This R25 proposal aims to increase the number of highly-trained multidisciplinary HIV scientists from groups underrepresented among NIH Principal Investigators (PIs). It focuses on increasing the number of NIH funded new HIV investigators from underrepresented groups by providing training, mentorship, and other research and professional development activities that will enable them to conduct implementation research focused on criminal justice populations and outcomes regarding the HIV continuum of care, with a special emphasis on solutions that rely or take advantage of health technology (e.g., mHealth, social media interventions, gamification, wearable technology). This grant proposes to renew support for the PIs? successful NIMH R25 training program: the HIV Intervention Science Training Program for Underrepresented New Investigators (HISTP). The HISTP employs a multidisciplinary set of training activities and a number of dedicated, interdisciplinary mentors. The proposed renewal targets promising new investigators from underrepresented groups who are in their first two years of a tenure track faculty position at universities around the U.S.; it extends past innovations as well as shifts the focus to the following key research areas: implementation science, criminal justice, and health technology. A new generation of HIV researchers needs to be trained to conduct such research and better fulfill the promise of technology to make a major impact in reducing new HIV infections, particularly among communities of color. This renewal builds upon the success of the prior cycles of funding, prompting the creation and use of an Alumni Advisory Board consisting of past HISTP trainees who have achieved research and career success. In addition, the HISTP design and methodology have been strategically refined based on lessons learned about mentees? research and career trajectories, mentee and mentor engagement with the program and each other, and feedback from mentees and mentors. The HISTP will enroll 12 promising new investigators from underrepresented groups, 2 mentors for each new investigator, and includes a multidisciplinary Scientific Advisory Board in addition to the Alumni Advisory Board. The program will continue to be led by Drs. Nabila El-Bassel and Elwin Wu (as Multiple PIs) from Columbia University School of Social Work. They have synergistic expertise from working closely together for 10 years on the HISTP as well as more than 20 years of highly productive research collaboration. Targeting the significance of implementation research and criminal justice and combining with the innovation of health technology will truly strengthen the nation?s diverse biobehavioral and biomedical research workforce in delivering evidenced-based, technology-driven and/or supported HIV prevention interventions to communities in an expeditious manner, ultimately reducing new HIV infections and HIV-related health disparities and co-morbidities.

Public Health Relevance

The proposed training program seeks to expand the pool of highly-trained, multidisciplinary HIV scientists from groups that are underrepresented among NIH Principal Investigators (PIs). Via an innovative gamut of multidisciplinary training activities and a number of dedicated, interdisciplinary mentors, the training program will facilitate the growth and development of a new cadre of researchers from underrepresented groups who will conduct implementation research focused on criminal justice populations and outcomes regarding the HIV continuum of care, with a special emphasis on solutions that rely on or take advantage of digital software and hardware technology.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Education Projects (R25)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZMH1)
Program Officer
Stoff, David M
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Columbia University (N.Y.)
Other Health Professions
Schools of Social Welfare/Work
New York
United States
Zip Code
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