Traineeships in AIDS Prevention Studies

Hyman and Monica

AIDS Prevention Studies Fellowships

The Traineeships in AIDS Prevention Studies (TAPS) program trains scientists for academic and public health careers. We invite applications for two- and three-year postdoctoral fellowships in studies relating to the prevention of AIDS. Offered through the UCSF Department of Medicine, TAPS is located at the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS), which is itself part of the Division of Prevention Science within the Department of Medicine. Candidates must hold a PhD, MD, or equivalent doctorate degree. The program is suitable for those who are currently completing their doctoral, residency, or clinical fellowship programs as well as for those who have recently completed their doctoral degrees and seek careers as independent researchers. CAPS, with its unique combination of institutional resources and access to groundbreaking and state-of-the-art HIV research and researchers of world renown across numerous disciplines, provides an excellent environment for postdoctoral training. More than 80 AIDS-related research projects now being implemented by CAPS investigators will provide a wide variety of opportunities for participation by TAPS fellows. To accomplish its goal, CAPS offers fellows supplementary academic preparation in research methods, public health, AIDS, and other specific learning objectives and gives closely supervised experiences in AIDS prevention research. Fellows who already have a master of public health (MPH) degree or its equivalent may complete the program in two years; those who do not will be required to complete the MPH degree at UC Berkeley in the first year, followed by two years of research training. At the end of the training program each fellow will have accomplished the following:

  • completed an MPH degree or equivalent;
  • taken advanced courses in research methods, statistics, and other topics relevant to the fellow’s major fields of interest;
  • participated in and led numerous seminars on research topics within CAPS and in the formal teaching programs of the university;
  • designed several research protocols and completed at least one significant research project under the direction of a faculty mentor;
  • made presentations at national or international meetings;
  • submitted several papers for publication; and
  • prepared at least one research grant proposal for submission.

All recipients of NIH research fellowships must sign an agreement with the NIH that they will fulfill a “service payback” commitment in return for their postdoctoral support. Under the provisions of this commitment, postdoctoral fellows in the first 12 months of their training program will incur an obligation which can be satisfied by an additional 12 months of NIH-supported research training or an equal number of months of health-related research or teaching. Individuals completing two years of postdoctoral support have no further service obligations stemming from postdoctoral support. Trainees who complete less than two years of training may be liable for a financial payback obligation for part or all NIH-funded training.

Fellowship Support

Each TAPS fellow will be provided with training-related support including a computer, travel to at least one annual professional meeting, health insurance, and other support as required to make the training experience productive. Stipends are based on years of relevant postdoctoral experience and follow the NIH stipend scale for Institutional Research Training Grants. The costs of the master’s degree and required courses will also be covered by the fellowship. Unless other arrangements are more suitable, all fellows will use the modern and fully equipped office facilities occupied by CAPS in downtown San Francisco.

Application Process

The fellowship program starts on July 1 of each year. Applications should be submitted, at the latest, by December 1; an application decision will be announced by the following March. Persons interested in this program may request an application package at any time. The master of public health degree program requires a separate application, due December 1. Applicants may obtain information regarding the MPH program at the Berkeley campus of the University of California by calling the School of Public Health at (510)643-0881, or by writing to [email protected]. Applicants can also find information about UCB School of Public Health admissions at


To be eligible for the fellowship, applicants must hold a PhD, MD, or equivalent degree and must be an American citizen, a non-citizen national of the U.S. (e.g., from American Samoa), or have been lawfully admitted to the U.S. for permanent residence and have an Alien Registration Receipt Card (I-151 or I-551). The most important selection criteria will be evidence of superior qualifications and productivity, demonstrated interest in AIDS prevention research, and career goals that can clearly benefit from the fellowship program. Minority candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. Further questions about the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies research training program and requests for applications should be directed to Rochelle Blanco Center for AIDS Prevention Studies TAPS Fellowship Program Mission Hall 550 16th Street, 3rd Floor San Francisco, CA 94158 UCSF Mail Code 0886 Tel: (415) 502-1000 x66229 E-mail: [email protected]   

Emily Elise Sheri