CFAR Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Pathway Initiative (CDEIPI)


The overarching goal of the NIH-supported CFAR Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Pathway Initiative (CDEIPI) is to increase the number of Underrepresented Minorities (URM) / Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) trainees who are engaged in HIV science at the high school, undergraduate, graduate (masters, doctoral or medical) and post-doctoral levels and to develop pathways for these "CFAR Scholars" to successful careers in science and medicine. The CDEIPI will support the development of new programs and the enhancement of existing programs within the CFAR network in collaboration with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) throughout the United States. The CDEIPI Coordinating Center is housed within the DC CFAR. Below are the award recipients (click on each for additional details).

DC CFAR and Howard University

Title: Developing an Inclusive Generation of HIV Researchers through Diversity and Community


HBCU/MSI/Other Partner(s): Howard University

Project Leads: Anthony Wutoh, PhD, RPh, Kim Blankenship, PhD and Mark Burke, PhD

Description: The overall scope is to provide HIV mentored-research opportunities and professional development that engages students (high school-HS, undergraduate- UG, and graduate levels) to build a sense of community by working together within our CFAR and with our broader community through outreach and volunteer activities. To accomplish this, students from high school and undergraduate levels will be recruited and matched with researchers from our partner institutes. We will develop a Mentor-the-Mentor program that focuses on building a relationship with students and emphasizes the needs of individuals from diverse backgrounds, and that provides a forum in which Mentors can share and learn from each other’s experiences. To further enhance further enhance the sense of community, we have developed a Summer Research Experience for our UG-CFAR schools in which they will continue mentored research projects  while  being  housed  at  Howard  University  and  enrolled  in  an  Africana  Studies  course  at  Howard University.

Duke CFAR and Collaborating Institutions

Title: Evidence2Practice: Leveraging implementation science to recruit HBCU/MSI students into careers in HIV research


HBCU/MSI/Other Partner(s): South University, Clafin University, Voorhees College and Morris College

Project Leads: Nwore Lance Okeke, MD, MPH and Amy Corneli, PhD

Key Collaborators: Kenric Ware, PharmD, Caroline Questell, BSN, Hayden Bosworth, PhD, Angela Aifah, PhD, and Russell Campbell

Description: An intensive on-campus workshop-based initiative with the goal of increasing student interest in careers in HIV science, through providing an experience-based introduction to implementation science. The 3-day E2P workshop will feature a 4-hour long colloquium on Day 1 with interactive lectures on HIV epidemiology, implementation science, HIV prevention research and human-centered design. Guided by expert moderators, days 2 & 3 will be centered around participants engaging in the use of human-centered design techniques to develop a 1-page action plan for increasing PrEP awareness and uptake on their local campus, including a plan for rigorous evaluation of their strategy’s effectiveness.

Emory CFAR and Morehouse School of Medicine

Title: Emory CFAR Building a Pathway: Health Equity Research Program for College and High School Students


HBCU/MSI/Other Partner(s): Morehouse School of Medicine

Project Leads: Sophia Hussen, MD, MPH and  Rhonda Holliday, PhD, MA

Key Collaborators: Alphonso Mills  and Kendra Piper, PhD, MPH


  • Aim 1: Develop the next generation of URM researchers through the collaborative enhancement of existing and proposed pathway programs developed by Morehouse School of Medicine targeting undergraduate and high school students.
  • Aim 2: Expand opportunities for high priority HIV research projects in the pathway programs through additional resources and financial support for students and mentors engaged in HIV related research.
  • Aim 3: Facilitate access to Emory CFAR resources for program participants including, CFAR Science Core Services, training programs, and research seminars.
JHU CFAR and Collaborating Institutions

Title: Generation Tomorrow: Summer Health Disparity Scholars (GT:SHDS)


HBCU/MSI/Other Partner(s): Spelman College, Morehouse College, FAMU and Morgan State University

Project Leads: Risha Irvin, MD, MPH and Nathan Irvin, MD 

Description: A 10 week summer program focused on HIV and HCV health disparities and their intersection with substance use (addiction and overdose), violence, mental health, and the social determinants of health. The key program components include: training in HIV/HCV testing and counseling, mentored research, a longitudinal multi-disciplinary lecture series, and
HIV/HCV focused community outreach. The program has a specific focus on undergraduate students that are underrepresented in nursing, public health, medicine, and science by race/ethnicity with an emphasis on first-generation college students and individuals from minoritized or disadvantaged backgrounds. A graduate component will be added.

 Penn CFAR, Lincoln University and College of Physicians of Philadelphia

Title: Penn CFAR Scholars for Diversity in AIDS Research


HBCU/MSI/Other Partner(s): Lincoln University and College of Physicians of Philadelphia

Project Leads: Florence Momplaisir, MD, MSHP, FACP and Kelly Jordan-Sciutto, PhD 

Key Collaborators: David Metzger, PhD, Edward Kreider, MD, PhD and Kevin Favor, PhD

Description: The goal of the Penn CFAR Scholars’ program is to provide research training opportunities focused on HIV basic and clinical science to students from populations that have traditionally been underrepresented in science. The program will also offer professional skills development and peer, near-peer mentoring networks. Our short-term goal is to leverage 5 existing academic and community-based pathway programs by expanding trainee slots and building HIV-specific content and mentored research opportunities.

Providence/Boston CFAR and Collaborating Institutions

Title: Providence/Boston CFAR Diversity Equity Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) Program

CFAR: Providence/Boston CFAR

HBCU/MSI/Other Partner(s): Tougaloo College, Howard University, Xavier University of Louisiana and Spelman College

Project Leads: Kaku So-Armah, PhD and Judy Kimberly, PhD

Key Collaborators: Tim Flanigan, Karina Santamaria and Kaylyn Bruciati


  • Implement an HIV-focused pilot program to expand the reach of existing Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) pathway programs at Prov/Bos CFAR institutions
  • Conduct a needs assessment of Prov/Bos CFAR mentees and mentors to guide the development of robust and innovative programming in the Prov/Bos CFAR DEIB Program. The requested supplement will enable inclusion in HIV research of at least 7 undergraduate, post-Baccalaureate, masters and doctoral students from groups historically excluded from STEM careers. Specifically, these funds will provide internships and research assistantships and other scholar supports that will permit full participation in Prov/Bos CFAR DEIB and STEM Pathway program activities. The requested supplement will also enable conduct of a needs assessment survey of Prov/Bos CFAR mentees and mentors and in-depth interviews with mentees and mentors from groups historically excluded from STEM careers.
San Diego CFAR and San Diego State University

Title: San Diego SUN: Supporting and Uplifting New and Diverse Scientists in HIV

CFAR: San Diego CFAR

HBCU/MSI/Other Partner(s): San Diego State University

Project Leads: Eileen Pitpitan, PhD and Jamila Stockman, PhD, MPH 

Description: The overarching goal of San Diego SUN is to provide BIPOC pre- and postdoctoral scholars with the knowledge and skills necessary to embark on an academic career trajectory in HIV science that focuses on ameliorating disparities in communities of color that are at highest risk of HIV. is a 9-month structured mentored-training program in HIV research for BIPOC pre- and postdoctoral scholars. San Diego SUN will build upon a longstanding partnership between San Diego State University (SDSU), which is a San Diego CFAR member institution and minority-serving institution, and the University of California San Diego (UCSD).

Our specific aims are:

  1. To provide Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) pre- and postdoctoral SD SUN scholars with research knowledge, skills, and mentored career development training to support a career path towards becoming a scientist in the field of HIV; 2)
  2. To train BIPOC graduate student and postdoctoral SD SUN scholars in the responsible conduct of research with human subjects, with special consideration given to conducting HIV research with BIPOC and disadvantaged populations; and
  3. To provide BIPOC SD SUN scholars professional experience in HIV research through peer-reviewed mentored ‘seed’ grants that offer the opportunity to gain critical, hands-on, applied research skills in basic, clinical, and/or socio-behavioral HIV research.
Tennessee CFAR and Meharry Medical College

Title: The Tennessee CFAR Training Program for BIPOC/URM High School and Undergraduate Students

CFAR: Tennessee CFAR

HBCU/MSI/Other Partner(s): Meharry Medical College

Project Leads: John Koethe, MD, MSCI and Chandravanu “CV” Dash, PhD 

Description: Specific Goals of the Proposed TN-CFAR Training Program for BIPOC and URM Students:

  1. Engage high school students from MNPS, a school district with a high proportion of BIPOC and URM students, currently enrolled in Vanderbilt’s Collaborative for STEM Education and Outreach high school programs (SSMV) and the Interdisciplinary Science and Research (ISR) to provide education and training in HIV research as a part of their existing programmatic framework.
  2. Provide undergraduate URM and BIPOC students with a 10-week summer research training program that includes didactic lectures in fundamentals of virology and career-development topics for an HIV-focused research and education career. 
Texas D-CFAR, Michael E. DeBakey High School for Health Professions in Houston and Science Academy of South Texas High School

Title: Texas D-CFAR Initiative to Promote Diversity in HIV Science


HBCU/MSI/Other Partner(s): Michael E. DeBakey High School for Health Professions in Houston and Science Academy of South Texas High School

Project Leads: Fred Pereira, PhD, Andy Rice, PhD and Alana Newell, PhD

Key Collaborators: Bernice A. Shargey, PhD, Marco Antonio Lara, Jr., EdD, Efrain Garza, MEd, Marcos Flores, MEd, and Criselda Rodriguez-Flores, MEd

Description: To engage URM/BIPOC high school students at DeBakey High School in Houston and the Science Academy of South Texas in HIV Science, we will support:

  1. Workshops for high school students to introduce virology, HIV and research to these students who may have had little exposure to these exciting topics
  2. Graduate students serving as mentors for high school students to provide the high school students a near mentor from a closer age group than faculty and to provide the graduate students an opportunity to build their skills and commitment to scientific mentoring
  3. Junior Texas D-CFAR membership to DeBakey and the Science Academy of South Texas High School students to expose them to the HIV science being conducted by Texas’ researchers and afford them the opportunity to experience the community and excitement of HIV science

To engage URM/BIPOC graduate students in HIV science, we will support:

  1. HIV research presentations to matriculating graduate students prior to entrance into graduate programs to highlight HIV research opportunities to these students as they enter graduate school to stimulate their interest in the field
  2. Mentorship of graduate students to advance their careers and skills
  3. Graduate student participation in virtual national meetings to allow students to participate in prestigious HIV meetings and gain knowledge, identify gaps in the field, and network with students and researchers from around the world
Third Coast CFAR and Southern AIDS Coalition

Title: Partnering and Programming for a BIPOC SGM Runway to HIV Research

CFAR: Third Coast CFAR

HBCU/MSI/Other Partner(s): Southern AIDS Coalition

Project Leads: Jagadīśa-devaśrī Dācus, PhD and Christine Wood, PhD

Key Collaborators: Rich D'Aquila, MD and Dafina Ward, JD

Description: To help develop pathways to successful careers in HIV behavioral and data science, as a means to widening the runways for URM/BIPOC sexual and gender minority (SGM) HIV scientists at the doctoral and postdoctoral levels, we propose a Summer Intensive Program in partnership with community organizations, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and other Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). The overall purpose of the program is to pilot a two-week summer intensive to increase the number of URM/BIPOC SGM trainees engaging in intersectional HIV science in the future; leverage existing/new partnerships with HBCUs and MSIs to develop ongoing mentoring partnerships among CFARs and MSIs; Collaboratively identify interests/opportunities for additional training and mentoring activities at a training level relevant to the HBCU/MSI partner: either high school, college, graduate (masters, doctoral, or medical) students or postdoctoral scholars. For the Program, 12 scholars will be selected from among a competitive national applicant pool. Scholars will be self-identified URM/BIPOC SGM people.

UAB CFAR and Collaborating Institutions

Title: Strengthening Training and Advancement in Research (STAR) – A pathway program geared to promote excellence through fostering diversity


HBCU/MSI/Other Partner(s): UAB

Project Leads: Latesha Elopre, MD and Aadia Rana, MD

Description: Through partnering with pathway programs across UAB focused on improving diversity, we will investigate critical elements needed to create a highly impactful STAR program that will target historically under-represented minority applicants in high school, undergraduate and graduate programs. Specifically, we will engage key UAB stakeholders to develop a targeted curriculum to increase awareness and provide mentorship in HIV research with the following specific aims:

  1. Use a mixed methods approach to conduct an environmental scan of existing URiM programs and partnerships at UAB including pathway programs for high school, undergraduate, and graduate student programs using with surveys and qualitative interviews of key stakeholders.
  2. Develop the STAR pathway program using an instructional design approach for high school, undergraduate, and graduate students and determine key program components utilizing intervention mapping techniques to guide our implementation protocol for subsequent piloting of the STAR program.
UCSF CFAR and San Francisco State University

Title: Accelerating Research Careers in Science through Early Mentored Research Experiences at the UCSF CFAR and SFSU


HBCU/MSI/Other Partner(s): San Francisco State University and San Francisco Department of Public Health

Project Leads: John Sauceda, PhD and Carina Marquez, MD 

Key Collaborators: Jonathan Fuchs, MD, MPH and Joseph Watabe

Description: This project proposes building a cohort of 6 CFAR Scholars (3 undergraduate and 3 graduate URM students from SFSU) and providing them with an in-depth and tailored mentored HIV research experience based on their needs, skills, and career interests. They will be matched with UCSF URM HIV investigators as mentors, with mentorship training provided to the UCSF URM investigator/mentors. This program will leverage the existing CFAR Mentoring Program and Mentoring the Mentors Training, as well as the affiliated Summer HIV/AIDS Research Program (SHARP), a 12-week NIDA R25 program for undergraduates interested in substance use and HIV research.

Miami CFAR, Florida International University and Florida Atlantic University

Title: Miami CFAR Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Pathway Initiative (CDEIPI)


HBCU/MSI/Other Partner(s): Florida International University and Florida Atlantic University

Project Leads: Zhibin Chen, MD, PhD, Roger McIntosh, PhD and Adam Carrico, PhD

Description: The Miami CDEIPI is intended as a research and training network that will train the nextThe epicenter of the network will be the Miami CFAR and its affiliated University of Miami (UM) Academic Departments and Training Programs that will engage in research collaborations with labs of minority serving institutions (MSI) of Florida. This will be achieved by training students from the MSI in the labs associated with the CFAR and leveraging the outstanding research and training resources of the CFAR and UM. Florida International University (FIU), a Miami Dade based public university and MSI, will be the first partner to start building the CDEIPI training based on the already collaborative effort between Labs and Programs from FIU and the Miami CFAR. The initial effort of the Miami CDEIPI will focus on expanding ongoing and creating new collaborations with labs from FIU. Future expansions of our network will seek to incorporate other MSI such as Miami Dade Community College (MDCC) and Florida Atlantic University. 


Title: UNC and NCCU Diversity and Inclusion Pathway Program (UN-DIPP)


HBCU/MSI/Other Partner(s): North Carolina Central University

Project Leads: Seronda Robinson, PhD and Ben Chi, MD

Key Collaborators: Deepak Kumar, PhD


  • AIM 1: To enhance diversity and equity in the biomedical sciences by developing a sustainable long term graduate and undergraduate URM student pathway program.
  • AIM 2: To provide an understanding and exposure to global health defined as “an area for study, research, and practice that places a priority on improving health and achieving health equity for all people worldwide”
  • AIM 3: To provide formative experiences to high school URM learners to foster greater interest in the sciences as viable career paths.
  • AIM 4: To evaluate the effectiveness of program activities via learner experiences, program metrics, and mentor-mentee networking.
UW/Fred Hutch CFAR and University of Hawaii at Manoa

Title: Navigating research: Supporting undergraduate and graduate Indigenous scholars on their path to HIV-related research careers

CFAR: UW/Fred Hutch CFAR

HBCU/MSI/Other Partner(s): University of Hawaii at Manoa

Project Leads: Jennifer Balkus, PhD, MPH and Karina Walters, PhD, MSW 

Description: This proposal seeks to conduct a pilot program to introduce undergraduate and graduate AIAN and NHPI scholars to the field of HIV research, connect scholars with Indigenous mentors, and provide networking opportunities to facilitate future training opportunities related to HIV science. We will leverage the expertise across the University of Washington (UW), the University of Hawai’i-Mãnoa (UH-M), which is a long-standing partner of the UW/Fred Hutch CFAR, and the IHART training program, to introduce AIAN and NHPI undergraduate and graduate scholars to key topics in HIV-related research and connect them with Indigenous mentors working in the field of HIV/AIDS research (Aims 1 and 2) and to enhance the mentoring skills of research faculty working within the UW/Fred Hutch CFAR currently work with or planning to work with Indigenous scholars (Aim 3). By focusing our training efforts upstream, we will link undergraduate and graduate Indigenous scholars to a well-established and highly impactful training program, providing them with opportunities for continued personal and professional development that will aid them as they progress towards becoming HIV researchers. This pilot program will serve as a critical starting point toward building a sustainable program to attract and retain Indigenous scholars who are at the early stages of their academic journey.

Rustbelt CFAR and University of Puerto Rico

Title: The Rustbelt CFAR CDEIPI Scholars Program

CFAR: Rustbelt CFAR

HBCU/MSI/Other Partner(s): CWRU and four University of Puerto Rico campuses: Rio Piedras in San Juan and Mayaguez, and Cayey and Humacao

Project Leads: Alan Levine, PhD and Nicolas Paul Sluis-Cremer, PhD

Description: The Rustbelt CFAR CDEIPI Scholars Program will provide a minimum of 3 to 5 consecutive months of mentored research training for 8 Puerto Rican students in laboratory experiences that will help them pursue a biomedical research career in HIV. Mentors will be drawn from both Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) in Cleveland, OH and the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) in Pittsburgh, PA.

Harvard CFAR and Collaborating Institutions

Title: Harvard CFAR DEI Pathway Initiative

CFAR: Harvard CFAR

HBCU/MSI/Other Partner(s): Multiple partners

Project Leads: Andrea Ciaranello, MD, MPH and Musie Ghebremichael, PhD

Description: The overarching goal of this project is to increase the recruitment, retention, inclusion, and success of HIV investigators who are underrepresented in medicine (URM). To support this goal, project activities will include close collaboration with community partners to expand “pathway” programs for students interested in HIV research; financial, mentorship, and peer support to CFAR investigators who are URM; and outreach to enhance community participation in all educational and research activities of the CFAR.