The proposed "Community-Based HIV Education Research Program for Diverse Racial and Ethnic Groups" addresses the documented challenges and barriers to the advancement of underrepresented race and ethnic minority (REM) scholars in the field of community-based participatory HIV/AIDS research. Five cohorts of four REM scholars, each at the advanced post-doctoral or junior faculty level, will be recruited and retained, with a targeted goal of equal numbers of women and men (total N=20). Recognizing the importance of quality mentorship and access to practical experience in setting the trajectory for productivity and success of new investigators, and especially those from underrepresented REM groups, we will provide an intensive six week Summer Institute to deliver a research education curriculum and advance the professional development of enrolled scholars;develop and roll out a mentoring typology that addresses structural and individual barriers to advancement of REM scholars in community-based HIV research;and evaluate the effect and efficacy of the overall education program on scholars, mentors, and their respective organizations. The program will be delivered by an interdisciplinary collaborative team comprised of Public Health, Nursing, Anthropology, Sociology, and Social Work and the Historical Council of Black Graduate Colleges and Universities, minority organizations (University of Michigan's Center for Research on Ethnicity, Culture, and Health) and Hunter College Community-Based HIV/AIDS Program. All REM scholars will: participate in an intensive summer program for two consecutive summers that includes interdisciplinary and applied learning experiences;receive sustained mentorship and access to a larger network of REM HIV scientists;be supported to write collaborative HIV proposals and receive funding for pilot projects that address one of the several HIV inequities experienced within communities of color. The significance of this proposal is that it provides theory-driven research education with a unique emphasis on the social determinants and structural factors influencing HIV inequities within communities of color;and it does so within a "culture of collaboration" that extends from working equitably with underrepresented communities in research and practice and builds mutually beneficial referral and research education partnerships with diversity-rich universities and research organizations. The integration of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) as part of the recruitment and scientific advisory structure is one of the innovations of this proposal as is the linkage with mentors and REM researchers from other NIMH funded R25 programs.
The proposal addresses two key public health issues;the spiraling increase spread of HIV/AIDS within communities of color and the dearth of racial and minority researcher conducting HIV/AIDS research. Through the recruitment and intensive summer training of underrepresented racial and ethnic minority researchers in the area of HIV/AIDS and community based research, the disparate HIV/AIDS related prevention, access, and treatment within communities of color has the potential to be addressed.
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