BARDA Participant Guide
BARDA participants receive detailed pre-arrival information by email and on the Moodle site that includes other information about logistics and the BARDA course. Below are some highlights from the pre-arrival guide.
Program participants will be staying at the E.S. King Village Apartments during your training in Raleigh (see photos below for a typical apartment). Every participant will have his/her own room. Each room comes equipped with a full size bed, dresser, television with basic cable, private bathroom and efficiency kitchen furnished with a refrigerator, stove, and microwave. Internet service is included (you will need to bring your own Ethernet cable that’s at least 2m in length if you chose to bring a laptop) and laundry facilities are coin-operated. There is no phone in the apartment, but the GTI will make arrangements for a few temporary phones to be on site for emergency use. There are also tennis courts and a recreation room for your use.
Visit the E.S. King website for more details. The apartment complex is within walking distance of public transportation, fast food and restaurant locations, and shopping centers. The GTI will provide transportation to and from the E.S. King Village to your training site.
BARDA participants will have a variety of dining opportunities that will be arranged by the program, including campus cafeterias, restaurants, and boxed lunches. Vegetarian options will be available. Please inform the GTI if you have other dietary restrictions. On Centennial Campus, which is where BTEC is located, there are not many dining options apart from a coffee shop and convenience store which sells sandwiches and other snack items. The nearest restaurants are walking distance from BTEC are in the Mission Valley Shopping complex. There are many restaurants in Raleigh.
There is also a grocery store (Food Lion) located within walking distance of your apartments. The GTI can provide certain basic cooking equipment and utensils during your stay in Raleigh. More information about grocery stores and dining options available to you will be provided during orientation.
Also visit these websites to explore the various dining options available near you:
While Raleigh generally has a pleasant climate, May is during the spring season and temperatures in June can be quite warm. Average temperatures in May/June are between 50-90 degrees Fahrenheit, or 13-31 Celsius. Prepare to dress in layers for cooler morning and evenings as well as warm daytime temperatures. Dress at BTEC is casual, but closed-toe shoes and long pants are required for laboratory exercises.
What to bring
We recommend that you have immediate access to enough funds to cover initial expenses up to $300 USD. You can change your money at a local bank, though you may need to wait a few days for the money to be sent to a larger banking branch to do the exchange. There is a minimal conversion charge. The conversion fee at Raleigh-Durham International Airport may be even more costly, so it is wiser to convert money in your home country or to bring traveler's checks. Be sure that you have a check/debit card that is compatible with U.S. Automatic Teller Machines (ATM). The Cirrus, Plus, MasterCard and Visa systems are generally the most widely accepted. ATM's are plentiful and can be found in most shopping malls and stores. There are several ATM's on campus. There is usually a $1.50 fee or more for using an ATM that is not affiliated with your bank.
Important items to bring include: contact information for friends and family members; extra photocopies of your passport; medical prescriptions in English; proof of health insurance; your cell phone and computer if desired. Your accommodations will include the basic necessities. A detailed map with nearby stores and restaurants will be distributed upon arrival. We will also take you on a shopping trip for basic necessities during your first weekend. Please make sure to also bring a plug adapter and/or power transformer for any electronics or electrical devices. In the US, we use the A&B type plugs (http://electricaloutlet.org/type-a), which puts out 120V at 60 Hz.
BARDA participants will be provided with a basic health and accident insurance policy that operates on a reimbursement basis. You may wish to purchase additional insurance while you are in the United States because health insurance in the United States is private and medical care costs are VERY expensive. You should bring with you your immunization records, documents regarding any health insurance coverage, and medical prescriptions in English. Also, bring medicines in their original bottles.
Only visit a hospital if you are severely ill or require surgery. For late night medical emergencies, you can visit "Urgent Care" facilities, which are often cheaper and can provide basic emergency services (e.g. treating lacerations, burns or flu). You will receive a list of urgent care facilities near your lodging during the orientation. You should call an ambulance (dial 911) if you need emergency care and must be taken to a hospital (Emergency Room) right away, but it will involve a lot of waiting at the hospital and follow-up expenses. If it is not a true emergency, please call the GTI staff for advice or assistance in getting to a clinic.
The safety of the entire NC State community is a top priority. Campus Police patrol the campus 24 hours a day by vehicle and bike, and on foot. The GTI will arrange your transportation between your apartment and the training program for your safety and convenience. Campus safety escorts are also available after dark to transport you from campus buildings to places near campus. There are more than 400 blue-light emergency telephones, and these automatically call emergency police and fire departments. At least 2 blue light phones are visible from any location on campus. Although you will be staying in a safe area, use common sense to avoid any unfortunate circumstances: do not leave your bags or possessions unattended; avoid walking alone at night and stay alert; do not walk and talk on a cell-phone in a deserted area, which decreases your alertness and increases your vulnerability; walk in groups of 3 or more; walk in well-lit areas; report any suspicious behavior to police (e.g. someone lurking around your residence or building without a purpose).
If you experience an emergency on or off-campus, call 911, which will connect you to police and fire services. For non-emergencies on-campus call Campus Police at (919) 515-3000. For non-emergencies off campus, call the Raleigh police department at (919) 890-3335.
In the United States, people drive on the right side of the road, and the driver's seat is on the left side of the car. If this is different from your home country, remember to LOOK BOTH WAYS before crossing the street.
Other traffic points:
At the BTEC facility, you will have access to a laptop computer and wireless Internet connection during regular course hours. If you use a Web-based email client (for example, a Gmail account), you will be able to check your email during class breaks. Access to printing or copying generally will not be available. However, should a genuine and immediate need arise, you may ask BTEC staff for assistance. There is internet access in each apartment as the E.S. King Village, but you must bring an Ethernet cable at least 2 meters long.
There are several cell phone companies where you can buy a cell phone. Some companies include: Verizon (www.verizon.com), Cingular (www.cingular.com), Sprint (www.sprint.com), and T-Mobile (www.t-mobile.com/). You can buy "pre-paid" phone plans and pay for the phone. International calls, however, will be expensive from cell phones. We recommend that you use a telephone card or Skype for international calls.
Local phone calls from a public pay phone cost $0.50 cents and accept U.S. coins (quarters, dimes, and nickels) and calling cards.
This area boasts 16 colleges and universities and the Research Triangle Park, which means there are many young people and professionals in Raleigh. Therefore, you will have many options for outings on the weekend.
Use websites and newspapers to learn about what's going on:
Shopping is fairly accessible around NC State's campus. There are several food stores and shopping malls and discount superstores accessible by the Wolfline or the CAT bus. Some grocery and discount stores are open 24-hours, which makes shopping very convenient. There are also several international grocery stores in Raleigh, adequate to meet most of your cooking needs.
To learn about the ways to mail a package through the United Postal Services, visit their website: www.usps.com. The closest post office to NC State is on Oberlin Road, across from Cameron Village.
The Raleigh area has many houses of worship and cultural associations. For a directory of a number of different religious centers, visit http://pluralism.org/directory/index/country:US/state:NC/city:raleigh.
For more specific religious and cultural groups, click on the following links:
Hindu, Sikh, and Indian culture: http://www.rtpindia.com/directory/worship.htm
If you do not find a resource that you are looking for, please feel free to contact the GTI with questions. Additionally, if you require any religious accommodations during the training, please inform the GTI.
BTEC (for training content)
Dr. Jennifer Ruiz, Assistant Director, Bioprocess Services and BARDA training program manager
GTI (for logistics)
Mr. 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.