Call for Letters of Interest (LOIs) for Abbott Pandemic Defense Coalition FETP Fellowship

Watch the recording from our informational webinar to learn more about this opportunity!

TEPHINET and the Abbott Pandemic Defense Coalition hosted an informational webinar on Thursday, October 14, 2021 for interested applicants. The hour-long session included information about eligibility, steps to apply for the fellowship, and questions from interested applicants. Check it out on the TEPHINET YouTube channel to get more information before the deadline! 

Watch the Webinar 


We are pleased to announce the opportunity to submit Letters of Intent (LOIs) for the Abbott Pandemic Defense Coalition (APDC) Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) Fellowship. This new small grant opportunity, established in partnership with APDC, works to further the mission of the FETP enterprise and offer continuous learning opportunities for epidemiologists around the globe. APDC, a first-of-its-kind global scientific and public health partnership dedicated to the early detection of, and rapid response to, future pandemic threats aims to connect global centers of excellence in laboratory testing, genetic sequencing and public health research to identify new pathogens, analyze potential risk level, rapidly develop and deploy new diagnostic testing and assess public health impact in real time.

APDC FETP Fellowship small grants are awarded for a maximum of $10,000 (USD) and are funded through the generous support of Abbott.*  All projects proposed for the 2021-2022 cycle of the APDC FETP Fellowship must be initiated and completed during the period of January 15, 2022 to August 31, 2022.  

The deadline to submit LOIs is 11:45 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on October 31, 2021. All individuals interested in submitting a project proposal for funding under this small grants program must first submit an LOI. Applicants are restricted to submitting one LOI. Multiple entries will result in disqualification. All grant awards are contingent upon receipt of funding from associated donors. This announcement does not implicitly or explicitly guarantee awards for submitted LOIs.

Who can apply?

  • Current FETP residents/trainees (intermediate or advanced level) who do not have another TEPHINET small grant in progress.
  • Recent graduates within 2 years of their graduation can apply with the support of their FETP program director.
  • The applicant (i.e. resident/trainee/graduate) must be the Principal Investigator (PI).
  • The applicant  MUST identify an in-country subject matter expert (SME) at their ministry of health (MOH), ministry of agriculture (MOA), APDC site, NPHI, academic institution, or public-private partnership who will serve as their in-country primary mentor for the duration of the grant-funded project. Abbott may assist in identifying and linking applicants to appropriate mentors. Applications that do not identify an in-country mentor will not be considered.
  • The applicant MUST identify which institution and/or laboratory network(s) they will conduct their proposed project with, and ensure that their host country MOH is amenable to their participation in this program. APDC member institutions are recommended to serve in this capacity. APDC investigators in the country should be included as a collaborator or co-investigator/co-mentor if possible

Want to learn how to apply?

Join us for an informational webinar on Thursday, October 14 at 9:00 a.m. EDT. See details at the top of this page.

Priority will be given to:

Priority will be given to residents/trainees/graduates of FETP programs from countries with APDC sites. For further information regarding the APDC and sites and contact information in your country, please contact Francisco Averhoff, the Abbott APDC POC for this project, by email at: francisco [dot] averhoff [at] abbott [dot] com. However, you may also include appropriate institutions (Universities, MOH, NIH, other) as potential collaborators, in the absence of an APDC site. Competitive applications from any country will be considered.

Proposed projects should focus on:

Surveillance and pathogen discovery; namely, identification and/or monitoring of genetic diversity and evolution of endemic or emerging pathogens in-country. Where feasible, collaboration with facilities in neighboring countries may be considered. If located in a country without an APDC site, applicants must ensure that their FETP and/or institution has the necessary permissions, approvals and ability to export specimens under safe and appropriate storage/shipping conditions to a testing site in a neighboring country or region.

Potential activities might include:

  • Setup/establish/strengthen surveillance systems for emerging and re-emerging pathogens where none exist, in collaboration with the APDC site in-country.
  • Design and conduct serosurveys (e.g., cross-sectional or longitudinal) or case studies involving patients with illnesses of novel or unknown etiology.
  • Work with clinics, hospitals, or laboratories to establish specimen banks with databases for specimen and data collection.
  • Utilize existing specimen banks from clinics, hospitals, or laboratories to plan and coordinate selection of appropriate samples, assays, and/or shipment of specimens to Abbott/APDC sites.
  • Other studies/projects related to the topic or with endemic diseases of importance.

Guidance that may inform projects:

Please review the following resources for more information:

Supporting activities:

This small grant program may also include the following activities to further expand and foster sustainable impact of the APDC FETP Fellowship:

  • Scientific Writing:
    • Training on writing and structuring field epidemiology investigations and relevant academic articles.
    • Journal club to foster interactions about current advancements and best practices in the fields of virus identification, surveillance, sample collection, testing, and data analytics.
  • Conference travel to support dissemination of project findings and foster networking.
  • Establishment of Communities of Practice to complement journal club.

The COVID-19 pandemic has renewed emphasis on infectious disease outbreaks and the critical need for pathogen(s) surveillance and accurate diagnosis in order to mobilize a rapid and robust public health response on a local, regional and international scale. TEPHINET encourages applicants to consider these impacts, identify gaps and areas for opportunity in national public health systems for their project proposals.

* All grant awards are contingent upon receipt of funding from associated donors. This announcement does not implicitly or explicitly guarantee awards for submitted LOIs.