Scholarships and travel grants for residents and young dermatologists from India
2 Department of Dermatology, Chitwan Medical College, Chitwan, Nepal,
3 Department of Dermatology, Government Medical College, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India
Department of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh
|How to cite this article:
Vinay K, Uprety S, Sawatkar GU. Scholarships and travel grants for residents and young dermatologists from India. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 2018;84:355-361
“Evolution is a process of constant branching and expansion.” – Stephen Jay Gould
The medical field and all its branches, including dermatology, are rapidly evolving and changing. Often, this evolution and change requires collaborations from different corners of the world. Collaboration and networking involves travelling to a different country and having cross-cultural interactions. Every ancient culture of the world realized the necessity to travel and sent its envoy around the world to seek knowledge. Every culture thrived by amalgamating the best of its own with the best of others. What held true for ancient civilizations holds true for us today as well. Sharing of knowledge and ability to look at a problem from an entirely different vantage point often inspire innovations. Travelling and interacting with other dermatologists help us see from this different vantage point, help us learn new techniques, and enhance our understanding of the subject. It gives us the perspective that we had been lacking. Often, it also gives us the solutions to our problems, because somebody, somewhere else might have already faced it and solved it.
To serve this end, various international dermatology societies, Indian Association of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology, and Government of India provide host of opportunities to young dermatologists to travel and interact. There are several awards and grants specifically designed to encourage participation of resident dermatologists and young dermatologists in various international forums. However, there is a general lack of information on this regard. The goal of this review is to help dissipate information regarding various traditional and nontraditional scholarships and travel grants, with links to sources for more detailed information.
International Dermatology Associations Sponsored Scholarships
American Academy of Dermatology sponsored scholarships
The American Academy of Dermatology has three scholarship programs for young dermatologists (within 3 years of finishing residency) and dermatology residents from India. The scholarship works through a mutual arrangement between American Academy of Dermatology and Indian Association of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology. The goal of these scholarships is to bring young scholars to the American Academy of Dermatology annual meeting for educational and networking opportunities. The American Academy of Dermatology annual meeting is held in the month of February/March every year and these grants are awarded annually.
- Strauss and Katz World Congress Fund Scholarship* (2 scholarships/year)
- American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting Registration Scholarship Program (2 scholarships/year)
- Dr Adarsh A. Kumar Annual Meeting Supplemental Scholarship* (1 scholarship/year).
Interested applicants should route their application through the Indian Association of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology Committee, which would shortlist two candidates each for Strauss and Katz World Congress Fund Scholarship and American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting Registration Scholarship Program. The selection is based on the quality of the abstract and curriculum vitae of the applicant. The applications are open from July to September of every year and the applicants should submit an abstract and a letter of endorsement issued by the Indian Association of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology. Recipients of these scholarships are not eligible for re-applying in the subsequent years.
The Strauss and Katz World Congress Fund Scholarship includes a stipend of $2,000, complimentary registration for the meeting, admission to one postgraduate ticketed session, and an invitation to attend the international scholarship recipient reception and dinner. Further details and links to application submission can be found at https://www.aad.org/members/awards/strauss-and-katz-scholarship.
American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting Registration Scholarship includes a stipend of $1,000, complimentary registration for the meeting, admission to one postgraduate ticketed session, and an invitation to attend the international scholarship recipient reception and dinner. Further details and links to application submission can be found at https://www.aad.org/members/awards/aad-annual-meeting-registration-scholarship.
Named after an Indian-American dermatologist, Dr Adarsh A. Kumar Annual Meeting Supplemental Scholarship is awarded to one of the recipient of the above two scholarships. The awardee is decided by the American Academy of Dermatology based on the quality of the submitted abstract and curriculum vitae of the applicant and includes a stipend of $1,000. No separate application is required for applying for this scholarship.
Women's Dermatologic Society travel grants
Women's Dermatologic Society provides a travel grant of up to $2,500 to attend the Women's Dermatologic Society annual meeting luncheon and the American Academy of Dermatology annual meeting for female dermatologists. The application is open till July of every year and preference is given to applicants with an oral or poster presentation. The application must include an endorsement letter from Indian Association of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology and a copy of the curriculum vitae. The American Academy of Dermatology also provides supplemental support for up to five applicants of the Women's Dermatologic Society travel grant consisting of complementary registration, one educational session, and an invitation to American Academy of Dermatology international scholarship dinner. Further details and links to application submission can be found at https://www.womensderm.org/awards/award-programs/wds-aad-international-travel-award.
European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology sponsored scholarships
The European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology has three scholarship programs to aid dermatologists from India to attend their meetings. The Annual European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology Meet, known as the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology Congress, is generally held in the month of October and the summer meet, known as the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology Spring Symposium is held in the month of April/May. The following grants are awarded.
- Imrich Sarkany non-European memorial scholarship*‡
- Fellowships of reduced registration fee*†‡
- Scholarship of alumni club – lecturer of the year.
The applications for Imrich Sarkany non-European memorial scholarship are open twice a year in the months of February–March for the annual meeting (2–3 scholarships) and August–September for the spring symposium (1–2 scholarships). The applications are assessed by the honors and awards committee of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology and are based on the quality of submitted abstract, previous publications in indexed journals and textbooks, and past presentations in national/international conferences. This scholarship provides free registration to the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology meeting and a 1,000€ travel grant. The recipients of this award are admitted into the prestigious European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology scholarship alumni club. Further details and links to application submission can be found at https://www.eadv.org/scholarships/scholarship-grants.
Fellowships of reduced registration fee for the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology meetings are available at 100€ per applicant. Further details and links to application submission can be found at https://www.eadv.org/fellowships/calls/apply/47.
Scholarship of alumni club – lecturer of the year is awarded during the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology Congress for an outstanding member of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology scholarship alumni club. Therefore, recipients of the Imrich Sarkany non-European memorial scholarship are eligible for application. This scholarship provides free registration to the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology meeting and a 1,000€ travel grant. Further details and links to application submission can be found at https://www.eadv.org/scholarships/alumni-club.
European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology fostering course for residents*
European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology organizes specialized fostering courses for residents and are tailor-made for a small audience and planned to fit the knowledge level of the attendees. Resident courses are open to all residents/trainees in dermatology, including those who are not members of European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology and for international residents. All the resident courses are free of charge and European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology member are eligible for an educational grant of 400€ to cover traveling expenses. Further details and links to application submission can be found at https://eadv.org/fostering-courses/%7BcourseId%7D/how-to-apply.
British Association of Dermatology*†‡
British Association of Dermatology has several grants available for dermatologists from India to attend the British Association of Dermatology Annual Meet. To be eligible, the applicant must have an oral or poster presentation accepted for the annual meet. To apply for this, a copy of curriculum vitae along with a covering letter stating the benefits of attending the meeting must be sent to the academy Vice-president by mid-March and successful candidates are notified by March end. The scholarship includes registration to the annual meet and the 1,000 GBP of travel grant. Further details for applying can be found at: http://www.bad.org.uk/events/annualmeeting/waived-reg.
International Society of Dermatology
International Society of Dermatology awards many travel grants for Indian dermatologists to attend various international and regional meets. Also, Indian dermatologists can avail mentorship opportunities at various international dermatology centers of repute. Three major scholarships awarded by International Society of Dermatology are:
- International Society of Dermatology global education award ‡
- Maria Duran award 
- International Society of Dermatology mentorship program.*
International Society of Dermatology global education award provides assistance for International Society of Dermatology members who are residents or young dermatologists to attend various International Society of Dermatology Meets, including but not limited to the International Congress of Dermatology and World Congress of Dermatology. The application should include an abstract submitted to the conference, copy of curriculum vitae, and recommendation letter from current or former training director. Successful recipients receive travel assistance up to $1,000. Further details and links to application submission can be found at https://www.intsocderm.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3285.
Maria Duran award is given to young female dermatologists from developing countries, including India. This award has been established in the memory of Maria M. Duran, MD, Former Secretary General and Executive Vice-president of International Society of Dermatology. To be eligible for Maria Duran award, the applicant should be a resident in training or within 1 year of completion of residency. The award includes a travel grant of up to $1,000 and registration waiver to the awardee to attend the International Society of Dermatology meetings. For more information on Maria Duran award, click on the link below: https://www.intsocderm.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3285.
International Society of Dermatology Mentorship Program is a wonderful opportunity available for Indian dermatologists who are members of International Society of Dermatology. This is a fellowship opportunity where a dermatologist can receive mentoring to enhance dermatological skills. There are various categories of this mentorship program and a maximum of two mentees are selected from each country. To fill in the mentorship application, click on the link below: https://www.intsocderm.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3285.
International Academy of Cosmetic Dermatology*‡
International Academy of Cosmetic Dermatology awards the Edward L. Keyes resident award for outstanding case report at the World Congress of International Academy of Cosmetic Dermatology conducted annually. The award includes a travel grant to cover the airfare, registration to the conference, accommodation for the conference dates, and an award certificate. The awarded case is also published in SKINmed: Dermatology for the Clinician an official publication of the International Academy of Cosmetic Dermatology. Further details and links to application submission can be found at http://www.skinmedjournal.com/keyes-award.html.
New Zealand Dermatology Society International Scholarship
New Zealand Dermatology Society provides an international scholarship comprising complimentary registration, hotel accommodation, and invitation to annual dinner along with stipend of NZ$1,500 for non-New Zealand dermatologist or resident dermatologist. For further information, click on the link below: https://www.nzdsi.org/News/Scholarship.aspx.
International Society of Pediatric Dermatology
Indian dermatologist can apply for International Society of Pediatric Dermatology travel grant of $1,000 along with waiver of registration fee for attending the World Congress of Pediatric Dermatology.
World Congress of Dermatology*
World Congress of Dermatology is held four-yearly, and the Organizing Committee and International Society of Dermatology provide several scholarships and travel grants for residents in training and young dermatologists. The next World Congress of Dermatology is due in Milan in June 2019. Further details can be obtained at the following link http://www.wcd2019milan.org/.
International Summer Academy of Practical Dermatology ‡
International Summer Academy is held every two-yearly in Munich in the month of July or August. Travel grants of 400€ can be availed by Indian dermatologists presenting a paper or poster at the conference. The conference focuses on practical treatment of skin diseases, important in daily practice. Master classes on focused topics and hands-on courses being other highlights.
International Society of Dermatopathology
International Society of Dermatopathology provides funding of $2,000, along with waived registration for four candidates to attend an International Society of Dermatopathology meeting. Further details and links to application submission can be found at http://www.intsocdermpath.org/assets/docs/tga-2018.pdf.
Dubai Derma is held every year in the month of March at Dubai. The Organizing Committee provides free registration and visa services for applicants having an oral or a poster presentation at the conference. The Organizing Committee also awards the Galdari award for five best-presented cases with total prize money of $15,000. Further details and links to application submission can be found at http://dubaiderma.com/.
Histiocyte Society awards three travel scholarships every year to attend their annual meeting. The scholarship includes a travel grant of $1,000, which can be used to cover the travel and registration expenditures to the conference. Further details and links to application submission can be found at https://histiocytesociety.org/.
Indian Dermatology Associations Sponsored Scholarships
Indian Association of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology sponsored scholarships
The Indian Association of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology provides financial assistance in terms of scholarship for its members to attend various national and international conferences, including but not limited to World Congress of Dermatology, European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology Annual Meet, South Asian Regional Conference of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology, Symposium of International Society of Dermatopathology, DERMACON, and mid-DERMACON. These scholarships can be availed by both provisional life members (residents) and life members. Recipients of these scholarships are not eligible for re-applying in the subsequent years. The scholarships for various conferences are announced from time to time and interested readers are suggested to check the following links periodically at http://www.iadvl.org/.
Cosmetic Dermatology Society of India
Cosmetic Dermatology Society of India awards four scholarships of Rs50,000 every year to facilitate attending their Annual Congress “CosdermIndia”. To be eligible for this scholarship, the candidate must be Cosmetic Dermatology Society of India member and must have 2 years of active participation in Cosmetic Dermatology Society of India events. Last date of scholarship applications is 30th September for each year and curriculum vitae of the participants must be submitted prior to that. Further details and links to application submission can be found at http://cosdermindia.in/scholarships.
Travel Grants Provided by Other National Associations and Agencies
National associations under Government of India
The following national agencies provide financial supports to medical professionals presenting research paper, chairing a session, or delivering a lecture/keynote address in an international scientific event.
- Indian Council of Medical Research – international travel grants
- Science and Engineering Research Board – international travel support scheme*‡
- Council of Scientific and Industrial Research – travel grant for research scholar*‡
- Centre for International Co-operation in Science – travel fellowship*
- Department of Biotechnology – travel support for attending international conference
- University Grants Commission – travel grant scheme.
Under the travel assistance scheme, full excursion class airfare by shortest route and airport tax are reimbursed. Few agencies also reimburse registration fee and visa fees to young scientists (<35 years) in addition to the above support. To be eligible, the applicant should be involved in research work in academic institutions and research laboratories. Department of Biotechnology endorses applications that are primarily biotechnological in nature. For travel assistance by university grant commission, only permanent teachers of state universities, deemed to be universities and central universities are eligible. In addition to the above-said facilities, university grant commission also provides daily allowance at the rate approved by Government of India ($60–$100/day).
Further details and links to application submission can be found at http://www.icmr.nic.in/Forms/travel_non_icmr.htm
Immunology Foundations provide partial travel assistance to medical professionals actively engaged in research activities in the field of immunology and allied sciences. The assistance can be used for visiting and working in reputed laboratories or attending national/international conferences. Further details and links to application submission can be found at http://www.immunologyfoundation.com/bursaries.php.
As detailed above, Indian dermatologists have many grants and opportunities to attend various international meets. The summary of the important scholarships/grants has been tabulated in [Table - 1]. The lead author of this article has availed scholarships marked by asterisks (*). From the author's experience, chances of availing these grants depends on:
- Quality of the submitted abstract
- Strength of the applicants curriculum vitae
- The age of the applicant
- The letter of recommendations produced
- Applicant's participation in Indian Association of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology activities and community dermatology programs.
Abstracts pertaining to topics addressing knowledge gap in clinical practice or research, novel ideas, and therapeutic trials are more likely to be funded. Residents and young dermatologist should design clinical studies on these lines, preferably under the guidance of a seasoned researcher. Second important step for the applicant is to build on their curriculum vitae. Steps in this regard include publications; preferably original articles in high impact factor journals, oral and poster presentations in national and international conferences, and involvement in national society activities. Applying early in the carrier is a key to success. Most agencies and associations provide special preferences to residents and young dermatologists (<35 years) in awarding grants and scholarships. Certain agencies, like the women's dermatologic society, exclusively award grants to female dermatologists, so applying to such agencies would enhance the prospects of a successful application. The importance of guidance of a right mentor cannot be undermined. In addition to mentoring one's research, guide and mentor help mentees in establishing right networks and provide crucial letters of recommendations.
One must remember that it is not simply visiting these new places that will enrich us. Rather, it is the human interactions that we have, the discussions we have, the networks that we build, which shall actually enrich us. The relations established by these networking opportunities not only provide platform for future collaborative research but also help in inter-university exchange of ideas and research scholars. Travelling, for us, has helped in understanding the diversity around this globe, diversity in culture, language, faith, and natural beauty. Our faith in humanity has increased, because these travels have often put us out in vulnerable situations, where strangers have helped us wholeheartedly. These travels have led us to meet amazingly intelligent, innovative, and humble doctors from all around the world. We have been inspired, time and again. We have had incredible fun and learning, and we continue to hope the same for all of our readers.
The authors like to thank their mentors Prof. Amrinder J Kanwar, Prof. Sunil Dogra, Prof. Davinder Parsad, Prof. Rashmi Sarkar, and Prof. Luca Borradori for their guidance. Special thanks to Dr. Rahul Mahajan for his suggestions and critical evaluation of the manuscript.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
The author KV has received grants and scholarships marked by*, SU has received grants and scholarships marked by %, and GUS has received grants and scholarships marked by # in the manuscript.
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