This application seeks funding for the HIV Prevention Research Ethics Training Program. The program addresses the urgent need for HIV investigators with the knowledge and skills to identify and address ethical issues in HIV prevention research, ethically engage participants and communities in the construction and evaluation of population and culturally sensitive research protections, and generate empirical data to inform HIV prevention science ethical procedures and policies. Through an intensive summer institute, mentoring and financial assistance, and a communications networking platform the program offers research ethics education and mentoring to social, behavioral, medical and public health early career scientists with demonstrated expertise in HIV prevention research and the capacity to initiate innovative programs of research that focus on the conduct, improvement and evaluation of population sensitive HIV prevention research ethical procedures. The program's aims are to: (1) increase trainees'knowledge of and capacity to address key ethical issues in HIV prevention research;(2) increase trainees'capacity to ethically engage participants and communities in the construction of participant protections that reflect the values and merit the trust of all stakeholders in HIV prevention research.;(3) increase trainees'capacity to conduct research that will generate data to inform HIV prevention research practices and policies;and (4) create and sustain an information and communication network for trainees, faculty and others in the field for enhancing ethical knowledge, ethical dialogue and future professional collaborations in HIV prevention research ethics. The 5-year grant will include 4 cohorts of 6 trainees each (N = 24). Each trainee will commit to 2 years of training. The program includes: (a) a structured intensive summer institute for trainees in their 1st year;(b) a 2-year individually mentored and financially supported research pilot project on an ethical issue in HIV prevention research;(c) an advanced summer seminar for trainees in their 2nd year focused on data analysis, professional and community dissemination of their mentored research project, and grant writing incorporating the mentored project as a pilot study for a grant supplement or new grant;(d) access to web-based platform for HIV prevention ethics resources and collegial exchange;and (e) participation in a mini-conference on HIV prevention research ethics for all trainees in the 5th year of the grant. Mentoring will be conducted in person during the summer institutes and via electronic media during the year. The summer institute will be held at Fordham University's Center for Ethics Education, NYC. The Center will have primary responsibility for all aspects of the training program. The program has outstanding ethnically diverse, gender balanced and multidisciplinary faculty with experience in the conduct and ethics evaluation of national and international HIV prevention research. Travel, housing, meals and training materials will be fully covered by the training program.
The success of research on the development of effective prevention strategies to reduce the transmission and acquisition of HIV/AIDS is dependent upon ethical procedures that reflect the values and merit the trust of research participants and the communities in which research is conducted. At present, ethics is under- represented in HIV prevention training programs. The proposed training program addresses the urgent need for HIV investigators who can identify and address ethical issues, engage communities in the construction and evaluation of population sensitive research protections, and generate empirical data to inform ethical practice and policies for HIV prevention science.
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