Research Grants

ISTM is pleased to offer Travel Medicine Research Grants to ISTM Members each year. Grants are awarded through a peer-review process implemented by the ISTM Research and Awards Committee. The awards are designed to stimulate travel medicine research by supporting comprehensive research projects or, for larger projects, providing support for pilot studies to enable researchers to collect data/test hypotheses so that they can then apply to other agencies for more substantive research grants.

Typical awards will be in the range of USD 5,000 to USD 10,000 although a single grant up to USD 40,000 will be considered for exceptional proposals. Detailed information on proposal criteria, as well as application forms, can be provided by the ISTM Secretariat.

ISTM offers a number of programs to help support and expand research in travel medicine. Each year, the Society supports research grants for cutting-edge research in the field. This year, the ISTM Executive Board has again increased the funding available for these awards to USD 90,000, and has added some special categories to support the Society Mission and the Presidential Goals.  The 2017-2018 Research Awards that will be granted include funding for:

  • proposals from investigators in resource-poor countries,
  • proposals highlighting digital communications,
  • ISTM Interest and Professional Group research; and,
  • general travel medicine projects.

It is hoped that these grants will stimulate travel medicine research by supporting comprehensive research projects or, for larger projects, provide support for pilot studies to enable researchers to collect data or test hypotheses.

Award requirements include:

  • Research must be travel medicine or immigrant/refugee health oriented
  • Application and protocol proposal must be scientifically sound and must be in accordance with international ethical guidelines
  • There must be no conflicts of interest for any of the investigators who apply for research funding
  • Grant applicants must be ISTM members in good standing
  • Projects should be able to be realistically completed using ISTM grant funding alone.
For the first time, ISTM is opening the call for Research Award proposals to non-ISTM members who reside in countries identified by the World Bank as low income and low-middle income. ISTM is committed to foster and support research in areas of the world where opportunities are otherwise limited. To see which countries are included, the World Bank economic listing can be found here.

Scoring of Proposals

All proposals received by the deadline will go through a blind, peer-review process. The following system is used to score each proposal.

Proposal Section Points Available out of Total
Hypothesis and study questions (Total of 5 pts)
No hypothesis or question; No study aim 0-1 pts
Hypothesis vague or not stated clearly 2-3 pts
Hypothesis stated clearly 4-5 pts
Objectives (Total of 10 Pts)
No objectives; Aim of study unclear; Objectives unrealistic 0-3 pts
Vague or undefined objectives; Some parts are achievable 4-7 pts
Objectives clear and focused; Objectives are achievable and realistic 8-10 pts
Significance (Total of 15 pts)
Narrow focus; Minimal interest; Not likely to contribute to increased knowledge or practice change; Unlikely to stimulate additional studies 0-5 pts
Limited to moderate general interest; Some potential for change of practice or to support further study 6-10 pts
Study is doable and will be of wide general interest; Potential to contribute to practice change or evidence basis of current practice; Strong potential to support further studies 11-15 pts
Originality (Total of 15 pts)
Lack of new ideas; No novel methods; Repeats prior work 0-5 pts
Some original elements; Some original methods; Approach offers some innovation 6-10 pts
New concepts or hypotheses; Innovative methods or ideas; Novel approach or design 11-15 pts
Research plan (Total of 30 pts)
Poorly described; Approach unrealistic or impractical; Analysis plan incomplete; Ethical statement lacking; Lack of clear relationship to hypothesis; Methodologic weaknesses; Unrealistic timeline 0-10 pts
Some or most elements described clearly; Methodology acceptable; Some information about analysis plan; Ethical plan mentioned; Relates somewhat to hypothesis; Some methodologic weaknesses; Possible to accomplish in the time available. 11-20 pts
Described clearly and completely; Relates clearly to stated aims; Analysis plan clear and appropriate; Clear ethics statement; Clear relationship to addressing hypothesis; Few to no methodologic weaknesses; Realistic to accomplish in the time available 21-30 pts
Budget, budget justification (15 pts)
Unrealistic; Budget justification lacking or incomplete; Inappropriate; Too much focus on travel or senior investigator costs 0-5 pts
Mostly realistic; Justification present but limited; Most elements appropriate 6-10 pts
Realistic for the project; Justification clear and appropriate; Targeted toward appropriate expenditures 11-15 pts
Relation to ISTM (Total of 10 pts)
Unrelated to ISTM goals; No statement relating to ISTM goals 0-3 pts
Some relation to ISTM goals; ISTM mentioned 4-7 pts
Clear relationship to ISTM goals; Statement of relationship to ISTM 8-10 pts
Total for Each Proposal - Maximum of 100 points

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The Research and Awards Committee wishes to announce the winning projects for the 2016-2017 Research Awards:

  1. Measuring neutralizing antibodies against yellow fever virus ten years after intradermal yellow fever vaccination with 1/5th-fractional dose, Anna H.E. Roukens, The Netherlands, Principal Investigator.
  2. Elucidating metagenomic markers of prolonged diarrhoea in returned travellers, Katherine Gibney, Australia, Principal Investigator.
  3. The Association Between the Proportion of Pharmacists Authorized to Administer Injections and the Proportion of Patients Adherent to Multiple-Dose Travel Vaccine Regimens: A Retrospective Cohort Analysis of Administrative Data in Alberta, Canada, Sherilyn Houle, Canada, Principal Investigator.
  4. Do Multiplex Molecular Diagnostics improve outcomes for Travellers in a Resource-poor Setting with Travellers’ Diarrhea and Respiratory Illness?, Prativa Pandey, Nepal, Principal Investigator.
  5. Real-time remote monitoring of malaria chemoprophylaxis adverse events though Smartphone application (Trip App), Natalia Rodriguez Valero, Spain. Principal Investigator.

This year once again the ISTM devoted special funding for research in resource-limited countries and emerging markets for the first time. This funding was in addition to the annual research grant program already in place. We are happy to announce this year’s recipient of this funding.

  1. Pathogens Identification and Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing on Traveller's Diarrhea Cases in Bali, Indonesia, Arak Agung Sri Agung Aryastuti, Indonesia, Principal Investigator.

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The Research and Awards Committee wishes to announce the winning projects for the 2015-2016 Research Awards:

  1. Inhaled Budesonide for Altitude Illness Prevention. Dr. Christopher Davis, United States, Principal Investigator.
  2. Persistence of neutralizing antibodies after immunization against Yellow Fever (YF) in HIV-infected patients. Dr. Charlotte Martin, Belgium, Principal Investigator.
  3. Differential Vaccination Requirements of newly arrived Eritrean asylum seekers – an informative sample analysis. Dr. Cornelia Staehelin, Switzerland, Principal Investigator.

This year the ISTM devoted special funding for research in resource-limited countries and emerging markets for the first time. This funding was in addition to the annual research grant program already in place. We are happy to announce the first recipient of this funding.

Association of Dengue Serotype-Genotype and Disease Severity in Foreign Travellers Admitted at Kasih Ibu Hospital, Bali, Indonesia. Dr. Dewa Ayu Sri Masyeni, Indonesia, Principal Investigator.

The ISTM has also devoted special funding for Zika Research. Congratulations to the 2016 Zika Research Award Winner:
Persistence of Zika Virus in Semen After Acute Symptomatic Infection: a European clinical and laboratory observational prospective cohort study. Dr. Denis Malvy and Dr. Matthieu Mechain, France, Principal Investigators.

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2014-2015 Research Award Winners

Four proposals were able to be funded:

  1. Economics, knowledge, attitudes and practices of West African bushmeat in Minnesota and in VFR travellers.
    Dr. Jonathan D. Alpern, United States, Principal Investigator
  2. International pediatric travellers: risk perception, incidence of disease and adherence with recommendations at a tertiary care centre based travel clinic
    Dr. Shaun K. Morris, Canada, Principal Investigator
  3. Development and validation of a novel molecular schistosomiasis viability assay for assessment of treatment success.
    Dr. Mirjam Schunk, Germany, Principal Investigator
  4. ELDEST-study: morbidity in elderly travellers during a short-term stay abroad, a prospective cohort study.
    Jessica Vlot, Netherlands, Principal Investigator

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2013-2014 Research Award Winners

The winning projects for the 2013-2014 Research Awards. Three proposals were able to be funded:

  1. Single visit pre-exposure Rabies vaccination with a new intradermal jet injector: dose finding in healthy adults (R5).
    Dr. Emile F. F. Jonker, The Netherlands, Principal Investigator.
  2. Yellow fever vaccination under low dose methotrexate therapy - a pilot study.
    Dr. Sabine Schmid, Switzerland, Principal Investigator.
  3. Immunogenicity of co-administered yellow fever (YF) and measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccines in pediatric travellers aged 9-15 months from yellow fever non-endemic countries: A pilot study.
    Dr. Stefan Hagmann, United States of America, Principal Investigator.

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2012-2013 Research Award Winners

The winning projects for the 2012-2013 Research Awards. Four proposals were able to be funded:

  1. Determinants of infectious disease incidence and risk behaviours in Australian travellers visiting friends and relatives – a prospective cohort study.
    Dr. Bradley Forssman, Australia, Principal Investigator
  2. Flaviviruses, Alphaviruses and Phleboviruses as etiological agents of febrile syndrome in travellers.
    Mr. Joaquim Gascón, Spain, Principal Investigator
  3. Illness and injury to long-term aide workers to developing countries.
    Dr. Jenny Visser, New Zealand, Principal Investigator
  4. Acute lipid profile changes in malaria patients - a gateway towards novel antimalarial drug class identification?
    Dr. Rosanne Willemijn Wieten, Principal Investigator