SHARP (Summer HIV/AIDS Research Program) is an innovative 12-week summer mentored internship and learning experience designed to inspire students from underrepresented communities to pursue further studies and careers in public health-oriented clinical, socio-behavioral, and community-focused research.
SHARP is funded through a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health, and is based at the San Francisco Department of Public Health, Office of AIDS—a global leader dedicated to finding new ways to track, prevent, and effectively treat HIV/AIDS. Our researchers are investigating a broad array of topics and strategies including mapping HIV infections and risk behaviors in San Francisco, assessing the reach and impact of HIV programs in diverse communities, and testing new prevention strategies such as vaccines and expanded HIV testing.
In summer 2014, SHARP will welcome a cohort of five scholars into its program. Each of these scholars will conduct a focused research project under the mentorship of experienced faculty (please see Projects tab for a sample of projects). Scholars will also attend a series of weekly seminars on topics including research design and methods, promising HIV prevention approaches, and possible research careers. Scholars will also have opportunities to shadow clinical trial and community outreach staff, attend community consultations on research, and participate in social and networking events with other scholars as well as minority young investigators from local academic institutions. After completing the program, scholars will be encouraged to continue interacting with each other and future cohorts through the SHARP portal, a social media and learning website.
“I can honestly say that SHARP has been one of the very best parts of my educational path to date – I’ve deepened my understanding of the research process, gained concrete skills that will allow me to work in the field, and formed relationships with incredible mentors and peers.” – Marla Renee Fisher, 2012 SHARP Scholar
- Gain hands-on experience conducting a research project
- Receive one-on-one mentoring from an experienced researcher
- Explore career options in scientific research and public health
- Participate in workshops and seminars led by internationally recognized experts in HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment
- Network with Bay Area students and young researchers
- Learn about conducting research responsibly – in a way that respects participants and communities
All candidates must be legally eligible to work in the U.S. and currently enrolled in an undergraduate or certificate program. This includes students who will graduate at the end of the Spring 2014 semester, but not those who have graduated at the time of their application. Graduate students are also not eligible for this program.
Individuals from communities typically underrepresented in the field of research are strongly encouraged to apply. This includes African Americans, Latinos and Latinas, persons of indigenous descent (including Native Americans, and natives of Alaska, Hawaii, and the US Pacific Islands), persons with disabilities, persons from disadvantaged backgrounds, and individuals who identify as transgender, lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGBT).
Ideal candidates are interested in conducting research that addresses health disparities as part of their career, interested in HIV and populations at risk, and connected to the community they want to conduct research with.
SHARP is a paid internship program; participating scholars will receive a stipend of approximately $11/hour. Most scholars work 40 hours a week, but exceptions can be made for students in summer school or working a second job. Support for local transportation within San Francisco is available.
Unfortunately, no additional support for moving, housing or other living expenses is available. However, SHARP staff may be able to assist in finding housing that students can lease for the summer. Students should also look at our blog post with tips on finding housing in San Francisco. In addition, for interested students, SHARP will assist with obtaining course credit at participants’ colleges and universities.
The 2014 program is scheduled to begin June 2nd and end August 22nd. Please note that there is some flexibility in dates for students on the Quarter system.
How to Apply
The application period for the 2014 program has ended. To receive a notification when our 2015 application window opens, you may enter your information here.