From 2008 to 2012, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Fogarty International Clinical Research Fellows Program (FICRF) provided 1-year mentored research training at low- and middle-income country sites for American and international post-doctoral health professionals. We examined the FICRF applicant pool, proposed research topics, selection process, and characteristics of enrollees to assess trends in global health research interest and factors associated with applicant competitiveness. The majority (58%) of 67 US and 57 international Fellows were women, and 83% of Fellows had medical degrees. Most applicants were in clinical fellowships (41%) or residencies (24%). More applicants proposing infectious disease projects were supported (59%) than applicants proposing non-communicable disease (NCD) projects (41%), although projects that combined both topic areas were most successful (69%). The numbers of applicants proposing research on NCDs and the numbers of these applicants awarded fellowships rose dramatically over time. Funding provided to the FICRF varied significantly among NIH Institutes and Centers and was strongly associated with the research topics awarded.