To meet the greatest challenges in malaria research, contemporary studies often rely on collaborative efforts among individual investigators with expertise in different areas. NIAID scientists who study malaria in three separate laboratories have come together to form the MRP and promote collaborative environments and facilitate next-level breakthroughs in malaria research. The goal of the MRP is to create, strengthen, and sustain interactions within the MRP and with other National Institutes of Health (NIH)-based investigators who are using diverse yet complementary approaches to tackle the global malaria problem.
The MRP Collaborative Research Fellowship will be awarded annually to a limited number of top applicants who aspire to improve our understanding of the biology, host-pathogen interactions, and transmission of malaria parasites. MRP fellows are expected to play a central role in initiating and maintaining close, balanced, and productive collaborations between two laboratories in the MRP or between the MRP and another NIH-based research program. To help successful applicants gain the knowledge base and skills necessary to launch their own scientific careers, the MRP Collaborative Research Fellowship will provide them the opportunities to do the following:
- Conduct independent, cutting-edge research at NIH and the NIH Clinical Center in the United States and at NIH-sponsored field sites in several of the world’s malaria-endemic countries
- Collaborate with other MRP and NIH scientists to make cross-bridging breakthroughs and gain expertise in diverse, complementary areas of science
- Access the outstanding research experience, resources, and facilities at NIH and at the NIAID International Centers for Excellence in Research (ICER) in Mali, Uganda, and India, as well as newly renovated laboratories in Cambodia and Thailand
- Interact with outstanding MRP and other NIH fellows to form long-lasting personal and scientific relationships
- Receive mentoring from two or more NIH scientists, including experts in parasite biology and transmission and antimalarial immunity, vaccines, and chemotherapy
- Attend year-round weekly seminars given by distinguished intramural and extramural investigators from diverse scientific fields
- Develop public speaking and other communication skills through participation in MRP-wide weekly seminars, journal clubs, and other training activities
- Develop teaching and mentoring skills through supervision of junior trainees
- Attend and present research findings at the most relevant, high-quality national and international meetings
NIAID has a decades-long history of making advances in malaria research, including seminal discoveries that significantly improved our understanding of malaria pathogenesis, immunity and vaccinology, human and vector resistance to parasite infection and disease, and parasite resistance to antimalarial drugs.
MRP investigators envision that a more collaborative approach to research will drive the future development of affordable, point-of-care diagnostics for malaria and drug-resistant parasite infections; highly effective drugs that target essential parasite functions and are less vulnerable to acquired drug-resistance mechanisms; vaccines and adjunctive therapies that reduce the morbidity, mortality, and transmission of malaria; and novel strategies that block parasite development in mosquito vectors.
Applicants must have a Ph.D., M.D., or equivalent graduate degree awarded within five years of the fellowship start date.
The MRP Collaborative Research Fellowship provides stipend and health insurance for three years, while the primary supervisor and collaborator jointly fund research costs and travel expenses to attend meetings or perform field-based research. The primary supervisor may appoint and fund MRP fellows for an additional two years, contingent on the scientific excellence and productivity of the collaboration.
The applicant will identify a suitable primary supervisor, who is a current MRP investigator and together with the primary supervisor, the candidate will define a research project and a suitable collaborator, who is a current MRP or NIH investigator.
Applicants will submit a complete application consisting of the following:
- The MRP Collaborative Research Fellowship MRPapplication.doc, which includes curricular information and a description of the proposed research project
- Three letters or recommendation, including one from the current advisor
Promising candidates will be invited to interview with MRP investigators within two months of submitting their application. Interviews will be held at the NIH Twinbrook laboratories in Rockville, Maryland.
To be considered for the current application cycle, a complete application package should be submitted by March 31,2019. Awardees must begin their appointment no later than September 1,2019.
Send your application and direct your questions to Dr. Sanjay Desai, Chair, MRP Collaborative Research Fellowship Selection Committee.