We propose the renewal of the Training Program, "Behavioral Sciences Research in HIV Infection" at the HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies to provide innovative postdoctoral training in sexuality, gender, and mental health research applied to HIV prevention science. The goal of the Program, which was established in 1989 with an NIMH T32 grant, is to train scholars to assume independent research careers in which they collaborate across disciplines to address challenges posed by the evolving HIV/AIDS epidemic. Our training emphasizes theoretical rigor, methodological innovation, and practical application to address the complex psychological, social, and public health dilemmas posed by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Our Program employs three complementary and mutually reinforcing learning strategies. (1) In the mentored research experience. Fellows engage in research activities supported by their Scientific and Career Mentors (experienced senior investigators with histories of independent funding, interdisciplinary collaboration, and mentoring trainees).(2) Fellows receive instruction in substantive issues including the intersection of sexuality, gender, and mental health and fundamental knowledge of health promotion, epidemiology, biostatistics, and medicine as they relate to HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and care. (3) Fellows receive training in critical academic and professional skills, including responsible conduct of research, which will enable them to excel as competitive researchers with extramural grant support from NIH as well as other PHS and private funders. This Training Program builds on 20 years of success in training postdoctoral research Fellows. Our focus on intensive training in HIV/AIDS prevention science research with coursework in public health has proven to be successful and is maintained in this proposal. The Program will continue to be enriched by the numerous educational resources and training opportunities offered at the HIV Center and throughout the Columbia University Medical Center and, more generally. New York City. We propose to maintain a cohort of seven Fellows, each with a three-year appointment. We propose two changes. First, the directorship of the Program would be assumed by the current Training Director, who has successfully managed the Program over the last six years;he will be supported by two Program Co-Directors who are recognized senior scientists with complementary expertise. Second, to enhance training and better serve the needs of our Fellows, we propose to replace the Biostatistics MS degree program with a required biweekly Seminar that will provide a core body of knowledge in sexuality, gender, and mental health as well as a range of disciplinary perspectives on HIV/AIDS. PUBLIC HEALTH RELAVENCE: The complicated psychological, social, and public health challenges posed by the HIV/AIDS epidemic require a highly trained, diverse cadre of scientists who cani assume leadership roles in the U.S. biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research agenda. As illustrated by the outstanding careers of many of our graduates, our Program has made a major contribution in this area. Through the Program proposed for the next cycle, we will continue to ribute to the development of the next generation of outstanding behavioral sciences HIV/AIDS researchers, capable of meeting this goal.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZMH1-ERB-E (09))
Program Officer
Stoff, David M
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Support Year
Fiscal Year
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Columbia University (N.Y.)
Schools of Medicine
New York
United States
Zip Code
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