Now Accepting Full Proposals for the 2022-2023 Abbott Pandemic Defense Coalition FETP Fellowship

TEPHINET congratulates the Abbott Pandemic Defense Coalition (APDC) Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) Fellowship applicants whose Letters of Intent (LOIs) were approved for advancing to the next stage of review--submission of a full project proposal! All proposals must follow the guidance provided below.

All projects proposed for the 2022-2023 cycle of the APDC-FETP Fellowship must be initiated and completed during the period of January-November 2023, with a maximum budget of US $25,000. The project must not involve other funders. Additionally, the project must be ready to start in January 2023, with all necessary in-country institution project approvals and requirements in place by that time.

Applicants are restricted to submitting one full proposal. Multiple entries will result in disqualification.

When to Apply

Full proposals are due by 11:45 pm Atlanta/EST on December 21, 2022.

How to Apply

Accepted LOI applicants must complete the full proposal application here. Please note: You must be logged into TEPHINET’s website in order to submit your application via the online application form. Applications will not be accepted via email.  Click "Login" near the top right corner of this page to log into your existing account. Please use the same account you used to submit your LOI.

Full Proposal Submission Guidelines

Non-Research Proposals

Small grants will only be awarded to projects that are determined to be “non-research”. Proposals must include activities that demonstrate one of the three project tracks below, (see section 2) and provide concise documentation to that effect. Your proposed project should not be focused on generalizable research. Therefore, please avoid using the word ‘research’ and ‘study’ in your full proposal. While proposals may involve human subjects or the collection and analysis of information, biospecimens, or records from human subjects, the primary objective should not be human subject research (e.g. clinical trials). For more information on non-research projects, please see the guidance document “Non Research Proposal Reminder” that has been made available in the "Documents" section on the right side of this page. 

Full Proposal Document

Your full proposal document should be in English and should not exceed 5 pages of single spaced text in 12-point font with normal margins. Proposed projects should focus on one of the following three project tracks:

  1. Pathogen discovery and surveillance: Identification and/or monitoring of genetic diversity and evolution of endemic, re-emerging, or emerging pathogens.
  2. Non-communicable diseases (NCDs): Identification and/or monitoring of NCDs with established or suspected infectious risk factors and infectious diseases with long-term non-communicable sequelae.
  3. Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and priority public health infectious diseases NTDs are a diverse group of tropical infections that are common in low-income populations in developing regions of Africa, Asia, and the Americas. They are caused by a variety of pathogens, such as viruses, bacteria, protozoa and parasitic worms (helminths); a list of suggested NTDs can be found here.

The proposal should include the following sections:

  • Project title
  • Abstract (250 words or less)
  • Background and significance
  • Preliminary investigations (if applicable)
  • Problem identification and definition
  • Justification
  • Goals and objectives (state goals in terms of public health purpose of the project)
  • Design and methods (include: investigation design; study population; details of diagnostic and discovery testing procedures; procedures related to data and/or specimen collection and data and/or specimen quality assurance; information on collaborating partners; etc.)
  • Interpretation and analysis plan (include: description of data collected; key table shells that show data organization; plans for tabulation, coding, and cleaning data; how will data be analyzed; etc.)
  • Reporting/dissemination plan for findings (include: description of planned reports; how findings will be disseminated; how you will communicate findings to partners; etc.)
  • Additional sections that will not be counted towards the 5-page limit:
    • Literature cited (start from new page; not counted in the 5-page limit)
    • Detailed budget along with justification narrative that covers a period not exceeding 10 months (not counted in the 5-page limit; use January 2023 as expected starting month; see template “Budget” that has been made available in the "Documents" section on the right side of this page). See also Budget and Timeline section below.
    • Detailed project timeline (not counted in the 5-page limit; see template “Timeline” that has been made available in the "Documents" section on the right side of this page)

For additional information about the individual components usually included in a full proposal, please refer to the example reference document “Development of a Small Grant Proposal for a NON-RESEARCH Project” that has been made available in the "Documents" section on the right side of this page. A sample full proposal document has also been made available for your reference.

Budget and Timeline 

The maximum budget for this grant is US $25,000, inclusive of a conditional $1,000 stipend that may be awarded to the Principal Investigator/applicant at the end of their project period and is contingent on performance as an awardee during the project period as well as successful and timely completion of their project. However, funding will not be provided for: Principal Investigator/applicant books, subscriptions, graduate student support or tuition remission. The project’s budget must not include other/multiple funding sources.

Please provide a detailed budget with justification for how the funds will be used and a detailed timeline for your project (see templates “Budget” and “Timeline” made available in the "Documents" section on the right side of this page). Abbott guidelines pertaining to allowable expenses will be applicable for these awards.

Note that you may request in-kind support (not funding) for certain costs that include the following: Consumables-related specimen collection/shipping/storage; Diagnostic testing or test kits; and/or International shipping of specimens for testing at an APDC site. If requesting support for these items or others not listed here, in your proposal you must specify and include a detailed description of what is needed including the rationale, intended use and number of specific items needed (e.g. number of specimen containers, test kits etc.).

Additional Requirements

In addition to the full proposal document, the following materials are required for your submission to be considered complete:

  • A one-page summary of your proposal (not to exceed one page of single spaced text in 12-point font with normal margins) with the following sections:
    • Project title
    • Project leader (the applicant) and collaborators or significant participants
    • Source of request (e.g. the divisions/departments within the Ministry of Health that are supporting the field investigation)
    • The pathogen discovery activity/activities (i.e. description of your project)
    • Goal and main objectives (stated as public health purpose of the project)
    • Details of diagnostic and discovery testing procedures
    • Data and human subject involvement (describe type and source of data collected)
    • Reporting (i.e. what do you expect to report and to whom)
  • Your latest curriculum vitae (CV).
  • A narrative description of your current position (to be submitted as a separate document).
  • NIH-type biographical sketches for significant participants (see template “Biosketch” made available in the "Documents" section on the right side of this page).
  • The abstract page(s) from all ongoing funded and pending project proposals that the PI (i.e. applicant) is undertaking, if any.
  • Letters of support from all collaborating institutions/agencies (e.g. FETP program, APDC investigator(s), Ministry of Health (MOH), Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), hospitals, laboratories etc.). If you/your institution does not currently have an APDC site affiliation, please contact the TEPHINET Small Grants Program at sgp [at] tephinet [dot] org for support.
  • Evidence that, at minimum, you have applied for IRB (HRPP) approval at the same time as submitting your full proposal (e.g., documentation of HRPP # for pending review of the project). If you already have evidence that you have received local IRB approval at the time of this application, please submit that information. If your full proposal is selected for a grant award, then you will be required to provide evidence that you have received local IRB approval before you can receive the grant award.
Important Considerations

Data Use Agreements
Prior to submitting the full proposal, applicants must verify that the data they plan to collect are indeed feasible to collect and can be included in the proposed analyses (e.g. test results, risk factors, etc.).

Specimens export
Where feasible, collaboration with facilities in neighboring countries may be considered. If a project involves specimens/specimen banks and the applicant is located in a country without an APDC site, applicants must demonstrate that their FETP and/or collaborating institution(s) have the necessary permissions, approvals and capability to store and export specimens under safe and appropriate shipping conditions to a testing site in a neighboring country or region.

Overall Evaluation Criteria

Since your proposals will be reviewed by international reviewers please describe any system, data source, abbreviation, etc. that may not be familiar to those outside your own country (e.g. how a boda boda driver system is set up, structure of healthcare system, specimen or data sources, etc.).

Your proposals should be succinct and written in English. Proposals will be subject to both scientific and programmatic review. The following criteria will be used to evaluate proposals for funding consideration:

  • Significance of the problem being addressed
  • Scientific rigor and quality
  • Feasibility of project starting on time and being completed in the indicated timeframe (not to exceed 10 months)
  • Probability that the work will yield important information and will have lasting public health impact
  • Qualifications of the Principal Investigator (i.e. the applicant) and collaborators
  • Indication of a strong mentoring system: in-country subject matter expert/mentor in relevant subject area from either your local FETP, local Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture, APDC site, school of public health, and/or other relevant institutions (Note: If selected, you will also be paired with a long-distance mentor to support your project)
  • Use of new or innovative methodologies or technologies

Small grant awardees are strongly encouraged to publish their findings in scholarly peer‐reviewed journals and present their research at professional gatherings (e.g. meetings, conferences, seminars, etc.). At the completion of the project, it’s recommended that a draft manuscript is submitted to TEPHINET and Abbott for further consideration. Any abstracts, publications, papers, and presentations resulting from project activities must cite contributing source(s) of funding and/or technical support received through this award (information available from your point of contact at TEPHINET). Please notify TEPHINET when you publish or present your work.