Heimburger DC, Warner TL, Carothers CL, Blevins M, Thomas Y, Gardner P, Primack A, Vermund SH. Recruiting trainees for a global health research workforce: the National Institutes of Health Fogarty International Clinical Research Scholars Program selection process. The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene. 2013 Aug;89(89). 281-7. PMID: 23798584 [PubMed] PMCID: PMC3741249
Between 2004 and 2012, the National Institutes of Health Fogarty International Clinical Research Scholars (FICRS) Program provided 1-year mentored research training at low- and middle-income country sites for American and international health science doctoral students. We describe the centralized application process, US applicant characteristics, and predictors of selection/enrollment. FICRS received 1,084 applicants representing many health professions and biomedical disciplines at 132 US academic institutions; 219 students from 72 institutions were accepted and enrolled. Medical/osteopathic students comprised 88.9% of applicants and 85.8% of enrollees. Applicants from institutions with higher applicant numbers were two times as likely to be selected. In 2012, FICRS was decentralized among 20 institutions in five consortia (Global Health Fellows), with autonomous selection processes that emphasize post-doctoral trainees. If academia, government, or charitable foundations offer future opportunities to health professions students for international research, the FICRS experience predicts that they can attract substantial numbers of motivated trainees from diverse backgrounds.