Frequently Asked Questions

Why join the Global HIV/AIDS Mentoring Training Network?

We are currently seeking junior scholars interested in socio-behavioral global HIV/AIDS research to participate in our program. Junior scholars include recent Ph.D., M.D. graduates currently in positions of assistant professor, post-docs, and residency. As a junior scholar in the Global HIV/AIDS Mentoring Training Network, you will have the opportunities to:

  • expand your research capabilities and experiences through a one-on-one mentoring relationship with a senior scientist [primary mentor] working in global HIV/AIDS research;
  • interact regularly with a broad range of specialists in HIV/AIDS through webinars, social networking sites, and at organized programs at professional meetings;
  • collaborate with your primary mentor on development and submission of an abstract and/or manuscript to a national conference and/or a refereed journals;
  • collaborate with your primary mentor on development and submission of a N.I.H. grant on global HIV/AIDS.

Who are the mentors participating in the Global HIV/AIDS Mentoring Training Network?

The mentors are established senior scientists with experience working in global HIV/AIDS socio-behavioral research. These mentors are recruited so to represent a broad range of geographic regions and areas of expertise. Mentors’ topics of research include primary and secondary prevention, adherence to treatments, VCT, risk assessment, and intervention development and evaluation. The mentors areas of expertise include qualitative and quantitative methodologies, survey development, social network analysis, social marketing, media communication, and research ethics. A majority of the mentors have experience as principal investigators on N.I.H. funded HIV research and have a strong publication history.

How are junior scholars selected?

Materials submitted by the junior scholar (see below) are reviewed by a selection committee including the project director and coordinator. Members of the selection committee will independently assess each application and provide a numerical ranking of all applications along five dimentions including: 1) relevance of past training and research experience and personal interest to the mission of the network; 2) responsiveness to the global AIDS epidemic; 3) potential to make a significant contribution to the field of AIDS research; 4) potential to generate external research funding; and, 5) potential to for sustained HIV/AIDS research in the geographic regions of interest. Preference will be given to those who are not currently participating in a national research mentoring program and have prior or current experience writing a grant for external federal funding.

How are mentors and junior scholars matched through the Global HIV/AIDS Mentoring Training Network?

A two-way open matching process will allow both mentors and junior scholars to assess potential matches. Mentors and junior scholars will be matched in respect to the needs, research objectives, geographical expertise/interests, and experience of both mentor and junior scholar. As a prospective junior scholar, you will be asked to review the CV or approximately three mentors who match your area of interestbased on pre-screening by the program Mentoring Network director and/or coordinator (Drs. Li and Kaljee). You will have the opportunity to choose the mentor who best fits your interests and needs, while at the same time mentors will review applications of junior scholars and select individuals with whom they would like to work. Based on this matching process, the program director and/or coordinator will make the final decision regarding a match.

How many junior scholars are selected?

During the first year of the program (2012), we anticipate matching 5-8 mentors and junior scholars. With future funding, we will expand on this number of matches in later years.

What are the obligations and responsibilities of a junior scholar?

Junior scholars will participate in a range of activities:

  • One-on-one mentoring. Selected junior scholars protégé will be assigned a primary network mentor. One-on-one mentoring will be conducted between a junior scholar and her/his primary mentor through regular interactions via email and telephone and face-to-face meetings at annual professional conferences or visits to the mentor’s research project site. The junior scholar will be expected to commit an average of 10 hours per month to working with her/his mentor including discussions via email/telephone, development of research proposal and or manuscript drants, general consultations with her/his primary mentor regarding proposed research study design, and development of the junior scholar’s professional network with other U.S. and international HIV/AIDS investigators. During this pilot phase, one-on-one mentoring will take place over a one-year period. In subsequent program cycles, the one-on-one mentoring will occur over a two-year period.

  • Junior scholar Career Development Activities. Each junior scholar and her/his primary mentor have the opportunity to jointly apply for up to $5,000 to support research or career development activities (e.g., building collaboration with local stakeholders, attending additional professional conferences/workshop) as relevant to their research interest. The funds can also support a junior scholar’s travel expenses up to five days to visit her/his mentor’s on-going research project site.

  • Group mentoring activities. Group mentoring is a collection of mentoring relationships consisting of one or more mentors and multiple junior scholars. Participants in the group mentoring help each other to set learning objectives and build necessary skills and confidence to reach these objectives. Group mentoring will consist of three main web-based activities:

    • A monthly, interactive, live Webinar that addresses various research, methodological, ethical, and administrative topics relevant to international HIV/AIDS research and research careers in HIV/AIDS. Mentors will be invited by the program staff to make a presentation based on his/her research with a group discussion period following the presentation;

    • A bimonthly junior scholar peer group discussion. Junior scholars will participate in small-group research-development sessions every other month among peer junior scholars. The online, hour-long sessions will focus on the application of concepts and methodologies to research proposals of junior scholars and generate questions for mentors. Two junior scholars will take the lead in each session to present their research plan or a particular issue of their research for group discussion. Both primary mentors and on-site mentors of the lead presenters will be invited to join the discussion;

    • Contextual mentoring takes place when junior scholars communicate with mentors in the network other than their primary mentor. These additional mentors will be available to address particular technical or topic issues. Mentors will be asked to be available to work with junior scholars on an as-needed basis via emails and telephone. The Mentoring Network will have a secure network website which will provide research resources and networking opportunities for both junior scholars and mentors. Communal documents, such as country profiles, mentors’ CVs and sample publications, sample study protocols, instruments, consent forms, and presentations made at monthly seminars will be posted on the website for easy access by registered mentors and junior scholars. The website will provide a forum for registered mentors and junior scholars to post questions and discussions.

What is the application process for a potential junior scholar?

We want the application process to be stream-lined and require a minimum amount of time. If you are interested in being a junior scholar, go to the Junior Scholar tab and click on “application”. Complete the information requested. In addition, you will be asked to upload 3 items including:

  • Your CV with three references;

  • Letter of interest (750 words). This letter is a brief overview of your career objectives and specific interests in relation to global HIV socio-behavioral research. The letter should include how you feel your background and experience can contribute to your specific interests;

  • Concept paper (1000 words). A concept paper that outlines your proposed research. This concept paper can come from an unfunded grant proposal and it should include: a) title; b) specific aims; c) significance of the proposed research; proposed research methods; e) potential implications of anticipated findings.

In addition, you will be asked to complete a brief demographic survey. These demographic data are key for our application for future funding.

You will receive an email acknowledging your interest in the program, and you will be contacted as we proceed through the process of selecting junior scholars. If you are selected for further consideration you will be asked to provide us with the following documents:

  • Letter of institutional support. A letter from her/his home institution indicating support for both candidate's participation in the network and the pursuit of funding for HIV/AIDS-related research in resource-poor countries;

  • Letter of support from a local mentor. A letter from a mentor(s) at the candidate's home institution who will support the candidate in her/his future applications for external grant funding and publications.

We will also keep in touch with you by email to up-date you as our web-site is developed and expands to fuller capacity.

Who do I contact with questions about the Mentoring Network?

If you have any questions or require further information at this time, please contact either Dr. Xiaoming Li at or Dr. Linda Kaljee at