A cadre of new scientists is needed to offer novel perspectives and innovative approaches to HIV and substance use research. Previous research has documented the limited numbers of underrepresented ethnically diverse and other underrepresented researchers addressing the HIV pandemic through research careers.[1,2] Pilot studies represent an important opportunity to not only increase the involvement of underrepresented groups of scientific investigators pursuing new research initiatives, but to provide mentoring opportunities critical to the success of emerging scholars. Specifically, pilot projects create opportunities for the further training and career development of new investigators by promoting collaboration with established senior colleagues of the Center. The opportunity for new HIV investigators to gain guidance and support is critical for continued scientific progress towards addressing the HIV epidemic and the role of substance use. The proposed Pilot Projects and Mentoring (PPM) Core will foster opportunities for mentorship and support for new or early stage investigators (those within 10 years of doctoral studies completion) by drawing on a conceptually-driven framework based on the empirical literature on mentoring. The proposed Core, provides short-term support for investigators targeting new research initiatives or testing the feasibility of new research strategies with the goal of obtaining subsequent extramural funding. The overall goal of the PPM is to promote pilot testing of innovative areas of research in the field of HIV and substance use that require preliminary data for subsequent extramural funding.
The specific aims are:
Aim 1. To solicit and review pilot project proposals;
Aim 2. To ensure mentoring and further training of investigators receiving pilot funds and other new or early stage investigators. The PPM Core seeks to support research conducted by the following 4 groups of investigators: 1. New or early stage investigators; 2. Established investigators without prior experience in the field of substance use and HIV research; 3. Established HIV investigators pursuing a new area of inquiry within the field of substance use and HIV research;and ' 4. Established substance use investigators pursuing new research related to HIV. For all of the above categories we will prioritize and support specific groups determined by NIH and NIDA to be nationally underrepresented in the field of HIV and substance use research (PA-08-190, http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/pa-08-190.html). RFAs will be developed and advertised at the 4 CDUHR-affiliated institutions (NYU, NDRI, BIMC and JJCCJ). Underrepresented groups of new and early stage investigators will be prioritized in the RFA evaluation criteria. A multi-component mentoring structure, based on previous research, will be implemented to support the development of new and early stage investigators.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZDA1-EXL-T (03))
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New York University
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