The Annual Course on Principles of STD and HIV Research was first held in 1993 to provide an intensive overview of skills needed to pursue a research career in the field of STD/HIV. Since then, over 1600 trainees, of whom many were women or racial/ethnic minorities, have attended. The importance of cross-disciplinary STD/HIV research has become essential in designing studies and in obtaining funding. Establishing familiarity with research perspectives outside one's own discipline provides young investigators with tools for continued interdisciplinary learning and collaboration, and for maintaining a broad scope of investigative possibilities. This course offers a unique opportunity for introductory training in behavioral, clinical, epidemiologic, statistical and pathogenesis research by providing a practically oriented overview of language and skills common to these broad disciplines. Course duration is limited to two weeks to encourage individuals who are establishing active research careers and allow those who reside outside of the local area to attend. Course objectives are to: 1) Introduce young investigators to critical research areas and questions in the field of STD/HIV;2) Expose investigators to research techniques and tools needed to conduct scientifically and ethically sound studies, including study design, experimental approach, development of instruments for data collection, human subjects considerations, and data analysis;3) Introduce trainees to fundamentals of different disciplines involved in STD/HIV research in order to foster research collaborations;and 4) Discuss strategies for successfully competing for research funds and publishing one's work. The course integrates five tracks: 1) Essentials of STD/HIV interdisciplinary research;2) Clinical and epidemiologic aspects of infections;3) Pathogenesis of specific infections;4) Methodology of behavioral research;and 5) Strategies for successful and ethical research. The course proceedings are disseminated in a reference binder containing speakers'slides and key references and posted on a password-protected website. In past years, the course has derived financial support from an NIH/NIAID R13 grant (NIH/NIAID R13 AI062201) and the current proposal seeks to renew this funding.
The University of Washington's Annual Principles of STD/HIV Research course provides new investigators and trainees in the field of sexually transmitted disease (STD) and HIV/AIDS research with an intensive, interdisciplinary two-week introduction to the fundamentals of clinical, epidemiologic, biostatistical, bioethical, and basic science principles that support research in this exciting and evolving field.