Information for Mentors in the APA Mentorship Program
At this time the Cyber Mentors Program is no longer accepting applications for mentors.
For Doctoral-Level Researchers Interested in HIV/AIDS and Communities of Color
APA Office on AIDS 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 communities of color. This program, entitled Cyber Mentors, utilizes state-of-the-art, distance-learning technologies (e.g., webcasts, online classrooms, etc.) to assist mentees achieve 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 and communities of color;
Conceptualize, draft, and submit a high-quality research application to an appropriate NIH funding mechanism; and,
Establish a mutually supportive network of professional colleagues with common research interests.
The Cyber Mentors program, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), matches early career mentees with mentors who are leaders in the field with strong track records of receiving NIH-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, mentees participate in monthly, interactive, web-based seminars that address various research, methodological, and administrative topics relevant to research careers in HIV/AIDS. Mentees 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 mentees. Mentees also participate in a series of mock reviews where research proposals are reviewed, scored, and discussed at length.
Mentee/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 review applications to determine if there are mentees with whom they are interested in working. If so, mentors interview prospective mentees to determine if there is a good fit. If the mentor/mentee decide “to match”, mentors are expected to:
Participate in one, two-day, face-to-face workshop per year for two years;
Spend no less than 5 hours per month for two years:
a. reading and commenting on drafts of mentee’s research proposals or manuscripts;
b. providing general consultation via telephone and email;
c. assisting the mentee with networking;
Conduct one, ninety-minute, web-based training about topics related to the mentor’s area of expertise;
Assist the mentee in developing an individualized career development plan; and,
Assist the mentee in developing and submitting an HIV/AIDS research proposal to an NIH institute.
Mentors work with mentees 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 and communities of color. 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 NIH 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 and minority communities.