Last August 29 and 30, grant management staff of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health (NIAID/NIH), USA, visited CRESIB, the research center of ISGlobal, one of two institutions in Spain ever to coordinate a large NIH R01 grant (PI Dr. Carlota Dobaño). The project funded by NIAID/NIH in 2012, RTS,S malaria vaccine-induced protection through integrated analysis of antibody, B cell and T cell immune responses, is a 5-year multicenter study to understand how the malaria vaccine candidate RTS,S/AS01E protects against malaria.
The main objective of the two-day visit was to learn about the structure of ISGlobal's research centre and its management practices and how it adheres to NIH policies. It was an excellent opportunity to meet with the grants management personnel assigned to the grant in person. This visit marks NIAID Grants Management's first visit to Spain and to CRESIB for this purpose.
Apart from the presentations related to CRESIB as an institution, management of the R01 grant was discussed. The specifics particular to managing foreign consortium and coordinating an NIH grant as a foreign grantee were highlighted. There have been challenges along the way in trying to be abreast with all the policies that are very specific for NIH grant management, but the group at CRESIB has worked hard in trying proactively to understand and adhere to these policies.
"In the context of an overall shrinking of public funding for global health research, the support of NIH to European-led cutting-edge projects needs to be applauded", stated Antoni Plasencia, Technical Director of CRESIB. "We believe that this visit has clearly helped to set a positive and shared appraisal of our commitment on the quality of our research management, as well as on the intense dedication and high-level of competency of our management teams", he added.
The NIH staff congratulated the team for the good knit between investigators, project and financial management personnel. ISGlobal-CRESIB believes this sets a good basis for the future success of the project and opens new avenues for future funding opportunities.