Introduction

MENACTRIMS offers a postdoctoral research fellowship program for young neuroscientists to facilitate their conduct of and training in basic, clinical or applied research related to multiple sclerosis (MS). The goal of the program is to maximize exchange of information and to help grow the pool of well-trained research scientists focused on problems in MS. Initially, it is anticipated that several fellowships will be awarded each year.

 

Deadline for application: August 15, 2020

Program Terms

ELIGIBILITY

  • Scientists and physicians who hold or are candidates for an MD, PhD, ScD or equivalent professional degree are eligible.
  • Candidates must have received their advanced degree(s) prior to initiation of the fellowship.
  • In general, successful applicants will be less than 40 years of age at the time of application; exceptions under special circumstances will be considered.

RESEARCH PLAN

  • The MENACTRIMS Research Fellowship is a research-focused experience. Prospective fellows must identify and present a cogent basic, clinical or applied research project to be undertaken during the fellowship period, in collaboration with the fellowship mentor at the host institution.
  • Applicants pursuing a research fellowship experience in any MS-related research topic (basic, applied or clinical, in any relevant specialty area) will be considered.

FELLOWSHIP LOCATION

  • The fellowship period will be spent in a research laboratory or clinic focused on problems associated with MS.
  • The prospective fellow must determine in advance the fellowship location and identify a proposed mentor, all of which will be considered along with the fellow’s own qualifications and research plan, in the review and selection process.

TERM

  • Fellowships of 1-year duration will be available.
  • Fellowships of shorter duration than 1 year will be considered only under special circumstances, which must be detailed in the application process.
  • The fellowship must be initiated (all paper work submitted to the administrator; move to training venue complete; work actively beginning) within 6 months of the receipt of an award letter from MENACTRIMS. Any exceptions to this must be approved by the MENACTRIMS fellowship program.

SUPPORT

  • The fellowship will provide an annual stipend of USD 30,000 for all fellows.
  • MENACTRIMS will also provide economy round-trip transportation from the successful candidate’s home location to the training site; travel expenses for family members cannot be provided.
  • Payment from MENACTRIMS will be made to the host institution, which will be considered the employer of the fellow. Stipends will be paid by the host institution to the fellow according to the institution’s own payment policies and schedules.
  • The MENACTRIMS award must be used by the institution to pay the fellow’s stipend (“salary”) at the appropriate rate for the fellow’s stage of training. Should there be any remaining funds, the remainder of the award can be used to support institutional social benefits (health care coverage, pension, other benefits) that may be required by the institution.
  • If the total stipend plus benefits exceeds the amount provided by the ECTRIMS award, it is the responsibility of the institution/ mentor to supplement the MENACTRIMS award to cover the entire required costs.
  • The expected fellow’s total salary as well as the expected fellow’s total social benefits costs per year have to be indicated by the host institution.
  • Fellows will be expected to attend annual MENACTRIMS Congresses during the term of their fellowship and to make a presentation on their funded research. MENACTRIMS will separately support travel and accommodations for Congress participation.

ACTIVITIES DURING THE FELLOWSHIP PERIOD

The MENACTRIMS Research Fellowship is intended to be a full-time research and research training experience; however up to 10% of the Fellow’s time may be spend in teaching, clinical care not associated with any research project or additional course work, as deemed appropriate by fellow and mentor.

REPORTING

  • Fellows and their mentors are required to provide a semi-annual progress reports, and a final progress report at the conclusion of the fellowship period.
  • A final progress report is due 30 days prior to the end of the fellowship period.
  • Publications that emerge from the work undertaken during the fellowship period should acknowledge the MENACTRIMS Research Fellowship Program for its support.

Application Process

MENACTRIMS Research Fellowships will be awarded in a competitive review process conducted by members of the MENACTRIMS Research Fellowships Review Committee. Applications will be evaluated based on the:

  • Candidate qualifications, educational history and evaluation of career plans
  • Qualifications and characteristics of the proposed fellowship mentor and host institution
  • The proposed research plan, including assessment of the scientific quality, innovation, perceived feasibility, quality of letters of endorsement from the proposed mentor and from referees at the fellow’s home institution, etc.

 

Part 1: Provided by the Candidate

  1. A completed online application, in English, available from the MENACTRIMS website including demographics of the candidate, her/his past experience, goals for training and future career plans.
  2. An abbreviated curriculum vitae of the applicant including bibliography of any relevant publication
  3. Applicant’s career plans
  4. A research fellowship program description

Part 2: Supporting Materials Provided Directly to MENACTRIMS by Others

Please be sure to ask referees to clearly identify the NAME of the applicant on all pages of his/her letters.

  1. From the proposed mentor: Letter of support from the proposed mentor, with special reference to interactions he/she has had with the proposed fellow in planning for the training period and with details of the clinical training program that will be provided to the candidate. Certification that the proposed fellow will be able to undertake clinical care training and activities at the training institution must be provided by the mentor. A current abbreviated curriculum vitae and bibliography for the proposed mentor should be included.
  2. From the training institution:
    1) Letter of support from the department chair (or other relevant institutional official) at the proposed host institution accepting the proposed fellow, should a fellowship be awarded;
    2) Certification from the training institution accepting the terms of the MENACTRIMS fellowship and payments.
  3. From other referees:At least two letters of reference from professionals acquainted with the proposed fellow, from his/her home institution or elsewhere, that address the fellow’s qualities and likelihood for success in clinical career focused on MS. If applicable, a letter from the home institution should be included, indicating that the fellow will be welcomed back to the institution and the nature of the position that will be available, once the fellowship period has been concluded.