Information for Mentors in the APA Mentorship Program

For Established Doctoral-Level Researchers Interested in HIV/AIDS

Use our online form and apply to become a mentor in the Cyber Mentors program.

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.

The Cyber Mentors program, 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 $5,000 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 those who are employed in a position that permits submission of independent research grants. As participants, mentors are committed to developing and submitting a competitive grant application to a federal or private funding agency 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 among minority communities.