2015 amfAR HIV Scholars Program Announcement
amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, and the Center for LGBT Health Research at the Graduate School of Public Health (“Pitt Public Health”) at the University of Pittsburgh are announcing the continuation of the amfAR HIV Scholars Program: a training program for junior investigators from low- and middle-income countries who are interested in conducting HIV research among gay men, other men who have sex with men, and/or transgender individuals (referred to here collectively as “GMT”). Four scholars from low- and middle-income countries will be accepted into the program for the 2015 training year. The program aims to build indigenous GMT health research capacity by training young investigators to conduct ground-breaking research in HIV among GMT populations. The program also seeks to help define effective responses to the HIV/AIDS epidemic among GMT populations. The training program is being conducted in collaboration with an existing training program on LGBT health research at the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh.
Eligibility to Apply
Junior investigators who are committed to studying HIV prevention and care needs among GMT in their home countries are invited to apply to this program. Scholars from low- and middle-income countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, or Oceania are welcome to apply (view a complete list). To be admitted to the program, investigators must be fluent in English and able to read and write English at a high academic level.
Core Training Program
The training program includes three graduate-level classes to be taken in Pittsburgh from January through May 2015, which is equivalent to a full-time graduate course load. The first of these classes is an overview in LGBT health research, the second is a research methods class, and the third is an advanced research methods class that focuses on research proposal writing. As part of these classes, scholars will develop a research question and write a short proposal (10–15 pages) that will be submitted to amfAR for peer review and possible funding at a pilot project level. During their time in Pittsburgh, each participating scholar will also:
Complete on-line courses in the ethical conduct of research
Complete a draft questionnaire for their proposed research study
Create a PowerPoint presentation to be delivered by the scholar to amfAR staff during a visit to amfAR’s office in New York
Develop a draft IRB application.
Scholars will also attend two additional research methods seminars each week. One focuses on HIV/LGBT health research being conducted by doctoral and post-doctoral students and professors at the Center for LGBT Health Research and the other focuses specifically on the research being designed by the scholars themselves. Additional events sponsored by the Graduate School of Public Health and the Center for LGBT Health Research are also open to the scholars.
Funding and Support
Expenses covered by the program will include round-trip travel between the scholars’ home countries and Pittsburgh, visa fees, housing, a modest stipend to support scholars during their time in Pittsburgh, and training-related costs. Scholars should plan to bring their own laptop computers to Pittsburgh to support their training.
Research proposals will be submitted to amfAR at the conclusion of the training program in the hope that each scholar would receive a pilot research grant to implement his or her proposed study. Please note that this funding is not guaranteed. If research proposals are selected for funding by amfAR, scholars will begin work on their projects after returning to their home countries.
The primary goal of the program is to increase the number of investigators in low- and middle-income countries who are able to conduct research among GMT and advocate for their health needs in order to raise the levels of HIV services and care for GMT in these settings. It is also hoped that the training program will help advance the careers and training horizons of the scholars who participate in the program and increase the research being conducted in the developing world among GMT.
The procedures for applying to the program are simple. Only four documents are needed to apply:
A resume or CV that describes your training and job history.
A letter of support from an NGO or academic institution agreeing to support you and provide a home for your research during the post-training period.
A short (maximum five pages) personal statement and outline of research objectives. Please use the format given on the next page to organize this statement.
Applications that are designed to focus on issues relevant to the HIV treatment cascade (i.e., innovative ways to identify unknown HIV seropositives; finding new ways to help HIV-positive patients access medical care; designing new approaches to help patients stay in treatment; identifying new approaches to increase treatment adherence; creating programs to reconnect HIV-positive patients who have dropped out of medical care) are especially encouraged.
The due date for applications is October 10, 2014. We plan to identify the four finalists for the training program by November 1, and they should plan to arrive in Pittsburgh by January 1, 2015. Interested applicants should submit the three application documents via email to Dr. Ron Stall at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any questions or comments regarding this announcement, please send them to Dr. Stall at the same email address.
Application Instructions: The procedures for applying to the program are simple. Only three documents are needed to apply:
A resume or CV that lists the applicant’s training and job history (maximum two pages).
A letter of support from an NGO or academic institution with which you will partner that documents an agreement to support you and provide a home for your research during the post-training period (maximum two pages)
A short (maximum five pages) personal statement and outline of research objectives. Please use the format below, numbering each section:
Part 1: Personal Statement (maximum two pages)
1.1. Name (first, middle, last):
1.2. City, Country (where you live):
1.3. City, Country (where you intend to focus your research):
1.4. Life and work experiences that demonstrate your knowledge of and ability to work within the GMT community in your city/country.
1.5. Brief description of an NGO or academic institution with which you will partner.
Part 2: Research outline (maximum two pages)
2.1. Proposed research project title
2.2. Brief background of the topic (specific to your location)
2.3. Description of how your research topic addresses the HIV/AIDS treatment cascade.
2.4 Assessment of the feasibility of conducting this project in the chosen research setting.
2.5. Assessment of what this project will contribute to the health of GMT populations in your home setting.