Application requirements

Before starting the online application, you will want to prepare the following text and files for uploading. We strongly encourage you to download a Word Doc listing these questions, which you can fill out and save, and then copy and paste your responses into the online application. Using this document is intended to help reduce the potential for problems with the online application. 

Also, do not use the Internet Explorer browser to complete the online application. 

Text to prepare for the online application: 

  • A statement of your research program with the following components:
    • Title and overall goal of your program of research (100-150 words)
    • Significance and innovation of the research, including its theoretical foundations (200-300 words)
    • Your previous research relevant to this area (150-200 words)
    • How you see participating in the program fitting into your research program and attainment of long-term goals (150-200 words)
  • Which of our three tracks would you apply for: 

Track 1 Funded by NIAID

The integration of state-of-the-art biomedical, social/behavioral, and clinical HIV science with implications for alleviating HIV-related health inequities in US-based racial and ethnic minority populations

Mallory Johnson and Monica Gandhi, Co-Directors

Do you wish to be considered for the NIAID track? If so, how would your proposal align with the Strategic Plan of the NIH Office of AIDS Research and the Mission of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID)? We suggest a response of 3-4 sentences.

Track 2 Funded by NIDA Interdisciplinary clinical social/behavioral research to reduce health disparities at the intersection of HIV and substance use in US-based racial and ethnic minority populations Tor Neilands and James Sorensen, Co-Directors

Do you wish to be considered for the NIDA track? If so, how would your proposal align with the Strategic Plan of the NIH Office of AIDS Research and the Funding Strategy of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)? We suggest a response of 3-4 sentences. 

Track 3 Funded by NIMH Social/behavioral science HIV research that incorporates individual-, interpersonal-, and/or socio-structural-level factors in US-based racial and ethnic minority populations Tor Neilands and Emily Arnold, Co-Directors

​​​​​​Do you wish to be considered for the NIMH track? If so, how would your proposal align with the Strategic Plan of the NIH Office of AIDS Research and the program priorities of the Division of AIDS Research of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)? We suggest a response of 3-4 sentences.

  • A description of the Applied Research Experience/Pilot Study. The VP program will fund an individually-tailored “Applied Research Experience” (ARE) or Pilot Study in the amount of $20,000 per participant. (An ARE is similar to a pilot study, except that it does not allow for collection of primary human subjects data; see descriptions below under 1 and 2 for further details).The ARE/Pilot Study will be awarded after the VP completes their first summer institute, and VPs will initiate the activities between the first and second summer in the VP program. During the first summer with the program, VPs will attend seminars on developing a detailed plan for implementing the ARE/Pilot Study. Because of this process, a detailed spending plan is not requested at this time.
  1. NIAID- or NIDA-funded Pilot Study: If you elect to apply for the NIAID- and/or NIDA-funded track, we request that you describe some potential activities that might be included in your Pilot Study. Pilot studies may propose analyses of existing data or collection and analyses of new data. The findings from the pilot study will serve as preliminary data for the NIH grant proposal that you will develop. Please describe the pilot study that you would conduct with these funds. Include a tentative project title, as well as descriptions of the issue, significance, proposed activities (including the target population, sample size, and data collection methods), primary research question(s), data analysis methods, and what you anticipate learning from the pilot study data. In addition, be sure to describe how the preliminary data and findings from the pilot study will support and strengthen your NIH grant proposal. To illustrate how you would spend the $20,000, describe some potential activities that might be included in your Pilot Study/Applied Research Experience (ARE). Explain how the overall experience will inform and support your subsequent grant proposal (limit of 250 words). 
  2. NIMH-funded Applied Research Experience. If you elect to apply to the NIMH Track, we request that you describe some potential activities that might be included in your ARE. Explain how the overall experience will inform and support your subsequent grant proposal. Please note: collection of primary human subjects data cannot be supported with these funds. Examples of activities that can be included are conducting analyses on one’s own existing data or a publicly available dataset; obtaining access to specialized expertise from a statistician; and attending classes and workshops. To illustrate how you would spend the $20,000, describe some potential activities that might be included in your Applied Research Experience (ARE). Explain how the overall experience will inform and support your subsequent grant proposal (limit of 250 words). 
  • A plan describing how you will ensure adequate time to complete the ARE or pilot study and develop a competitive NIH application by the end of the three-year program (limit of 250 words)

File uploads for the online application: 

  • A Specific Aims page for an NIH grant proposal that you would write during your participation in the training program.  
    • We ask that your Specific Aims page includes a tentative project title, as well as descriptions of the significance, proposed activities, sample(s) and methods, and relevance to public health of the study. 
    • In case you are not familiar with a Specific Aims page, here is a link to guidance for aims pages.
    • Limit the Specific Aims to one page. You may include a second page for references. Please use Arial 11 font, single spacing, and half-inch margins. Include a header labeled SPECIFIC AIMS at the top of the page in boldface type. 
  • A current CV that includes a list of publications and grants awarded

    Additional materials to send by email:

    • Three letters of recommendation received by the program application due date. Letters of recommendation should support the applicant’s participation in our program by specifically noting why the letter writer believes the candidate to be an ideal fit for this particular training program. The letters should also be letters of recommendation which discuss the characteristics and background of the candidate for why they believe the candidate has the requisite skills, background, and abilities (both research/technical and interpersonal proficiencies) to both benefit from the program and to contribute to the development of fellow trainees.
    • A letter of institutional support from the applicant’s home institution demonstrating commitment and support of the applicant’s research by detailing specifically how the applicant's institution will support the applicant in completing the Applied Research Experience and applying for NIH research funding (e.g., descriptions of time off for research, seed money, and administrative and/or research assistant support supplied by the home institution) received by the program application due date.

    Please continue on to the next page: Program Commitments