Program

Because of the small number of participants, the program can be very specifically tailored to the needs of those attending. Although we expect to cover fairly standard aspects of the research/grant writing process, these will be covered entirely in the context of the projects being developed by program participants. In the first summer, participants develop in detail their research proposal for a preliminary study (see Funding below). This preliminary study should address gaps in research or critical issues regarding the feasibility of a larger study.

Depending on their progress, they may spend the second summer writing up the results of this study or writing an application for the NIH or equivalent funding. Some potential applicants have already submitted unsuccessful investigator-initiated grants (R01s) to the NIH and may want to work on revising those grants in their first summer. Participants will have had different prior research experiences. The program is tailored to each participant’s needs.

For more details, please see the Description of Summer Program Seminars.

FUNDING. Funding for the program is provided by the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute of Drug Abuse and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. We expect to fund each researcher for up to $20,000 to conduct preliminary research before the second summer. This study should provide the data needed to strengthen an investigator-initiated application to the NIH. In addition, participants will receive a monthly salary for living expenses and round-trip airfare to San Francisco each summer.

DATES OF PROGRAM. Those accepted for the program will work with us for three summers, with some contact occurring during the academic years between summers. Each summer, visiting professors will spend six weeks at CAPS in San Francisco, working with the other participants and CAPS faculty in weekly meetings to develop their initial research project and program of research. Ongoing contact with CAPS faculty mentors during the academic year is expected.

NUMBER OF SCIENTISTS. We expect to accept a small number of scientists each year. They will be joined by 6-8 scientists from previous years. It is our expectation that the excellent scientists in the program will learn from and network with each other.

INSTITUTIONAL COMMITMENT. We are aware that many applicants have heavy teaching loads that can impede their ability to conduct research. It is our experience that scientists who are unable to negotiate a reduction in their teaching loads will have great difficulty obtaining funding for their research. Therefore, we are asking for a letter from a higher official of your institution, such as a Dean or a department Chair, stating that, if accepted, the participant will be able to buy or otherwise negotiate time off regular duties to pursue research. Some of the pilot research funds could be used for this purpose. We also believe that some institutions will see the wisdom of investing in promising scientists by freeing some of their time to pursue research. Because the research application developed as part of this program will ultimately be submitted for funding through the participant’s own institution, the institution clearly gains once the research has been funded. The greater the investment that an institution can make in its scientists, the greater the potential success. Thus, institutional support for the applicant’s research will be evaluated very critically when we select candidates for this program.

SELECTION OF CANDIDATES. The core faculty are happy to personally speak to all potential applicants in order to answer their questions.We are seeking scientists with innovative research questions and culturally-appropriate research ideas that will translate into exciting applications for funding. The ultimate goal of the Training Program for Scientists Conducting Research to Reduce HIV/STI Health Disparities is to develop the highest quality research in pursuit of ending the AIDS epidemic in ethnic minority communities.

HOUSING. Participants are expected to pay for their housing in San Francisco. Campus Life Services at UCSF has a comprehensive Housing Services website. Another good source of listings for housing in the Bay Area is Craigslist. The program manager also maintains a list of housing options that have been used by previous Visiting Professors.

FAMILIES. Visiting Professors are likely to have important commitments to their families and may wish to bring family members along to San Francisco during the summer program. Participants are encouraged to contact UCSF’s Child Care Referral Service for assistance. A few Visiting Professors have successfully used their services in the past and have been satisfied with the quality of the referrals. Another good source of information about child-care referrals in the Bay Area is Craigslist.

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Last modified: January 27, 2014