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RETI Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs for Applicants

Is the RETI program for me?

Applicants to the RETI program are expected to already have the foundational knowledge and experience necessary for the responsible conduct of research. The aim of RETI training and mentored research experiences is to develop fellows' skills for empirically studying research ethics issues within the context of HIV and drug abuse prevention.

We strongly encourage applicants to design and propose a research ethics study that is part of an existing project, as well as to take into consideration the NIH HIV/AIDS Research Priorities.

I received my doctoral degree prior to 2009 or in 2019. Am I eligible?

Currently the RETI program is open only to early-career investigators who have received their doctoral degree within the last 10 years and on or before December 31, 2019. Therefore, applicants for the summer program in 2020 must have received their degree between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2019. Unfortunately we are not able to accept fellows who earned their degrees in 2020 or prior to 2010.

I am not a United States citizen. Am I eligible for the RETI program?

While it is not necessary that applicants be United States citizens or permanent residents, the program requires that all non-residents be qualified to apply for future NIH funding. This entails (1) having a current visa to work or study in the United States at the time of the Institute and (2) being eligible to submit grants to NIH. While some NIH mechanisms require U.S. citizenship, many do not. Please consult with the NIH website to learn more about your eligibility.

International applicants who are not eligible to apply for NIH funding may also consider applying to the program as a Santander Universities International Fellow. The Santander Universities International Fellow scholarship provides financial support for international students interested in participating in the 10-day summer training program at Fordham University. This program is made possible through a generous gift from Santander Universities’ global division, a major social–responsibility initiative created by Banco Santander to advance the bank’s goal of expanding global education. The Scholarship will provide support for all costs related to travel, lodging and RETI program involvement. The Santander Scholarship is open to non-U.S. citizens working in HIV prevention research. U.S. citizens and permanent residents are not eligible. For more information, please view the Santander Scholarship Announcement.

Can the MRP be used as an add-on to an existing study I am conducting?

While it is possible for the MRP to be conducted as an independent, stand-alone study, we strongly encourage fellows to conduct the MRP as an add-on to an existing study. This ensures feasibility of the project and access to a relevant population.

Is there any tuition for the RETI program?

There is no tuition for the program and all housing and meals are provided by the Institute. Therefore, applicants need not budget any money for the Institute. In addition to this, the Institute funds a small grant of up to $30,000 for fellows to complete a mentored research project in HIV and drug abuse research ethics.

Are there restrictions on how I can spend the $20,000 MRP funding?

A small grant of up to $30,000 (plus 8% indirect costs) will be provided to cover mentored research project costs. This seed money can cover costs of recruitment and participant compensation, travel for data collection, research assistants, recorders and other devices for data collection, transcription, statistical software, use of copyright measures and other relevant expenses. Monies will not be given to pay for capital costs/furniture, computers, RETI Fellow salary, release time or course reductions.

Can I contact faculty members I am interested in working with prior to admission?

Applicants should not be in contact with any RETI faculty members/potential mentors prior to admission to the program. Fellows are assigned mentors upon admission. Any questions regarding admission to the program should be directed to Dr. Celia B. Fisher or Rimah Jaber.

FAQs for Fellows

What is the expected timeline for Mentored Research Project completion?

Following the first summer institute, RETI fellows are expected to work with their mentors to refine Mentored Research Project (MRP) proposals by mid-October. Following approval of these proposals by both their mentor and the project Director, fellows are expected to submit their MRP to their institution's IRB for review by November. Data collection should be conducted between December and March of fellows' first year in the program. There is some flexibility in data collection timing, depending on the specifics of each individual project (e.g., international travel); however, all fellows should return to the RETI the following July with at least preliminary data analyses conducted.

In their second year, MRP funding is based on the expectation that fellows give a conference presentation and submit a preliminary manuscript to their mentor and Project Director (Introduction, Method and Results sections due in November of fellows' second year and Discussion section due in January). It is expected that fellows' will use their second year of RETI fellowship to submit their MRPs for publication, professional presentation, and as pilot data on grant applications.

MRP Funding is based on the expectation that fellows will give a conference presentation and submit a manuscript for publication during Year 2. The Year 2 budget must include monies for travel or publication for a minimum of $1,500 and no more than $4,000. The budget justification must include the name(s) of the conferences and journals to which you plan to submit your MRP. The specific conferences and journals you cite are not binding, but must reflect consideration of appropriate dissemination venues. Use of funds for travel and publication are contingent upon the approval of the RETI director.

How is funding for the Mentored Research Project distributed?

Funding for the MRP is distributed through a subcontract between Fordham University and each fellow's institution. Subcontracts are established following approval of an MRP proposal, and continue through the end of the 2 year fellowship period. Subcontracts are renewed each April during this 2 year period through a no-cost extension, as the R25 grant funding the training program renews at this time.

If I haven't finished my project at the end of 2 years, can the deadline be extended?

Any funding not spent as outlined in the approved budget by the end of the two year period will be forfeited.

What opportunities are available for RETI Fellows after their 2 year commitment?

There are many opportunities open to RETI fellows after their active 2 year commitment has concluded. The RETI Director and faculty are always working to organize symposia for fellows, mock grant reviews, and other activities beneficial their future scholarship. Additionally, the RETI Director and mentors review and provide feedback on preliminary manuscripts and work with fellows to determine appropriate venues for publication and presentation.

The RETI maintains an active alumni network. Alumni can work as peer mentors for future fellows and contribute to our online education materials. Alumni are also regularly featured and write for the Center for Ethics Education Ethics and Society blog.

The RETI staff is always open to suggestions on programs that could be held for former fellows or ways that we can help support and guide your future research and scholarship. Any ideas or recommendations can be submitted via email to ethicsinst@fordham.edu.

What is the correct reference to the RETI and MRP funding in publications?

For fellows in Cohorts 1-5, when referencing the MRP funding source in publications, please indicate that the research was supported by NIDA grant #1R25 DA031608-01.

Where can I find RETI and MRP forms and instructions?

All forms, templates, instructions, and documents relevant to the MRP or other fellow activities can be found on the Resources for Fellows section of the RETI website