After Dr. Donna Cole completed her doctorate in sociology from Northeastern University in 2005, she thought about some of the HIV/AIDS fieldwork she had done and realized what really sparked her interest was community-based research on the disease.
“I was interested in being in the community, talking with people about how they were managing their HIV infection diagnoses,” she said.
That inspired Dr. Cole to apply for a REIDS (Research Education Institute for Diverse Scholars) fellowship. She was accepted and was a REIDS scholar from 2013 to 2015. Yale’s Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS (CIRA) runs the program.
Created five years ago, REIDS was recently refunded for another five years with a $1.3 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health. Recruitment for summer 2016 fellowships has begun.
Since its inception, 17 scholars have completed the REIDS program. Each has done a pilot project, which takes one to two years. “It’s very intense,” said Dr. Barbara Guthrie, REIDS co-director and an emeritus professor at the Yale School of Nursing. “They have to do a lot of work in a compressed time.”
The program is intended to meet the challenges and barriers to advancement experienced by diverse researchers who are underrepresented in the field of HIV research. It provides opportunities for fellows to develop the skills needed to conduct community-based implementation science research and advance HIV-inequalities research. The program is aimed at junior faculty — assistant professors or postdoctoral fellows — who are seeking educational support and mentoring.
“This program provides diverse scholars the additional support, infrastructure and mentoring that facilitates their academic and professional success,” said Dr. Trace Kershaw, associate professor at the School of Public Health and co-director of REIDS. “Yale and academia need more programs like REIDS which prioritize diversifying the research community, which results in a better academic environment and better science.”
The REIDS program four major components are:
To learn more about REIDS, visit http://cira.yale.edu/training/reids/research-education-institute-diverse-scholars-reids