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Indo-US Research Career Transition Program

Khorana-Nirenberg Scholars Program

The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) of the Ministry of Science and Technology, Republic of India, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) of the Department of Health and Human Services, United States of America share an interest in fostering collaborative biomedical research and a common goal in educating and training the next generation of research scientists. To achieve this goal, we have created the Khorana-Nirenberg Scholars Program

The Khorana-Nirenberg Scholars Program carries special prestige and status for Fellows, and has the following objectives:

1. Establishment of long-term career paths for Indian scientists of exceptional scientific ability;
2. Building long-term scientific collaborations between the NIH and Indian institutions of scientific excellence and higher learning;
3. Selection of the best Indian applicants for scientific mentorship at NIH;
4. Support for the Fellows' pursuit of independent research careers, as well as continued long-term scientific collaborations with their NIH mentors, after they have completed their training at NIH and returned to India.

The Program consists of two phases:

Trainees in the Program would participate in the NIH Visiting Program as NIH Visiting Fellows.

The Program is to be jointly sponsored by DBT and NIH, and characterized by close cooperation, mutual respect, continuing communication, and compliance with the applicable policies and processes of each Participant. The National Eye Institute (NEI) intends to serve as the lead Institute for this Program on behalf of the NIH. New areas of partnership and cooperation should evolve as a direct result of this Program, including expanded research collaborations.

DBT Intends to:

1. Implement Phase II of the Program in India, in DBT-supported facilities, and other appropriate institutions in the public, private, and academic sectors.

2. Publicize training opportunities through announcements in journals, media, and websites.

3. Establish appropriate screening procedures to identify exceptional candidates based on their scientific merit, and develop expert selection panels comprised of Indian scientists and faculty that serve on the Review Panel/Award Selection Committee.

4. Provide travel funding for Fellows to conduct at least three working visits to India during the NIH phase of the Award (years 1-3).

5. Establish two-year reentry positions in India for returning Fellows, which include salary, adequate laboratory support, and personnel support.

6. Provide opportunities for returning Fellows to apply for permanent research and/or faculty positions within India.

NIH Intends to:

1. Select exceptional candidates for admission into the NIH Visiting Program.

2. Facilitate the interaction of Fellows with NIH scientists that serve as supervisors, mentors, and advisors.

3. Subject to the availability of funds, provide stipend support and stipend supplementation for health insurance while in the United States, as well as assistance in obtaining appropriate visas, consistent with the NIH Visiting Program policies. IMPORTANT: Funding during Phase I will be provided by the laboratory or Institute in which the Fellow is training; funding levels and other details of the Phase I appointment will be consistent with NIH Visiting Program policies.

4. Provide Fellows with laboratory and/or clinic space, access to library, computers, and related scientific resources, as provided to similar trainees.

5. Make Fellows aware of scientific, professional, and career development opportunities by working with the Office of Intramural Training & Education, and Training Offices within individual NIH Institutes and Centers.

6. Ensure that Fellows and mentors adhere to NIH guidelines regarding oversight and progress review.

7. Encourage continued collaboration with Fellows upon return to India through engagement in periodic meetings, joint publication of research findings, and other exchanges as appropriate.

Application to the Khorana-Nirenberg Scholars Program

The application form is available on the DBT website.

For information about the science, investigators and training opportunities available, visit the links to the participating institutes:

Last Reviewed: November 2012

Department of Health and Human Services NIH, the National Institutes of Health