BARDA Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Can I apply for this program by myself?
No. Only researchers and scientists who are nominated by an eligible institution should apply.
2. What will it cost?
Most of the expenses incurred in Raleigh will be paid for by the BARDA program, including most meals, lodging, international airfare, and local transportation. We can reimburse you for the SEVIS fee ($180) after arrival in the US if you provide the GTI with the original receipt. We are no longer able to provide reimbursements for the Visa application fee ($140).
You will need to pay for your passport, photos, transportation in your home country, any airport taxes, baggage or excess baggage costs, incidental meals en route, any incidentals or optional items you purchase here, or souvenirs. More information about the SEVIS fee and how to apply for a visa will be sent to the selected participants along with their visa certificate.
3. Can I bring my family?
No. This is a full-time, intensive program and participants will not have time to spend with accompanying family members.
4. Can I attend a later program?
Please contact the GTI team AS SOON AS POSSIBLE if you cannot participate (e.g., you get sick and cannot travel). Please DO NOT change your mind at the last minute since there are others who were not selected and it may be too late to ask them to take your place.
5. Can I come early or stay after the program?
Because of the tight schedule, the GTI cannot assist you with any travel plans that are outside the scope of the program. We will issue a round trip airline ticket for you between your home country and Raleigh and cannot assist you with changes in dates or routes once the ticket is issued.
6. What do I need to bring?
The primary item you will need to bring will be your clothing. You may wish to bring a laptop computer and Ethernet cable, but it is not necessary and will not be used in the training. Make sure to bring a plug adapter and/or power transformer for any electronics or electrical devices. The BTEC program will have laptops you can use in the building. You will want to bring a camera and other items you will want to have in the apartment at night.
7. What if I have problems with my visa?
You should make a visa appointment as soon as you get your visa document from the GTI. The GTI will send you additional information about this. The GTI will also contact the US Embassy in your country on your behalf beforehand, but you will need to schedule an appointment for a visa interview. If you are denied the visa or have difficulties, please let us know (firstname.lastname@example.org) right away. You must enter the US on the J-1 visa – even if you already have a B-1 visa in your passport – for tax benefits to the University.
8. Will I have to pay taxes?
You may or may not need to file a US tax return in February 2014 depending on whether or not you had other US sources of income in 2013. You will not be receiving wages or a stipend from NC State University – we are simply covering your travel expenses, so you should not have to file a US tax return as long as you have no additional US income for the year.
9. Will the program be difficult?
The program is intermediate in terms of level of difficulty – neither an introduction for those are not already engaged in the field nor is it so technical that most professionals will get lost. The program will be held in English, however, with lots of technical jargon and an assumption that the participants will not have to use a dictionary a lot. If your English is not good enough to follow along normal speed conversations or lectures, you may want to reconsider and speak with your supervisor since there will be no interpreters and participants will come from various countries and speak other languages.
10. Will I have a single room?
Yes. All participants will have a single bedroom or studio apartment.
11. What if I miss a flight or my flight is delayed and I do not arrive in Raleigh when originally scheduled?
Call us if you miss a flight. We will watch the airline schedule and will wait for you at the luggage area when your plan arrives in Raleigh (“RDU” airport), but if you miss the flight we will not know. Look for someone with a "GTI/BARDA" sign. We will take you from the airport to the apartment.
12. How can I communicate with my family or supervisor back home?
There will be internet access in your apartments, so we suggest using Skype or email to communicate with people overseas.. You will be able to purchase pre-paid calling cards upon arrival that you can use to call home. You will also have access to computers at BTEC.
13. What if I get sick while I am in Raleigh?
If you get sick or hurt while you are in Raleigh, you should call the GTI (we have a 24-hour cell phone number you can call) and we will make sure you get medical treatment. You should also call 911 to get an ambulance and the police if it is an emergency. We will provide limited health and medical insurance while you are here, but you may wish to purchase or maintain your own insurance if you wish.
BTEC (for training content)
Dr. Jennifer Ruiz, Assistant Director, Bioprocess Services and BARDA training program manager
GTI (for logistics)
Michael Bustle, GTI Director
Ilin Misaras, GTI Training Program Coordinator for BTEC programs
BARDA and BTEC Background
Beginning in September 2010, BTEC has received annual grant awards as part of a five-year, nearly $5 million project funded by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. With funding from this grant, a team of instructors from BTEC, Duke University, and industry provided a three-week course entitled Fundamentals of cGMP Influenza Vaccine Manufacturing to three different groups of trainees from February through June 2011. Trainees were selected by institutions participating in a U.S. government-sponsored program to build vaccine production capacity among countries with developing economies. In 2012, the program expanded to offer two additional courses in advanced upstream and advanced downstream processing. These three courses are offered again in 2013.