Cyber Mentors, funded by National Institute of Mental Health grant #2R25MH083635-04, is designed to prepare behavioral and social scientists for successful independent research careers that examine HIV/AIDS and health disparities among populations of color and other communities disproportionately affected by the virus. The two-year long  mentorship program  utilizes state of the art distance collaboration and learning technologies (e.g., social media, webinars, etc.), which facilitate the development of professional relationships supporting protégés' research efforts. The program prepares protégés to submit a successful grant application to the National Institutes of Health or other research sponsor.

The Cyber Mentors program matches early career protégés with mentors who are leaders in the field of HIV/AIDS research and have a track record of receiving National Institutes of Health-supported grants.

General Information

One-on-one Mentoring

The one-on-one mentoring consists of two components:

  • Develop and implement a career development plan focused on building the strengths of the protégé to conduct independent research.
  • Conceptualize, draft and submit a research application to a federal or private funding agency.

Mentoring occurs via regular interactions through a dedicated social media platform, over the telephone and during in-person meetings.

Protégé Career Development Fund

Protégé/mentor pairs construct a career development plan for the protégé. Up to $4,000 is available to each protégé for research or career development activities (e.g., preliminary data collection, attending additional conferences, etc.) consistent with the career development plan. 

Professional Development

In addition to one-on-one mentoring, protégés participate in a series of online career development seminars that address various research, methodological, administrative and ethics topics relevant to research careers. Regular large group didactic sessions with expert presenters take place in online classrooms and small group sessions are used to help protégés apply the concepts and skills learned in the didactic sessions into developing their own proposals. Protégés also participate in a mock peer review process where their applications are reviewed and scored. During the mock review, protégés receive written summary statements to which they must formulate a response as part of the mock review.

Grant Writing

By the end of the two-year mentorship period, protégés in the Cyber Mentors program will have developed and begun to implement a career development plan, have a draft of a research proposal to submit to NIH or another funding agency and have identified an appropriate funding mechanism through which they will apply for funding.

Protégés

For Early Career Doctoral-level Researchers Interested in HIV/AIDS

APA Cyber Mentors protégés participate in a two-year, e-collaboration and distance learning mentorship program designed to prepare doctoral-level behavioral and social scientists for careers as independent researchers in the area of HIV/AIDS and health disparities among populations of color and other communities disproportionately affected by the virus. Cyber Mentors utilizes state-of-the-art e-collaboration, and distance learning technologies (e.g., social media, webinars, etc.) to assist protégés achieve three major goals:

  • Develop and implement a career development plan focused on building the capacity to conduct independent research in the area of HIV/AIDS and health disparities.
  • Conceptualize, draft and submit a high-quality research application to an appropriate funding mechanism.
  • Establish a mutually supportive network of professional colleagues with common research interests.

Cyber Mentors, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, matches early career protégés with mentors who are leaders in the field with a strong history of receiving National Institutes of Health-supported grants.

Mentoring is conducted through regular interactions over an Internet social media platform, by telephone and at face-to-face meetings. In addition to one-on-one mentoring, protégés participate in monthly, interactive, web-based seminars that address various research, methodological, ethical and administrative topics relevant to research careers in HIV/AIDS. Protégés also participate in small-group, research-development sessions every other month. These online, small-group sessions focus on the application of concepts learned in seminars to research proposals of protégés. Protégés also participate in a series of mock reviews where research proposals are reviewed, scored and discussed at length.

Protégé/mentor pairs have the opportunity to apply for up to $4,000 to support research or career development activities (e.g., preliminary data collection, attending additional conferences, etc).

Eligibility Requirements

  • Must have demonstrated interest in pursuing a career as an independent researcher in the area of HIV/AIDS and health disparities among populations of color and other communities disproportionally affected by the virus.
  • Must have completed a PhD or equivalent degree in behavioral or social science within the last seven years (e.g., psychology, public health, sociology, anthropology, social work, etc.) or an MD.
  • Must be employed in a position that permits submission of independent research grants.
  • Must be affiliated with an institution that supports research grant applications.
  • Must not have previously received an R01 grant from NIH.
  • Must commit to participate in the entire two-year program.
  • Must commit to developing and submitting a competitive grant application to NIH by the end of the program.

A major purpose of this program is to increase the number of underrepresented scholars and researchers (i.e., African-Americans, American Indians/Alaskan Natives, Hispanics/Latino(a)s, and Asians/Pacific Islanders) who pursue a career in the area of HIV/AIDS and minority communities.

Mentors

For Established Doctoral-Level Researchers Interested in HIV/AIDS

APA Cyber Mentors participate in a two-year, distance-learning, mentorship program designed to prepare doctoral-level behavioral and social scientists for careers as independent researchers in the area of HIV/AIDS and health disparities among populations of color and other communities disproportionately affected by the virus. This program, entitled Cyber Mentors, utilizes state-of-the-art social media, e-collaboration and distance learning technologies (e.g., social media, webinars, etc.) to assist protégés with achieving three major goals:

  • Develop and implement a career development plan focused on building the capacity to conduct independent research in the area of HIV/AIDS, health disparities and communities of color.
  • Conceptualize, draft and submit a high-quality research application to an appropriate funding mechanism.
  • Establish a mutually supportive network of professional colleagues with common research interests.

Cyber Mentors, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, matches early career protégés with mentors who are leaders in the field with strong track records of receiving National Institutes of Health-supported grants.

Mentoring is conducted through regular interactions over the internet, by telephone and at face-to-face meetings. In addition to one-on-one mentoring, protégés participate in monthly, interactive, web-based seminars that address various research, methodological, administrative and ethical topics relevant to research careers in HIV/AIDS. Protégés also participate in small-group, research-development sessions every other month. These online, small-group sessions focus on the application of concepts learned in seminars to research proposals of protégés. Protégés also participate in a series of mock reviews where research proposals are reviewed, scored and discussed at length.

Protégé/mentor pairs have the opportunity to apply for up to $4,000 to support research or career development activities (e.g., preliminary data collection, attending additional conferences, etc).

What is Expected of Mentors?

Mentors are expected to:

  1. Participate in one, two-day, face-to-face workshop per year for two years.
  2. Spend no less than 5 hours per month for two years:
    a. Reading and commenting on drafts of protégé’s research proposals or manuscripts. 
    b. Providing general consultation via telephone and email. 
    c. Assisting the protégé with networking.
  3. Conduct one, ninety-minute, web-based training about topics related to the mentor’s area of expertise.
  4. Assist the protégé in developing an individualized career development plan.
  5. Assist the protégé in developing and submitting an HIV/AIDS research proposal to an NIH institute and/or another funding agency.

Mentors work with protégés who have completed a PhD or equivalent degree in behavioral or social science (e.g., psychology, public health, sociology, anthropology, social work, etc.) or an MD; and have a demonstrated interest in pursuing a career as an independent researcher in the area of HIV/AIDS among populations of color or other communities disproportionately affected by the virus. Further, mentors are affiliated with an institution that supports research grant applications and are employed in a position that permits submission of independent research grants.

A major purpose of this program is to increase the number of underrepresented scholars and researchers (i.e., African-Americans, American Indians/Alaskan Natives, Hispanics/Latino(a)s, and Asians/Pacific Islanders) who pursue a career in the area of HIV/AIDS among minority communities.
Apply

Use our online forms and apply to become a mentor or a protégé in the Cyber Mentors program. This highly competitive program will review applications on a rolling basis until all slots in the 2015 cohort are filled.

Please note: alternatively, users can send the hard copy materials via mail or they may email the documents to Chris Nettles.

Office on AIDS
American Psychological Association
750 First St, NE
Washington, D.C. 20002-4242

Email
Phone: (202) 336-6164