0 AVAC HIV Prevention Research Fellowships for Applicants Based in Low and Middle Income Countries

Posted on Monday, July 08, 2013


HIV Prevention Research Advocacy Fellowship

Course(s) Offered: HIV research
Course Level: Postgraduate (research, fellowships)
Provider: Global Advocacy for HIV Prevention (AVAC)
Country to Study in: Several countries

Scholarship Description
The Advocacy Fellowship is a project of AVAC: Global Advocacy for HIV Prevention. This project is designed to support emerging and mid-career advocates to design and implement advocacy projects focused on biomedical HIV prevention research activities in their countries and communities. Advocacy Fellows carry out their projects while based at “Host Organisations” that are active partners in the Fellowship process.

The overall goal of the Advocacy Fellowship is to expand and strengthen the capacity of civil society advocates and organisations to monitor, support, and help shape biomedical HIV prevention research in low and middle income countries.

Global Advocacy for HIV Prevention invites applications for 2014 Advocacy Fellowship project.

Eligibility
The HIV Prevention Research Advocacy Fellowship seeks applicants who are:
  • Emerging or mid-career community leaders and advocates involved in or interested in HIV prevention research and implementation advocacy.
  • Individuals with some experience or education in the areas of HIV and AIDS, public health, medicine, international development, women’s rights, communications, or advocacy.
  • Based in low and middle income countries where biomedical HIV prevention clinical research is planned or ongoing and/or where there are plans for or current work on implementation of voluntary medical male circumcision, PrEP demonstration projects, treatment as prevention (e.g. expansion of coverage to serodiscordant couples, pregnant women regardless of CD4 cell count, or simply closing the treatment gap for people meeting current WHO criteria), and “combination prevention” packages that link biomedical strategies. Advocates can also develop proposals that seek to catalyze plans and policies in country where little activity on these issues has happened to date.
    Please visit www.avac.org/pxrd and specific resources noted in the appendix to identify countries where research and implementation is ongoing or planned and to learn more about activities going on there.
  • Able to collaborate with English-speaking mentors. Applications are encouraged from all countries where such research is ongoing or being rolled out; however the Advocacy Fellow and key staff at his/her organisation must be able to communicate with AVAC staff in English.
  • Although not required to have extensive experience in biomedical HIV prevention research, successful applicants must demonstrate awareness of and willingness to learn about ongoing biomedical prevention research and implementation in their respective countries. They must also be able to demonstrate strategic analysis of how Fellowship activities will relate to this work.
Who is NOT eligible to be an Advocacy Fellow?
Those who are not eligible for the Fellowship include:
  • Founders or leaders of proposed host organisations.
  • Students who intend to use the Fellowship to support work toward a thesis, dissertation, or academic degree.
  • Seasoned HIV prevention research advocates who have been leading campaigns or related projects for five years or more.
  • Individuals who plan to work on the Advocacy Fellowship along with another job or add consultancies to their Fellowship work.
  • Applicants based in countries outside the global South, primarily Western Europe and North America
  • Applicants who are researchers or senior staff members such as leaders of AIDS service or community organisations will only be considered under special circumstances.
Eligible groups
Citizens based in a low or middle income country (visit www.avac.org/pxrd and other specific resources noted in the appendix to identify countries where research and implementation is ongoing or planned and to learn more about activities going on there).

Participating Institutions
Host Organisations must:
  • Be established non-governmental, civil society, faith-based, or community-based organisations or research/academic institutions with documented experience in HIV and AIDS, preferably HIV prevention research, and/or HIV advocacy.
  • Be open to working in HIV prevention research advocacy and considering ways to integrate this into their current work portfolio, if not already doing so.
  • Meet all financial eligibility criteria. Host organisations are required to submit relevant documentation including proof of organisation’s legal designation, a copy of the most recent audited financial statements, annual budget, an organisational chart, a copy of the organisation’s human resources’ policies and procedures, and any other relevant information on finance and accounting systems.
  • Be committed to working with Advocacy Fellows to develop and share joint goals, roles, and responsibilities.
  • Assign a Supervisor to the Advocacy Fellow and will clearly define its expectations of the Fellow in the work plan.
What if an applicant has not found a Host Organisation?
Applicants who would like assistance from AVAC in identifying a Host Organisation are welcome to apply, however priority will be given to applicants who have established an understanding and partnership with a potential Host Organisation. Strong candidates who do not have a Host Organisation will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

Fields of study
Biomedical HIV prevention research and related implementation activities in countries and communities of the fellows. Fellows should have some experience or education in the areas of HIV and AIDS, public health, medicine, international development, women’s rights, communications, or advocacy.

Advocacy Fellows design and execute activities that seek to effect specific changes related to HIV prevention research and implementation in their chosen contexts at the community, national or regional level.

The Fellowship can engage this dynamic field in all its variety. Applicants are encouraged to consider the research process as it encompasses trial conduct and results dissemination, as well as access planning, civil society engagement, the full range of policy, regulatory and implementation activities needed to move and accelerate the process from a positive finding to product development and introduction. Projects exploring issues and advocacy related to longstanding interventions such as the male and female condom and to ‘gateway’ issues—such as uptake of HIV testing—will also be considered, provided there is a clear linkage between the proposed focus and the broader landscape of biomedical prevention research and/or implementation.

A successful project is one that identifies a gap or need that can be filled by civil society engagement; maps the steps to fill that gap; measures progress and adjusts strategy as needed; and ultimately evaluates whether the change has occurred. Although many advocacy projects have an evidence-gathering component, they are distinct from qualitative or quantitative research.

Please note that priority will be given to projects in countries where biomedical HIV prevention clinical research is planned or ongoing and/or where there are plans for or current work on implementation of voluntary medical male circumcision, PrEP demonstration projects, treatment as prevention, and “combination prevention” packages that combine biomedical strategies. Advocates can also develop proposals that seek to catalyze plans and policies in country where little activity on these issues has happened to date—such proposals must have a clear situational analysis and strategic vision.

For detailed information on the kinds of projects Advocacy Fellows can pursue, see 'Application Information Packet' link below.

Number of awards
Not specified

Sponsorship duration
One year, from February 2014 to January 2015 with an intensive work plan development process that starts as soon as Fellowships are awarded

Scholarship benefits
The Fellowship grant includes a year of financial support for salary/compensation of the Advocacy Fellow, a modest activity budget for the Advocacy Fellow’s project and overhead costs for the Host Organisation.

The Fellowship provides:
  • Mentoring and capacity building in biomedical HIV prevention research advocacy from AVAC for both Advocacy Fellows and Host Organisations.
  • Connection to a global network of biomedical HIV prevention research advocates including current and former Advocacy Fellows, researchers, civil society leaders and other individuals and/or organisations working in similar fields.
  • Opportunities for networking and information sharing with other Advocacy Fellows and a broader community of advocates including activists, scientists, clinical trial staff and other stakeholders working in fields related to HIV prevention research and implementation.
  • A small stipend and technical assistance for the selected Advocacy Fellow for the initial development of a detailed work plan (up to three days over a maximum of two months). This phase takes place before the official Fellowship year begins.
  • Financial support and technical assistance from AVAC for project implementation over 12 months. This includes support for a minimum of 75 to 100 percent time commitment on a Fellowship project (see 'What mentoring support does AVAC provide?' in the 'Application Information Packet' document below for more information), a modest budget for project execution, and access to a discretionary fund for specific travel, infrastructure or and information technology (IT) needs.
  • Overhead to the Host Organisation to cover costs associated with hosting a Fellow. Overhead or administrative costs are those costs that are incurred by the organisation to support all activities and cannot be directly attributed to the Fellowship activity (for example, rent, phone, some personnel costs such as executive director, accounting and administrative staff time; overhead costs do not need to be supported by receipts; AVAC will pay up to 15 percent for overhead costs to be applied to total direct costs.
Method of Application
It is important to note that applicants are not expected to have fully formed project proposals to include in their application. However, the application components are designed to help AVAC learn more about applicants’ strategic thinking and familiarity with broad areas of biomedical prevention research and implementation. Successful applicants will take the time to consult www.avac.org, trial websites, and media resources such as searchable databases of national and local newspapers to learn more about what is happening in their respective contexts.

Applicants should use their answers to application questions to share what they’ve learned, the questions they’ve developed, and initial thoughts about their projects. AVAC staff will provide hands‐on support during an intensive work plan development phase to help each successful Advocacy Fellow to develop his or her detailed work plan.

At this time, AVAC is accepting applications only from individuals. If your organisation is interested in hosting an Advocacy Fellow, please contact the Fellowship hosts at fellows@avac.org to explore this possibility as AVAC may be looking to pair applicants with Host Organisations.

You may download, for your perusal, the 2014 Application Information Packet. It is also important to visit the official website via the link provided below.

DEADLINES:
The dates below provide an outline of the Fellowship application process and structure:
  • 28 May 2013: Call for 2014 Fellowship Applications open
  • 1 July 2013: Teleconference – information for potential applicants
  • 5 August 2013: Deadline – Applications Due
  • End August 2013: Applicants notified whether they have advanced to second round of consideration
  • 4 September 2013: Deadline ‐‐ applicants who have advanced to the second round to submit Host Organisation financial information
  • End September – early October 2013: Interviews with short-listed candidates
PLEASE NOTE:
Founded in 1995, AVAC is a non-profit organization that uses education, policy analysis, advocacy and a network of global collaborations to accelerate the ethical development and global delivery of AIDS vaccines, male circumcision, microbicides, PrEP and other emerging HIV prevention options as part of a comprehensive response to the pandemic.

If you have more questions, contact us at fellows@avac.org

Application Deadline: 5 August / 4 September 2013
Open for International Students: Yes

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