Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the frequently asked questions regarding the Opportunity Fund. If there are any questions that are not covered here, or if more information if required, please email

Goals and Frequency

The application package for the Opportunity Fund is in line with the requirements for NIH applications (including the CV, budget, templates, formatting, etc.), which will help junior investigators learn how to put together an NIH application. The expertise that junior investigators develop from completing the Opportunity Fund application will support them when they apply for larger NIH opportunities such as the International Research Scientist Development Award (IRSDA) program.
Opportunity Fund research proposals are expected to be solicited annually.

Institutional and Investigator Requirements and Eligibility

No, applying for the Opportunity Fund is not required of TMRCs. Applications should only be submitted by TMRCs with junior investigators who have defined research concepts.
TMRCs can submit multiple applications. Ultimately it is anticipated that only one application per TMRC at most will be funded. If two TMRCs submit a joint application, if selected, their institutions would each receive a subaward, with the total funding for the combined award across both institutions not exceeding $20,000.
Yes, each country may submit multiple applications, however if the research proposed is the same across the different countries, then it is not recommended to submit separate applications for each country.
The Opportunity Fund uses the NIH definition of early-stage investigator (ESI), “An ESI is a Program Director/Principal Investigator who has completed their terminal research degree or end of post-graduate clinical training, whichever is later, within the past 10 years and who has not previously competed successfully as a PD/PI for a substantial NIH independent research award”. Additional details can be found here .
Yes, advanced PhD students are eligible and can apply to the Opportunity Fund.
A junior investigator must be affiliated with the TMRC but does not need to be an employee. However, the award will not cover salary nor training.

Applicable Research Concepts

Yes, as long as the proposed research is relevant to the current TMRC scope and is intended to further the science.
It is possible, however if the new sample being collected would require an IRB modification or modification to the informed consent, then it would not be approved.
As long as the proposed work is related to the TMRC pathogen scope, then it could be covered.
The proposed work can be based on data or samples from other sources, as long as the proposed work expands on the TMRC’s current work.

Award Details and Process

Opportunity Fund awards will be provided and managed by RTI as subawards. The Opportunity Fund awards are separate from the TMRC institution awards. Thus, TMRCs do not need to include the Opportunity Fund in their yearly financial reports (FFRs) to the NIH.
Since the Opportunity Fund awards are small and will not include new human subjects or animal approvals, RTI expects that the international research approvals will move quickly. However, in the case that there are delays with government approvals, the Opportunity Fund award will still be honored for the awarded TMRC.
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