Have an interest in advancing the science of vaccines and immunology? Seeking an opportunity for mentoring and research funding? Look no further than the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) – but only if you can meet their discriminatory eligibility requirements.
The Research and Mentorship Program (RAMP) helps with access to funding for research and provides mentorship for medical students with an interest in developing vaccines for the prevention of HIV. However, participation is limited to applicants who “self-identify as African American/Black, Hispanic/Latinx, Native American/American Indian/Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, Asian and Pacific Islander.”
The program is supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (a division of the National Institutes of Health) and selects four to nine scholarship recipients each year. In addition to project funding and training, RAMP scholars receive free travel to a clinical research site affiliated with the HVTN to be mentored by an experienced investigator. Award amounts range from $20,000 to $70,000.
The RAMP Scholars program provides the opportunity for awardees to study at clinical trial sites all over the world, and U.S. tax dollars help with the funding. Why isn’t the HIV Vaccine Trials Network willing to extend the same opportunity to all eligible U.S. medical students? The HIV virus doesn’t discriminate according to race – and neither should the HVTN.
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