The HZI-MI4 Scientific Travel Exchange Program

About the Program

This program integrates the expertise of the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) and the McGill Interdisciplinary Initiative in Infection and Immunity (MI4) in the field of personalized infection research.

HZI and MI4 have partnered to establish a joint Scientific Travel Exchange Program (STEP), which will provide principal investigators from HZI and MI4 the opportunity to exchange trainees at the PhD level or higher to share expertise and intensify collaboration. STEP will allow for international research and training opportunities for up to 3 months at the partner institution.

The goal of this program is to foster scientific excellence through collaboration. It is anticipated that data generated through these collaborations will allow researchers to pursue more comprehensive joint external research funding.

The program encourages trainees to conduct research abroad by covering the cost of the international experience. Eligible trainees are postdoctoral researchers working at HZI or McGill and doctoral researchers with a research project at an HZI or McGill department who have been approved by their primary supervisor to take part in this exchange program. A limited number of awards are available each year on a first come, first served basis.

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About the Partner Institutions

MI4 is a community-wide network of over 250 world-class investigators with diverse expertise, of which nearly 100 are clinician-scientists. The investigators focus on innovative, collaborative, and policy-relevant research to develop new solutions for infectious and immune diseases and deliver these solutions to the patients and populations who need them most.

HZI is Germany’s largest academic institution dedicated exclusively to infection research. Its 60 research units at 6 sites investigate bacterial and viral pathogens of high clinical relevance, elucidate their interaction with the host’s immune system and explore new ways to prevent and combat infections. To promote clinical and pharmaceutical innovation, HZI scientists perform translational research in close cooperation with the university medicine and industry.

Successful STEP awardees will have the following available to their trainees: access to state-of-the-art core facilities for sequencing, imaging and omics approaches, cutting-edge expertise in a number of areas related to the field of personalized infection research and computational resources for leveraging the large amounts of data being generated.

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In 2023, applications are invited for up to 5 grants for McGill researchers exchanging with HZI researchers, and vice versa. Each is worth a maximum of CAD 10,000 or €7,500.

Award values will depend on the research taking place, its duration, and the availability of funding at the time of application. The budget can include up to $2,500 CAD or 1,900 € in research operating costs.

Note that trainees’ activities abroad funded by this program must be at least 2 weeks in length and cannot exceed 3 months. The 3 months should be used in one activity.

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HZI and MI4 will be accepting completed applications on a rolling basis.

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  • The planned research activity in the partner lab is in the area of personalized infection medicine.
  • The research applicant must have a graduate trainee in good academic standing.
  • The research applicant at the partner institution must approve the chosen graduate trainee to take part in the exchange program.
  • The primary supervisor/research applicant must participate in a research collaboration with the partner lab abroad.
  • The trainee going abroad must be a postdoctoral researcher working at HZI or McGill or a doctoral researcher with a research project at an HZI or McGill group.
  • The activity must take place in Germany at HZI or Canada at McGill University.
  • Conference travel is NOT eligible.

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How to Apply

Please fill out the following form

The following documents are needed in ONE single PDF:

  • Statement of proposed research activity and anticipated outcomes, including how it may lead to joint applications to external research funding organizations in the future. The added value of the joint effort must be demonstrated clearly.
  • Supporting statement from partner PI (must be on institutional letterhead)
  • Budget including justification of all costs requested. Please calculate costs using the current exchange rate.
  • Biosketch of participating research applicants, including a maximum of 5 significant relevant and recent publications
  • Biosketch of selected graduate candidate

If you run into any technical issues with the form, please contact us at [at] (subject: STEP%20Technical%20Issue) .

For HZI applicants: Please email applications to Birgit Grün (HZI-MI4-STEP [at] (subject: HZI-MI4%20STEP%20application) )

For MI4/McGill applicants: Please email applications to Kendra Tonkin ( [at] (subject: HZI-MI4%20STEP%20application) )

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Please contact HZI-MI4-STEP [at] and [at] for more information.

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Application Form and Attachments

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