CHAMPS

Center for HIV/AIDS Minority Pipeline in Substance Abuse Research (CHAMPS): funded by NIDA grant R25 DA 025571;

PI: Strathdee

The Center for HIV/AIDS Minority Pipeline in Substance Abuse (CHAMPS), is a short-term, intensive internship program for under-represented scholars who will become the next generation of *prevention scientists with expertise in HIV, substance use and co-occurring conditions (i.e., viral hepatitis, TB and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), psychiatric comorbidity). Eligible CHAMPs trainees will be individuals from *underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from socially, culturally, economically, or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds with promising potential to pursue a career in health-related research. The overall goal of CHAMPS is to provide postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty from these groups with the skills necessary for the conceptualization, planning, and execution of prevention research on substance abuse, HIV and related infections.

CHAMPS will build upon a longstanding partnership between the University of California San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine and the San Diego State University (SDSU) Graduate School of Public Health and College of Arts and Sciences, two schools with a reputation for recruiting and retaining a diverse student body and faculty. We draw upon a network of mentors from UCSD and SDSU who have demonstrated expertise in prevention research on HIV and substance abuse and associated comorbidities, mentoring experience and a commitment to promoting diversity across the disciplines of epidemiology, health behavior and clinical psychology.

Investigators from **underrepresented racial and ethnic groups have unique qualifications for doing research with their respective communities, yet often face barriers to obtaining research funding for research. Our program offers these trainees a team of experienced and ethnically-diverse mentors, coupled with an internship program with targeted training, research and funding opportunities focused on the prevention of HIV and related infections among substance users. The specific objectives of CHAMPS are:

  1. To offer a short-term (4-6 month) intensive internship program with interdisciplinary research and career development training for **underrepresented postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty who aspire to become independent researchers focusing on the prevention of HIV, substance use and related comorbidities (including psychiatric comorbidity such as depression, childhood trauma).
  2. To provide **underrepresented minority postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty with career development training, as well as improved skills in manuscript writing, grantsmanship, presentation skills and methodologies deemed to be important for designing and conducting studies on the prevention of HIV, substance use and related comorbidities.
  3. To offer peer-reviewed developmental ‘seed’ grants and travel grants for **underrepresented postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty to gain critical professional experience and ‘prime the pump’ in prevention research on HIV, substance use and related comorbidities.
  4. To train **underrepresented postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty in the responsible conduct of research with human subjects, especially disadvantaged populations in cross-cultural and international settings.

* Prevention sciences are typically those in the epidemiological and behavioral sciences.

** For detailed information on underrepresented groups, please visit the National Institutes of Health website, Program Announcement: PAR-07-386, Section IV, Item 6 on Special Requirements, Recruitment and Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity.

For more information, interested Postdoctoral and Junior Faculty should contact Carolyn Oliver.

Publications:

Rodwell TC, Robertson AM, *Aguirre N, Vera AL, Anderson CM, Lozada R, *Chait L, Schooley, RT, Zhang X, and Strathdee SA. Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 Surveillance in Marginalized Populations, Tijuana, Mexico. Emerg Infect Dis. 2010:16(8);1292-1295.

*CHAMPS fellows