HIV Center Postdoctoral Training Program:
Behavioral Sciences Training in HIV Infection

Program Director: Theo Sandfort, PhD
Program Co-Directors: Claude Ann Mellins, PhD, and John Santelli, MD, MPH
Training Co-Director: Katherine Elkington, PhD

Our program is a postdoctoral research training program that provides innovative training in sexuality, gender, and mental health research as applied to HIV prevention and HIV treatment and care across populations in both national and global contexts. The major components of our program are academic course work, the development of research and professional skills, and the conduct of independent research.
The principal goals of the program are to:
Provide systematic training in human sexuality research, HIV primary and secondary prevention, mental health issues related to HIV transmission and infection, and behavioral interventions related to the promotion of health in infected and vulnerable populations, including biomedical approaches. Research methodologies and statistical analysis relevant to conducting studies on the above topics, as well to implementation and scale up of interventions in global contexts. Conduct original research including preparation of publications and acquisition of grant support, to prepare graduates for the assumption of independent research careers.
We accomplish these goals by matching fellows with HIV Center faculty members who serve as research preceptors and who oversee the design and implementation of trainee research projects. In addition, trainees participate in a variety of conferences, workshops, lectures, and consultations held at the HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies, the School of Public Health, and the Columbia University Health Sciences Campus. By the end of training, fellows will have developed and implemented a research project under the supervisor of their preceptor, conducted data analysis, prepared first-authored manuscripts based on study data, presented study findings at in-house and outside scientific meetings, and applied for funding to support an independent research career after training.

Each fellow is provided with a training stipend, and limited funds for travel and general research training costs associated with the fellowship. All recipients of NIH research fellowships must sign an agreement with the NIH that they will fulfill a "service payback" commitment in return for their postdoctoral support. Under the provisions of this commitment, postdoctoral fellows in the first 12 months of their training program will incur an obligation which can be satisfied by an additional 12 months of NIH-supported research training or an equal number of months of health-related research or teaching. Individuals completing two years of postdoctoral support have no further service obligations stemming from postdoctoral support. Trainees who complete less than two years of training may be liable for a financial payback obligation for part or all NIH-funded training.
Trainees must have received their doctorate (or medical) degree at the time of appointment, demonstrate a commitment to a career in human sexuality and/or HIV-related research, and have a record of academic excellence. To be appointed to the program applicants must be U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals of the United States, or must have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence (i.e., in possession of a currently valid Alien Registration Receipt Card I-551, or must be in possession of other legal verification of such status). Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible. Candidates who are members of a minority ethnic group are strongly encouraged to apply. We are an equal opportunity employer.

If you are interested in the Program and want to apply, download the application form and submit it with your CV to Two positions will become available in July 2020, for which applications are due on December 1, 2019. For further information please contact

Current Fellows:

Jagadisa-devasri Dacus, PhD

Brittany β€˜Ray’ Gannon, PhD, MSN, ARNP

Philip Kreniske, PhD

Bryan Kutner, PhD, MPH

Nadia Nguyen, PhD

Emily Paine, PhD

Anthony Santoro, PhD

Daniel Winetsky, MD, MS