’s academic and research background and proposed timeline.
    • The budget is fully justified and reasonable in relation to the proposed project.
    • The list of deliverables (e.g., academic presentation, article, program development) is specific, measurable, achievable, reasonable and time-bound.
  2. Quality of the proposed training expansion
    • The learning objectives document a clear need for, and value of, the bridge expansion program to the applicant.
    • It is clear which components of the proposed project were not the focus of the applicant’s previous training.
    • The project is specific to the learning objectives and is relevant to the applicant’s career goals in the field of human milk and lactation.
    • The application materials show that the outlined project and learning objectives will develop the applicant’s ability to engage in interdisciplinary research in human milk and lactation.
    • The candidate articulates how the proposed training activities will enable her/him to become a productive, independent scholar in the field of human milk and lactation.
  3.  Environment
    • The applicant clearly and logically justifies the choice of proposed training institution and mentor.
    • The hosting supervisor has clearly committed (a) to actively mentor the trainee and (b) to providing a research environment required to successfully complete the bridge expansion program.
    • The available space, facilities, equipment, and personnel support are appropriate given (a) the applicant’s academic and research background and (b) the project plan.
    • The hosting supervisor has an excellent mentorship track record and provides a clear mentorship plan for the applicant.

Any Awardee under the Trainee Bridge Fund shall comply with the following obligations:

  • The funding shall be used within twelve months as of its award. This time can be extended once by a six month period upon the written request by the Awardee;
  • Any unused amount shall be reimbursed to ISRHML
  • A half-term report to be submitted to ISRHML and FLRF six months after commencement of the Bridge Fund, comprising the following information:
    • Update on general progress (400 words)
    • Update on reaching key objectives (200 words)
    • Financial Update (200 words or excel analysis)
  • A final report shall be provided to ISRHML and FLRF within three months from completion of the funded activity, comprising of the following information:
    • Key learnings (300 words)
    • Evaluation of key achievements (500 words)
    • Completion of key objectives (500 words)
    • Key relationships formed (300 words)
    • Discussion of potential publication(s) if applicable (200 words)
    • Financial summary (200 words or excel analysis)
    • Overall conclusion and outlook (400 words)
  • Presentation of results and experience at ISRHML Conference (travel costs to be covered from the amount awarded under the Travel Bridge Fund, ISRHML will forgo the conference registration fee).

The Potential Awardee shall complete the application online at the ISRHML website; the application shall include the following information:

  • Online application form
  • Curriculum Vitae (including publications and prior funding, if available)
  • Copy of transcript for current studies or most-recently-completed degree
  • Copy of certificate for highest academic degree received (to include date of degree conferral)
  • Proof of current enrolment letter from academic or training institution (to include expected date of program completion) (if applicable)
  • Letter from academic or training institution confirming date on which most recent training program was completed (e.g. postdoctoral fellow, clinical fellowship) (if applicable)
  • Support letter and a curriculum vitae (incl. list of publications and funding sources) from hosting mentor (support letter to include a confirmation of applicant acceptance at the hosting institution, a mentorship track record, and a description of the mentorship plan)
  • Documentation of active ISRHML membership or trainee membership
  • Budget
  • Reference letters and contact details of three referees

All required documents listed above should be submitted as a single PDF document in the order shown, to Kathrin Litwan at: tep@isrhml.net, per the timetable above.

If you have any questions about the TBF, please do not hesitate to contact Kathrin Litwan at: tep@isrhml.net.

Download TBF Application Form

Download TBF Budget Spreadsheet

TBF Awardee Agreement

TBF Host Institution Agreement

TEP Indirect Cost Policy

*Applicants please take note of the agreement templates, we advise that your institution(s) is also aware of the agreement templates. 

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