Day 2 – NIH training

Today we had another packed day. We started with a grant-writing mini-seminar. Although not applicable for the most part now, Dr. Primack, one of the directors of the Fogarty International Center, started to sow the seeds of the process of a good grant proposal for the future. We switched it up next with a lecture from one of the coordinators for the Fulbright program (http://www.cies.org) who told us about the different levels of involvement and origins of the Fulbright. At least of one of the other fellow scholars in my cohort had worked through a Fulbright grant previously, and as the speaker had, she met her husband during the program. We had our next lecture then, which was a longer talk on grants and NIH application tips and criteria.  We were getting a little slap happy in my row by the end of it. We also received a briefing on a global health project presentation that we all will have to give in groups starting next Friday.

I had some lunch with some of the scholars before heading back for the last 2 elective sessions of the day. The first session took us to Brasil to learn about a hookworm vaccine trial there and some issues regarding research in areas with low health literacy and logistical difficulties. As an informational piece for the human participants in the trial, the research team made a video interviewing local people about their understanding of the trial. Quite an interesting session. The last session consisted of issues in identifying tuberculosis in persons living with HIV in a township outside Capetown, South Africa. The Fogarty Fellow giving the presentation was a Fogarty Scholar in the first group of students 5 years ago. He returns to South Africa for his research year after our orientation. Today we learned about opportunities to remain longitudinally involved in publicly funded research as a part of career development. I have no idea what the future holds (and many of us felt that!) but it was exciting to hear what may be ahead.

It’s been nice to have time to work out after the daily sessions. Tonight a number of us are going to see a movie. Unfortunately, Ali, my Ugandan scholar counterpart, is feeling ill and worsening with a flu. I’m going to surprise him with some Robitussin on my way back to the hotel. I’ll probably need it in a few days, too!

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