Early Investigators' Exchange Program

The Early Investigators’ Exchange Program is funded by the International Pediatric Research Foundation to promote basic, clinical, and translational research directed to the prevention, causes, and treatment of pediatric diseases. The program promotes pediatric research through short-term, international research exchanges (<12 months) for investigators in the early phase of their career. The program encourages research groups to share methodologic and content expertise and promote international collaboration. The funding limit is $20,000 USD and the deadline for applications is October 1st. One to two grant proposals are funded each year.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Applicants must be research fellows or junior faculty members who are actively involved in pediatric research. We define early investigators as investigators who received their MD or PhD degree within the past ten years. 
  • The host institution must be in a different country than the applicant’s current institution. The institutional exchange could be within Europe or between Europe and the US.
  • The research mentor must be a member in good standing of the European
    Society for Pediatric Research or the Society for Pediatric Research.

Application Procedure

Applicants submit:

1) A letter which explains how the proposed research exchange program will complement their current research activities and advance their long-term goals

2) CV

3) A short summary of the proposed research project (2-4 pages)

4) Budget: detailed budget that includes the costs of travel, housing, and other expenses (maximum $20,000 USD)


Department Chair

The Department Chair of the applicant’s current institution submits a letter that outlines her/his support for the applicant’s project. The letter must describe the provision of release time for the exchange program.

Research mentor

The research mentor at the host institution completes the laboratory application form and a letter of support that describes the way(s) in which the research mentor’s laboratory will support and promote the early investigator’s project.

Review process

The Early Investigators’ Award Committee, a subcommittee of the Board of Trustees of the International Pediatric Research Foundation, will review all applications. The review will focus on the qualifications of the applicant, the quality and innovation of the proposed research project, the level of institutional support, and the opportunity for international collaboration through research.


The review committee consists of three members: Professor Elena Fuentes-Afflick, MD, MPH, (USA), Professor Heike Rabe MD, PhD (UK) and Professor Hans van Goudoever MD, PhD (Netherlands).


Within six months of completing the exchange program, the award recipient must submit a written summary of their research experience. The support of the Early Investigators’ Exchange Program must be acknowledged in all presentations and publications.

To whom Applications should be submitted

PD Dr Heike Rabe
Senior Clinical Lecturer
Brighton and Sussex Medical School
Paediatric Academic Department
Level 6, Room 663 Royal Alexandra Childrens Hospital
Honorary Consultant Neonatologist
Lead for Research
Trevor Mann Baby Unit
Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust

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