The long-term objective of this program is to foster cooperation between the Pan-American Association for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (PABMB), the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (IUBMB) and the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) that would benefit their members, trainees and science.
Specific objectives include:
Creating the conditions to support students officially enrolled in Graduate Programs in Latin American countries to spend short stays (1-6 months) in the laboratory of a scientist affiliated with ASBMB, in order to develop part of his/her thesis research work. The number of awards made per year will depend on the availability of funds.
Creating the conditions to support Latin American postdoctoral fellows and new investigators (not more than 5 years past postdoctoral work) affiliated with PABMB (via their corresponding national societies) to work for 1-6 months in the laboratory of a scientist affiliated with ASBMB. The purpose of the support is for the fellows or new investigators to carry out experiments that require special techniques or expertise, or for other forms of scientific collaboration or advanced training. The number of awards made per year will depend on the availability of funds.
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology have experienced vigorous growth in Latin America in the past decade. As in many other areas of science, however, it is clear that increased cooperation among scientists globally would have a positive impact on the research that is carried out in the region. Moreover, due to past and current economic difficulties in several Latin countries, there would also be a clear benefit in strengthening collaborative ties with well-established laboratories in North America and other continents. On the other hand, some Latin American graduate students and postdoctoral fellows are trained to do research under less than optimal conditions, and they tend to flourish when given the opportunity to work in a more supportive environment. We believe this may represent an untapped resource for good students/postdoctoral fellows and collaborators who would work for a while abroad and would return to their home countries, contributing to capacity building in the life sciences in general in Latin America.
Condition of Awards:
Awards will be provided to offset the costs of travel and living expenses for 1 – 6 months. Awards will be granted for a maximum of US$ 5,000 (approximately US$ 1,000 for travel costs, US$ 4,000 for living expenses). Travel costs will provide for economy airfares, incidental expenses directly related to the travel, local bus fares to and from airport. The awards will not cover insurance or research expenses at the laboratory to be visited. Travel should commence within six months of the award being made. It is expected that suitable matching funds will be available from the laboratories hosting the students/postdoctoral fellows or new investigators to cover their living expenses during longer stays.
Applicants for awards are required to make a full declaration of all other support received in connection with the proposed visit. An award cannot be used to supplement scientific visits otherwise fully covered. Awards will not cover courses, symposia, meetings or congresses. Applicants must be residents of countries that are members of PABMB and should generally be graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, or researchers within five years of their graduate or postdoctoral experience.
The following documents should be provided in English:
- A research proposal of no more than two pages, single-spaced, indicating clearly:
- the nature of the project and the type of experiments to be carried out
- the reason it is necessary to travel to a particular laboratory to conduct the experiments rather than to perform them in the applicant’s own laboratory
- the rationale for the required time period requested
- A budget should be provided, indicating all other sources of support, whether awarded or applied for
- A short curriculum vitae of the applicant, including academic record (for graduate students) and a list of publications.
- A letter of agreement from the Head of the hosting laboratory, stating that the institute will receive the applicant. A list of papers published by the hosting faculty member during the past five years and current grant support for the laboratory should be provided. This letter should also indicate whether the receiving institute will contribute toward the costs of the visit.
A letter of recommendation from the graduate student’s advisor, postdoctoral fellow’s mentor, or Head of the department of the applicant’s institution indicating the reasons why the award would be beneficial.
Selection of Awardees:
The infrastructure and network of PABMB, ASBMB and IUBMB will be used to disseminate information about the program. The ASBMB will receive and process applications and forward to an ad hoc Committee. There will be a call for applications once a year. An ad hoc Committee consisting of six individuals, two appointed by PABMB, two appointed by IUBMB and two by ASBMB, will be charged with the selection of candidates.
The ASBMB and the IUBMB have committed funds of up to US$ 25,000 a year (total US$ 50,000 per year) for this initiative.
Selection of the awardees will be based on:
- the research proposal
- the letter from the thesis advisor, postdoctoral mentor or Department Head
- academic records (for graduate students)
- appropriate English proficiency
- candidate and host laboratory publications
- candidate CV
- scientific excellence, available infrastructure and availability of research funds in the host laboratory, to cover the proposed research plan
After an initial 3-year test phase, an independent panel appointed by ASBMB, IUBMB and PABMB will evaluate the Program, and the results of such evaluation will be used to determine whether the Program should be maintained, reformulated, expanded or terminated.