The Ragon and Doherty Institutes Fellowship Study Program

Overview

The Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard (Ragon Institute) and the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity (Doherty Institute) are collaborating on the Ragon and Doherty Institutes Fellowship Study Program. The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has highlighted the need for globally coordinated responses to major health threats, such as existing and emerging infectious diseases. Through international partnerships, knowledge exchange, and critical mass these important problems can be addressed. This initiative will combine the resources of two world-class institutions to strengthen the fight against infectious disease by providing eligible early career researchers an opportunity to spend an extended period of time at the Doherty Institute in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, or at the Ragon Institute.

Objectives and Outcomes

The objective of the fellowship program is to develop promising research talent and give early career researchers greater access to resources and experts, and to develop skills and knowledge through shared research opportunities. By nurturing talent, we ensure significant research capability and outputs into the future. The resulting collaborative networks will have ongoing benefits to build capacity of researchers, strengthen international research, provide an opportunity to learn global perspectives on pandemic preparedness, and strengthen the capacity to respond to existing and emerging infectious disease threats.

The program offers an intensive learning opportunity to gain experience, knowledge, and skills in another lab, institute, and country. The specific outcome for each fellow will depend upon the research topic and whether this is a new or existing collaboration. However, the program outcomes include:

  1. Increased capacity relevant to the home institution, due to work on a specific project or learning a relevant technique
  2. Increased understanding of each institution and the current infectious disease research underway to further build collaborative networks
  3. Promotion of academic communication and strong, long-term partnership between Ragon Institute and Doherty Institute researchers
  4. Completion of a report summarizing the visit with key activities and outcomes, within 3 months of return to home institution

Prior to arrival, fellows must have an agreed research project and work plan. Fellows are expected to participate in departmental and institute seminars to share findings and strengthen researcher relationships.

For more information about host labs and research areas, contact Gail Sanders at gsanders@mgh.harvard.edu.

Requirements

The fellowship will include salary and other benefits.

A Ragon and Doherty Institutes Fellowship can range from 3 to 12 months, depending upon the proposed area of research and collaboration. A successful candidate for a fellowship must:

  1. Fully describe the goals of the research project and identify the host lab and any details of prior collaboration.
  2. If there has been no prior collaboration, a clear description of the area of shared interest to both research groups is required.
  3. More than 0.5 full time equivalent at either the Ragon or Doherty Institute
  4. Minimum 2 years from PhD and no more than 10 years post-doctoral work experience (excluding periods of career interruption)

As cross disciplinary institutions we anticipate the fellows may come from a variety of disciplines including virology, immunology, microbiology, or computational science, among other fields.

Selection

Fellows will be selected through a competitive process. Applicants are required to submit a fellowship project proposal that will be reviewed by a selection panel of scientists from the Ragon and Doherty Institutes.

Research areas of shared institutional interest for fellows to consider, but are not limited to, include:

  • Immunology
  • Infectious disease including HIV, COVID-19 or tuberculosis
  • Vaccine development

The program provides eligible applicants the opportunity to work on a specific research question and receive mentoring from subject area experts, to learn more about infectious disease research, and establish networks within the international community.

Application Process

We are currently open for applications. This application round closes on February 28, 2023.

All applicants for the Ragon and Doherty Fellowship Study Program should submit an application with the following information:

  • An application covering letter addressed to Selection Panel, The Doherty and Ragon Institute Fellowship program that details:
    • Their current employer, role, responsibilities, qualification and research (length: 1/2 page)
    • Details of the host lab
    • Details of prior collaboration
    • Research plan: brief background, goals, and experimental plan (length: 1 page)
    • A statement outlining how they anticipate the fellowship will contribute to strengthening the capacity of the fellow and broader benefit for further collaboration (length: 1 page)
  • A recommendation letter from their supervisor (1 page) that explains:
    • The value of the fellows’ application
    • Why the applicant is suitable for the fellowship
  • A letter of support from the head of the host lab
  • A curriculum vitae (CV) or resume (length: 2 pages)

The application should be sent by email to gsanders@mgh.harvard.edu.

Please email any questions to Gail Sanders at gsanders@mgh.harvard.edu.