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 Health, and is based at the San Francisco Department of Public Health, Population Health Division—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 2018, SHARP will welcome a cohort of six 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, 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.


    • 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. Candidates must also be currently enrolled in an undergraduate or certificate program or be a recent graduate (less than 2 years since graduation). Graduate students are 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 $15/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.

There are limited travel scholarships available for scholars traveling long distances. 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 2018 program is scheduled to begin June 4th and end August 17th. Please note that there is some flexibility in dates for students on the Quarter system.