CFAR Scholars Program

Red ribbon logo for Center for AIDS Research Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Pipeline Initiative (CDEIPI)

Paid Internship Opportunity for SFSU Students!

The UCSF-Bay Area Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) is a premier research center that seeks to expand HIV research occurring at the intersections of basic, clinical, and behavioral/ epidemiological scientific disciplines. The CFAR Scholars mentoring program is in its second year, and our goal is to give undergraduate and graduate students from San Francisco State University an applied and mentored research experience in HIV!

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) are funding a national program called the Center for AIDS Research Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Pipeline Initiative (CDEIPI).

Through CDEIPI, we have a new program titled Accelerating Research Careers in Science through Early Mentored Research Experiences at the UCSF CFAR and SFSU.


Informational Webinar

Video file

Attention undergraduate AND graduate students of San Francisco State University

Are you a Black, Indigenous, Person of Color (BIPOC) or otherwise from an under-represented background in Science and medicine?

Are you an upper division undergraduate (junior/senior) or masters-level student at San Francisco State University?

Are you interested in getting HIV research experience and being mentored by leading researchers at UCSF?

  • Our center does a wide array of research that can accommodate students interested in working in the biological and clinical sciences or those who want to do community-engaged and behavioral health research

Apply to join our new and paid 12-week HIV research training program at the Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) at UCSF!

Program Features and Details

Scholars will be:

  1. Paid for 20 hours per week for 12 weeks ($20/hr)
  2. Paired and mentored by a key and emerging HIV researchers
  3. Access town halls and workshops on emerging science and community events
  4. Engage with other scholars and the broader UCSF community
  5. Shadow researchers and physicians at different sites across San Francisco
  6. Develop an applied HIV research project
  7. Develop a plan to pursue graduate or medical school

Program Rationale

Here at the UCSF CFAR, we are committed to building of a diverse workforce in science and medicine. We want to harness new perspectives to solve outstanding health challenges that we face. We believe that BIPOC and URMs have insights into important research questions yet to be asked. Our proposed program will provide key mentored research experiences but also provide the new scholars with the tools they need to persist and thrive in science and medicine as a URM.

While exposure to research is a critical step in solidifying interest in a science or medicine career, it has been shown that an applied undergraduate research experiences launches interest in further training. In fact, students who complete early training programs report better skills in planning and implementing research projects, accessing scientific information, in public speaking, and in retention in science and medicine.

Eligibility Criteria

  1. Currently enrolled in undergraduate (junior/senior at time of application) or master’s level degree program at San Francisco State University
    • Relevant degree programs: Biology, chemistry, psychology, public health, other basic and social science programs (Have questions? Please ask us!)
    • Students in doctoral degree programs are ineligible
  2. Able to legally work in the United States and complete a background check
  3. Able to work 20 hours per week for 12 weeks starting in June 2024

Required Materials

All application materials are submitted through our website

Applications must include:

1. A copy of an official transcript from San Francisco State University

2. PDF copy of Essay 1 (1,000 word limit) – Respond to all questions below

  1. Describe your academic and career goals related to getting further training or jobs in science or medicine.
  2. What has inspired you to pursue your goals? (e.g., community involvement, volunteer experience, previous experience conducting research, personal/life experiences, etc.);
  3. How will this program help you reach your goals in science and/or medicine;
  4. Any unique, personally important, and/or challenging factors in your background that have influenced your goals or your academic achievements.

3. PDF of Essay 2 (600 words) – Please pick one of the following topics and explain how it relates to your goals to pursue science, medicine, and if possible, HIV research.

  1. Basic sciences
  2. Clinical science, pharmacology, or immunology
  3. Working with underserved, minority or marginalized communities
  4. Health disparities
  5. Social and behavioral science
  6. Epidemiology
  7. Sexual and gender minority health

4. Resume/CV – Please include your academic major, relevant coursework, prior work experiences, skills and assets, and any science related outcomes you may have (e.g., presentations, publications, trainings, etc.)

5. Recommendation (web form) - Your recommender must be a faculty member at SFSU who is familiar with your academic program and can speak to your strengths as a candidate.

  • You will provide the contact information for your reference and we will contact them to complete a recommendation form for you. Please make sure they know to expect an email from
  • Your recommender will be asked to describe your strengths, areas for growth, why the program is a good fit for you, any challenges you have had, and provided other thoughts on your application. We will conduct follow-up calls with your recommender to discuss your application after all materials have been submitted.

Watch our information webinar – to get tips on writing a strong application!

Review Criteria

Our UCSF CFAR leadership group will review applications based on the following domains: clarity and relevance of their career goals and interest in research, strength of the letter of recommendation, professionalism and demonstration of being able to work with diverse teams and people, relevant experiences of applicants, and the unique skill set, lived experience and perspective they bring to the program. These domains will be weighed with academic standing, resume/cv, and potential to pursue additional training.

Reporting and Evaluation Requirements

Scholars will agree to complete and report on all required materials discussed above or that may be required upon hiring as mandated by UCSF. Scholars will also agree to complete the evaluation in the form of surveys before and after the program, and one-on-one interviews with a program evaluator after the program is complete.

Timeline for 2024

1. Applications are due March 15th at 5PM

2. Applications are reviewed and final selections are made by April 4th

3. Scholars start June 3rd and go through August 23rd 

For questions, please write to: