Environment and Health Fund Doctoral Fellows Program. Guidelines for Applicants February 2012

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1 BACKGROUND INFORMATION Environment and Health Fund Doctoral Fellows Program Guidelines for Applicants February 2012 The Environment and Health Fund (EHF) supports programs that enhance capacity and strengthen expertise in the academic disciplines related to Environment and Health. As part of EHF's efforts to strengthen core competencies, EHF is seeking excellent doctoral students who are pursuing advanced studies in fields of research relevant to Environment and Health, that is, those aspects of human health and disease that are determined by factors in the environment. The field of Environment and Health The natural environment contributes to people's health through the quality of air we breathe, the food we eat and the water we drink. It offers health enhancing economic and recreational opportunities on the one hand but is threatened by many activities such as transport, industrial processes, and agricultural and waste management practices on the other. The field of Environment and Health lies at the intersection of environmental sciences and health effects. It examines how illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, cancer, neurological disease, and endocrine and fertility impairments are related to exposure to environmental pollution such as air pollution, water quality and contaminants, hazardous wastes, and toxic chemicals and how such negative impacts can be prevented or mitigated. EHF doctoral fellowships are intended for students from the core fields relevant to Environment and Health whose doctoral research focuses on a problem or topic of consequence for environmental health in Israel. The fields of interest include: environmental epidemiology; environmental toxicology; environmental health risk assessment; biostatistics; transport and urban planning in the context of environmental health. TERMS OF FELLOWSHIP The Award EHF doctoral fellowships are for a period of up to three years and are intended for doctoral students who will have an approved research proposal by December 1, Fellowship recipients will be fully exempt from tuition. Fellowship stipend: $22,000 per year for up to three years. The fellowship stipend, along with the personal award and travel grant described below, are paid through the University. 1

2 Training Period Abroad Fellowship recipients are required to spend a study period of between 3 to 6 months in the research group of an overseas researcher. The specialization of the researcher overseas should be in a field essential to the student s research topic and should provide an expertise which will strengthen the student s research capabilities and further the objectives of the research study. (Examples include the learning of new research techniques, methodologies and data analysis skills). Timing of Overseas Study The timing of the student s overseas study should be compatible with the goals of the research program and its design. In order to maximize the benefit of this study and training period, it is best to establish ties with the overseas research group at the early stages of the student s research program. Procedure Statements concerning the students planned 3-6 month study and training period abroad should be detailed in the application form. At the time of application, it is sufficient for the candidate to provide a general description of the intended directions, field of study and steps for establishment of the training abroad Details of the student s request for study overseas should be submitted to EHF by the University by the end of the first semester of the fellowship. The full plan for this overseas study period will need to be finalized by the fellow and approved by EHF by the end of the first year of the fellowship. Once a host researcher has been identified the EHF doctoral fellow should submit the following details to the University for submission to EHF: The researcher and institution in which the student wishes to study abroad; The topic of study and research abroad including an explanation of the relevance to the student's doctoral research; The rationale for the choice of this particular supervisor; A description of the expected training period (the mode of training, the timing and duration of your expected visit abroad, the involvement of your host in other aspects of your thesis etc...); and A letter of invitation from the host researcher The significance of the proposed research period overseas will be evaluated by EHF prior to release of the dedicated funds. EHF may be approached for assistance in identifying an appropriate researcher or laboratory for the research period abroad. Upon return from the training period abroad, details of the foreign training period should be included in the annual Scientific Progress Report (see below) submitted to EHF. 2

3 Budget The budget for the research period abroad is based on a travel allowance and a monthly award of $1,500 to cover per-diem expenses. Travel Allowance: USA East Coast: $ 2,000 Europe: $ 1,200 The travel allowance will be adjusted accordingly for locations outside of Europe or East Coast USA. Personal award An annual personal award of $2,500 will be provided to EHF fellows, paid via the University, along with the first payment of each fellowship year, for the purpose of personal research expenses, professional literature, and funding for conferences and workshops. Other Sources of Funding Candidates are required to advise the relevant authority in the University and the EHF office if supplementary funds are available to them. Candidates may receive supplementary living stipend of not more than $8,000 a year from other sources. Fellowship recipients may work as a teaching assistant at the University, for not more than one course per term. EHF fellows may receive additional funds from other sources intended to cover research expenses. Terms and Conditions Support will be provided on an annual basis and will be renewable each year upon approval of a scientific progress report. The EHF doctoral fellowship is for up to three years. Fellowship recipients are expected to submit their doctoral thesis within six months of the last payment. Fellowship recipients are required to spend a 3-6 month study and training period overseas. A dedicated travel fellowship is awarded to cover the costs of travel and residence abroad. EHF doctoral fellows are expected to present their research in professional conferences. An annual personal award is intended to cover the cost of participation. Fellowship recipients will be required to participate in relevant EHF scientific activities. Scientific Progress Report Fellowship recipients are required to submit an annual scientific report. The report should be written in English by the fellow, be signed and approved by the doctoral fellow's supervisor/s and forwarded to the relevant University Authority. The report should include the following information: 1. A list of courses, seminars and conferences participated in by the fellowship recipient. 2. A list of courses taught by the fellowship recipient 3. Titles of publications authored and co-authored by the fellowship recipient. 4. Advances in the fellow s research since commencement of the fellowship or since the previous report. 5. For the report immediately following the foreign training period: 3

4 a. The topic of study and research abroad including an explanation of the relevance to the fellow s doctoral research. b. The activities the fellow partook in and the knowledge/capabilities gained during the training period. The relevant University Authority should annually submit to EHF the following two documents at the beginning of September. a) The signed and approved scientific report b) A brief letter written by the fellow's supervisor/s evaluating the fellow's progress over the previous year. QUALIFICATIONS AND ELIGIBILITY EHF doctoral fellowships are intended for doctoral students whose research proposal was approved no earlier than June 1, 2011 or is expected to be approved no later than December 1, The award is intended for doctoral research in an institution of higher learning in Israel. APPLICATION FORM AND SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS All application documents must be typed in English and submitted to the relevant Authority in the University, according to the guidelines determined at each institution. Please consult the relevant Authority in the University regarding their specific guidelines. EHF will receive all the materials in electronic form directly from the University. The personal details page and the letters of recommendation (submitted directly to the University) should be scanned and included in the electronic file. The following documents, in English, are to be submitted in this order: 1. Application Form: can be downloaded from the EHF website at and must be submitted as a WORD file only. The detailed description of your doctoral research plan should be submitted as a separate document. 2. Signature Page: can be downloaded from the EHF website at 3. Transcripts of all academic studies and final grades up to the point of submitting the EHF doctoral application. 4. Curriculum Vitae. If degrees were conferred with honours, please indicate the precise designation of the honours in English and Hebrew, in the curriculum vitae and on the application form. Please include a list of publications authored or co-authored. 5. Letters of recommendation, typed in English, from three referees at the request of the candidate. One of the referees should be the proposed research advisor of the candidate. These letters should be regarded as confidential and 4

5 submitted by the referees directly to the University Authority. It would be of great help to the EHF Fellowships Committee if the referees would provide, in the letters of recommendation, a comparison of the candidate to students in the field at a comparable academic stage. Please ask the referees to provide this information. SUBMISSION TIMETABLE Consideration will be given only to complete applications. Application materials should be submitted to the relevant Authority in the University by the date determined by the University. The University must submit up to three candidates to EHF no later than April 16, Notification of awards will be made by the end of June SELECTION CRITERIA The following criteria will be considered in the course of the application review process: 1. The relevance of the proposal to EHF's areas of interest. 2. The quality of the research proposal: the clarity with which the topic is presented; the appropriateness of the proposed methodology; the feasibility of the research objectives. 3. The academic achievements of the student: academic excellence, recommendations by faculty and other individuals with whom the applicant has studied or worked. 4. The potential contribution of the student to building core competencies in environmental health. 5. The merit of the proposed training and study overseas: the suitability of the researcher s expertise to the research plan, the importance of the training and the experience abroad to the academic development of the student. At the time of application candidates should describe their plans for their study period overseas to the best of their knowledge. EHF doctoral fellows will need to submit further details of their request for study overseas by the end of the first semester of their fellowship. The full plan for this overseas study period will need to be finalized by the fellow and approved by EHF by the end of the first year of the fellowship. The overseas research funds will then be awarded to the fellow. NOTIFICATION TO CANDIDATES EHF will notify the University regarding decisions of the EHF Fellowship Committee. All decisions are final. CONTACT INFORMATION Applicants are expected to communicate directly with the University regarding the application requirements and procedures and not directly with EHF. 5

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