Applications for 2022-2023 are Closed!

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Steps to Apply  |  Application FAQ


Review the Request for Applications and RAMP application materials 

Request for application will be available October, 2022

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Identify the Project of Interest 

Project options for the 2023-2024 cycle will be available October, 2022

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Complete the RAMP Scholar Online Application and Submit All Required Materials

In order for your application to be complete, applicants must submit the following documents:

Request an email reminder when Application period opens

Application & Materials

Complete the online RAMP Scholar Application and submit all materials via the form

Resume / Curriculum Vitae

Submit a resume or curriculum vitae

Transcript

An unofficial PDF of a transcript is preferred

  • First year students should provide a medical school and an undergraduate transcript
  • Second, third and fourth year students should provide a medical school transcript

Letters of Recommendation

Three Letters of Recommendation emailed to HVTNawards@hvtn.org:

  • Dean, Associated Dean of Student Affairs or equivalent – must provide a letter of recommendation that indicates your student status and approval of your participation in RAMP.
  • Two professional references– people who can speak to your potential for success and attributes that contribute to that success 

Applications will be due by 5 p.m. PST on January 2, 2023

RAMP Application FAQ

Eligibility

No. The disproportionate impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic on the African American/Black, Hispanic/Latinx, Native American/American Indian, Native Hawaiian, Asian and Pacific Islander communities in the U.S, combined with structural barriers that have limited career development opportunities for these students, warrant attention by programs such as RAMP.

No. Only students attending accredited medical schools in the US and Puerto Rico conferring MD and DO degrees are eligible to apply for RAMP.

If you will still be enrolled in medical school on your project start date, you may apply. Projects may start as early as May of the awarding year.


Project Timing

Short-term projects: Scholars will spend a minimum of 8 and a maximum of 10 weeks (i.e. 40 – 50 days) at the site working the equivalent of a full-time position.

Long-term projects: Scholars will spend a minimum of 9 months and a maximum of 12 months at the site working the equivalent of a full-time position.

Students should expect to complete the bulk of their research while onsite at the CRS, but will finalize data analysis, drafting of results, and preparation of oral and poster presentations of their work at their home institution.

The culmination of the project will occur when the scholars present their projects in an oral plenary session and a poster session at the HVTN Full Group Meeting scheduled for May of the year following the award year in Washington D.C.

No, RAMP projects must be completed all at once.

Yes. Applicants are encouraged to discuss concurrent workload with mentor(s), RAMP program staff and academic program staff to ensure there will be enough time for project completion. Note that all Scholars are still expected to work the minimum amount of time and at the equivalent of a full-time position during their project period.

Project funding through the RAMP Scholar program can begin any time starting May 1 of the year of award. On site work must conclude by November 30th of the year following the award.  Ongoing work at your home institution to complete the research must end no later than Aug 31 of the year following award. Most projects coincide with the summer or academic year starting in the award year. The exact dates of funding will depend on the schedules of the parties involved.


Mentors

Once selected, scholars will work closely with mentors and site staff to plan their research experiences, finalize logistics and create a mentorship plan. The scholar will then travel to the HVTN Clinical Research Site to conduct the research project for the allotted time. During the project period, the mentor(s) will oversee the student’s progress throughout the project implementation and also work with the student on professional and career development. In addition to investigator-led mentorship activities, scholars will participate in HVTN-organized training activities designed to develop their skills in research methods, academic writing and working within the scientific community. Students should expect to complete the bulk of their research while onsite at the CRS, but will finalize data analysis, drafting of results, and preparation of oral and poster presentations of their work at their home institution.

The culmination of the project will occur when the scholars present their projects in an oral plenary session and a poster session at the HVTN Full Group Meeting scheduled for May of the year following the award, in Washington D.C.


Project Choice

There are a wide variety of project opportunities in RAMP, making decisions difficult. One strategy is to consider either the skills you may be interested in acquiring or strengthening through your project. Another is to think of how you’d like to spend your time: do you want to interact with community members, conduct data analysis, work with samples in a lab, or some combination?


Budget

We anticipate that support will be available for approximately 4-9 scholar grants awarded directly to HVTN sites (U.S. or international); including at least 4-7 short-term project awards, at a maximum award amount of $20,000, depending on proposed project length (direct costs), and up to 2 long-term project awards, at a maximum amount of $70,000 (direct costs).

A portion of funds from each award will be applied towards the scholar’s salary, which will cover living expenses during the project, including housing, food, local transportation, personal trips, traveler’s insurance, etc. Salaries are expected to be in the range of USD3,500-5,500 per month based on these factors. The salary is a budgeted amount that is distributed to the scholar in paychecks from the mentor’s institution or by the HVTN after the scholar has successfully been hired. If the hiring of the scholar is delayed, the salary support may be delayed and begin after the project start date.

The remainder of funds will be applied to purchase research supplies and cover travel to the site, HVTN Full Group Meeting and, for those with long-term projects, to other conferences. To support the investigators’ research mentorship activities, the mentor’s site will receive a supplement in addition to the scholar award amount ($1,500 for short-term project mentors, $10,000 for long-term project mentors).

Project funding through the RAMP Scholar Award can begin any time starting May 1st of the year of the award and end no later than November 30th of the year following. The exact dates of funding will depend on the schedules of the parties involved.


Application Review

RAMP applications are reviewed on the following criteria:

  • The interest of the medical student in HIV/AIDS research or clinical care, and in potentially pursuing a career in HIV vaccine research.
  • Relevant research background or personal experiences such as laboratory research, clinical experiences, strong interest in gaining new research experience, and/or personal experience with HIV/AIDS. Relevant research experience is not a requirement of the program but will be viewed favorably.
  • The student’s ability to successfully complete a large-scale project like RAMP. Demonstrated evidence of qualities such as intellectual rigor, independence, curiosity, responsibility, drive and ability to manage multiple priorities.


COVID-19 Impact on Projects

  • Due to the uncertainty with COVID-19 mentors have submitted projects that can be feasible in person (if COVID has been controlled) and also remotely (if COVID has not been controlled). We will provide updates as things evolve in the coming months.

See the Projects of Our Current and Former Scholars

Questions About the Application Process:

Linda Oseso, M.P.H.

RAMP Program Manager, HIV Vaccine Trials Network