Columbia University Medical Center
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NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital The University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell

Behavioral Sciences Research in HIV infection

Postdoctoral Fellowship in Behavioral Sciences Research in HIV infection


Columbia Psychiatry provides outstanding training programs for psychology, social work, nursing, and other disciplines, as well as an extensive program of staff training at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Our clinical training programs use the combined resources of the New York State Psychiatric Institute, Columbia University, and New York Presbyterian Hospital to provide locations for teaching and exposure to patients.

The NIMH-funded Behavioral Sciences Research in HIV Infection Training Program provides innovative postdoctoral training in sexuality research applied to HIV prevention science.  The Program is grounded in formal training in research methodology, design, and statistical analysis appropriate to our overriding goal of training recent graduates of Ph.D. or M.D. programs to become scholars capable of assuming independent research careers.  Our Program emphasizes multidisciplinary training, including matriculation in a specialized track of the M.S. degree in Biostatistics in the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.  In doing so, we emphasize theoretical rigor, methodological innovation, and practical application in order to provide solutions to the complicated psychological, social, and public health dilemmas posed by the HIV epidemic.

The specific goals of the program are to prepare graduates for the assumption of independent research careers by offering systematic training in

  • human sexuality research as applied to HIV primary prevention, secondary prevention, and mental health issues related to HIV transmission and infection;
  • research methodologies and statistical analysis relevant to human sexuality research in HIV prevention and mental health; and
  • the conduct of original research including preparation of publications and acquisition of grant support.

The core element of the Training Program is the close working relationship that Fellows develop with their Scientific and Career Mentors, who are experienced senior investigators with histories of independent funding, interdisciplinary collaboration, and mentoring predoctoral or postdoctoral trainees.  Fellows undertake four major categories of activities: the mentored research experience, formal academic training, participation in scientific meetings and seminars, and professional skills training.  In addition, the Fellowship experience is further enriched by the resources and opportunities offered throughout the Columbia University Medical Center and, more generally, New York City.      

The major qualification of prospective Fellows is that they evidence the desire and potential to become independent researchers in sexuality and HIV infection.  The following factors are considered in the interviewing process: quality and productivity of the applicant's work to date (prior training, publications, recommendations, awards, honors); articulation of a specific area of interest in HIV and sexuality research; feasibility of conducting research of interest at the HIV Center; and commitment to a research career.  Evaluation of each applicant requires submission of all components of a traditional Mailman School of Public Health application, including transcripts from college and graduate school, copies of certificates documenting the applicant's education and training, a compelling personal statement detailing the applicant's reasons for seeking research training, and three letters of reference. 


Core Faculty:

Drs. Anke A. Ehrhardt (Program Director), Theo Sandfort (Training Director), Melissa Begg (Training Co-Director), Alex Carballo-Diéguez, Nabila El-Bassel, Jennifer Hirsch, Joanne Mantell, Claude Ann Mellins, Heino Meyer-Bahlburg, Robert Remien, David Strauss, Susan Tross, Milton Wainberg.



Trainees must have received their doctoral degree (e.g., Ph.D., M.D.)  at the time of appointment and must demonstrate a commitment to a career in human sexuality and HIV research along with a record of academic excellence. To be appointed to the program applicants must be U.S. citizens or non-citizen nationals of the United States, or must have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence (i.e., in possession of a currently valid Alien Registration Receipt Card I-551, or must be in possession of other legal verification of such status). Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible. Candidates who are members of a minority racial or ethnic group are strongly encouraged to apply.


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