International Visiting Fellows Exchange Program

2018 ACR-IRA / ACR-PANLAR International Fellows Exchange Programs

The ACR is pleased to collaborate with the Indian Rheumatology Association (IRA) and the Pan American League of Associations for Rheumatology (PANLAR) to offer International Visiting Fellows Exchange Programs. These programs support scientific collaboration between members of the ACR, IRA, and PANLAR, and junior rheumatologists representing each of those organizations. Each award recipient will participate in a four-week exchange in a foreign country and the 2018 ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting in the United States.

The 2018 exchange program will award four applicants with observerships in October: one fellow from IRA and one from PANLAR will be hosted at academic institutions in the US, and two ACR fellows will travel to India and Argentina for observerships at academic institutions in those countries. Each award recipient will receive:

  • Four weeks of mentoring from rheumatologists through ACR, IRA, or PANLAR, including observation and shadowing of senior rheumatologists and fellows at the host medical center
  • Introduction to clinical and research mentors at the host institution
  • Opportunities to observe evidence-based medicine in practice, and as available, participate in educational activities and clinical experiences, and receive research mentoring
  • Complimentary registration for the 2018 ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL, including free access (with submission of registration information) to one of the popular pre-conference courses
  • Hotel accommodations (single or double occupancy) in Chicago October 18 - 24, 2018 to attend the Annual Meeting
  • A stipend of up to $6,000 USD for reimbursement* of travel, lodging, and incidental living expenses incurred throughout the exchange period (four weeks in host city and one week in Chicago) (one half of the stipend will be paid by the ACR and one half will be paid by IRA or PANLAR); *receipts for reimbursable expenses will be required
  • A one-year membership to the ACR
  • Certificate of Participation in the ACR-IRA or ACR-PANLAR 2018 International Fellows Exchange Program

Read what a PANLAR award recipient said about his International Fellows Exchange experience.

2018 Program Schedule

Four-week training activity at an academic institution in the US, another PANLAR country, or India between September and November

One week at ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL October 18 - 24

Apply Today

See details in the Applicant Information section below.

Application Deadline - May 1 at 5:00 PM ET (17:00 ET)

Applicant Information

Who is Eligible to Apply
Trainees who are:

  1. An MD or MBBS fellow in a formal rheumatology training program, or within five years of completing a rheumatology fellowship
  2. Below the age of 40 years (exceptions require a formal request)
  3. Able to communicate effectively in the primary language of the host country, orally and in writing (for the US and India - English proficiency is required; for the PANLAR exchange - Spanish proficiency is required)
  4. Able to obtain a travel visa for the exchange

Application Requirements
All candidates must provide the following:

  1. CV, photograph, and brief biography (300 words or less) for publication
  2. Personal statement that includes:
    • how the exchange will support the applicant’s career plans
    • what the applicant will bring to the program
    • what the applicant hopes to gain through the experience to bring back to his/her home institution
  3. Area(s) of special interest (at least one)
  4. Letter of recommendation from Program Director/Supervisor that includes a formal statement about the applicant’s professionalism, scholarly ability, and proficiency in the language of the host country
  5. Ranking of top two choices for host institution

Application Submission
Apply online by May 1, 2018 at 5:00 PM / 17:00 ET

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Selection Process

ACR to PANLAR: Candidates will be vetted and ranked by the ACR’s Committee on Training and Workforce. Information submitted by the three top-ranked applicants for PANLAR will be shared with members of the PANLAR Science and Education Committee for the selection of an award recipient to go abroad. If the award recipient is unable to participate, the next person in the PANLAR Science and Education Committee’s rankings for final selection will be invited.

ACR to IRA: Candidates will be vetted and ranked by the ACR’s Committee on Training and Workforce. Information submitted by the three top-ranked applicants for IRA will be shared with IRA for selection of an award recipient to go abroad. If the award recipient is unable to participate, the next person in the IRA selection committee’s rankings for final selection will be invited.

IRA to ACR: Candidates will be vetted and ranked by an IRA selection committee. Information submitted by the three top-ranked applicants will be shared with the ACR’s Committee on Training and Workforce for selection of an award recipient to come to United States. If the award recipient is unable to participate, the next person in the committee’s rankings for final selection will be invited.

PANLAR to ACR: Candidates will be vetted and ranked by the PANLAR Science and Education Committee. Information submitted by the three top-ranked applicants will be shared with members of the ACR’s Committee on Training and Workforce for selection of an award recipient to come to United States. If the award recipient is unable to participate, the next person in committee’s ranking for final selection will be invited.

Accepting the Award
Upon notification, award recipients must sign an acceptance letter and agree to the terms of the award, which will include but may not be limited to:

  • Submission of 2018 ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting registration details and pre-conference course selection (ACR will register award recipients for the meeting)
  • Participation in the four-week exchange fellowship
  • Attendance and participation in the 2018 ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois
  • Submission of receipts for reimbursable expenses and banking information for wire transfer, if applicable
  • Completion of program evaluation that includes a brief reflective report

Applicant FAQs

How much is the stipend and what does it cover?
Each fellow will receive a stipend of up to $6,000 USD.

What expenses can I use the stipend to cover?

  • Food, lodging, ground transportation, and miscellaneous living expenses for the duration of the exchange (at the host institution through the ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting in Chicago)
  • Airfare to host city, from host city to Chicago (to attend Annual Meeting), and from Chicago to home city

In India, lodging for the visiting fellow can be secured for considerably less than in most US cities. For this reason, we anticipate reimbursable expenses the fellow visiting India will be less than $6,000.

How and when will I receive the stipend?
ACR must reimburse expenses, validated by receipts, or withhold 30% of the funds for taxes. To avoid the 30% withholding, fellows will be asked to submit to the ACR receipts of up to $3,000 USD. Once all receipts and banking information for the wire transfer have been submitted, funds will be transferred.

Who pays for my housing during the four-week observership?
Arrangements for housing at or near the host institution are reserved and paid for by the award recipient.

Who pays for my hotel during the ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting?
Hotel accommodations for the ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting are reserved and paid for by the ACR and will not use funds from the stipend. Guest/s may join the award recipient at Annual Meeting. If a room with separate beds is needed, please inform the ACR staff liaison as soon as possible.

Note: Hotel accommodations will be reserved for October 18 - 24, 2018.

Who handles my registration for the ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting?
ACR will handle the award recipient’s meeting registration and fees to attend the 2018 ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting. Registration details and choice of pre-conference course must be submitted by the registration deadline in the award notification email.

Host Institutions

ACR Host Institutions
University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, California

IRA Host Institution
Department of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

PANLAR Host Institutions
Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Universidad de Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia
Hospital Guillermo Almenara Irigoyen/Universidad Científica del Sur, Lima, Perú

2018 Key Dates

May 1 - Application deadline
May 21 - Award recipients notified
June 1 - Award acceptance due
September/October/November - Exchange fellowships (lasts 4 weeks)
October 18 - Arrival in Chicago for ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting
October 18 -24 – ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting
December 14 - Evaluation and report due