NIH and the Fonds de Recherche du Quebec (FRQS) recently announced the NIH-FRQS Research Career Transition Award Program for early-career scientists. The program aims to foster collaboration between NIH and the Quebec research community by bringing an infusion of top talent from Quebec across all medical research disciplines. Quebec fellows will have the opportunity to jump-start their careers and broaden their horizons by training with top NIH research scientists.
Attending the NIH-FRQS ceremony recently were (from l) Alain Olivier, Dr. Janine Austin Clayton, Dr. Rémi Quirion, Dr. Esther Sternberg, Dr. Michael Gottesman and Julie Payette.
Photo: Bill Branson
FRQS will select, and financially support, up to six fellows for 2- to 3-year awards. Participating fellows will be encouraged to include sex or gender differences in their studies, as scientifically appropriate. They will receive additional mentoring under the auspices of the Intramural Program on Research on Women’s Health (IPRWH) and the Office of Research on Women’s Health. After returning to Quebec, fellows will be granted $25,000 for laboratory start-up costs and assistance with finding permanent faculty positions.
A signing ceremony held in the Natcher Bldg. celebrated the official agreement of the new collaboration. Participants included NIH deputy director for intramural research Dr. Michael Gottesman; Dr. Janine Austin Clayton, acting ORWH director; Dr. Rémi Quirion, chief scientist of FRQS; and Julie Payette, Quebec government delegate for science and innovation.
Participants acknowledged Dr. Esther Sternberg, co-chair of the IPRWH, who has been working to bring this program to life since 2010. “Esther Sternberg has been the moving force at the NIH behind this agreement,” said Gottesman. “Our hope is to be able to contribute to the best possible training that we can muster for fellows who come from Quebec, and in turn Quebec is providing talent and substantial resources.”
Clayton echoed his enthusiasm: “We are so excited about the beginning of this wonderful strategic alliance.”
Quirion reflected on his time as a postdoctoral fellow at the Clinical Center from 1980 to 1983. “The NIH is a fabulous place, and fellows will have the opportunity to work in this environment and get as much as they can from it. They can then bring their knowledge back to Quebec to begin fabulous careers.”
Payette, former flight engineer for the space shuttle Endeavor and chief astronaut of the Canadian Space Agency prior to taking her current post at the Quebec office in Washington D.C., was pleased to attend the ceremony: “I congratulate the vision of the NIH, who understands that we are in a global world.”
Members of the IPRWH steering committee, current NIH postdoctoral fellows from Quebec and Alain Olivier, director of the Quebec office in Washington also attended the signing ceremony.
Information about the award and other international partnerships can be found at www.training.nih.gov/international_career_transition_awards and www.fqrsc.gouv.qc.ca.