HIV Intervention Science Training Commons

HIV Intervention Science Training Commons Partner(s): Nabila El-Bassel
School of Social Work

Access: Columbia only
Released: October 2007


CCNMTL partnered with Drs. Nabila El-Bassel and Elwin Wu of the Columbia University School of Social Work to develop this web-based environment for the HIV Intervention Science Training Program. The website helps the program meet its program and research objectives of recruiting and training minority researchers in the fields of HIV/AIDS, health disparities, and mental health and substance co-morbidities. Funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the HISTP Commons is a dedicated online space where trainees develop research proposals and gain feedback from their mentors and other specialists. It is also a space for collaboration among HISTP members and a repository of resources and information about the program; some of this information is also publicly available. HIV Intervention Science Training Commons is a Global Learning Initiative project.

Project Details

In order to achieve its goal of training a new cadre of racial and ethnic minority (REM) HIV intervention researchers, Columbia University’s School of Social Work needed a digital commons housing a suite of educational and communication resources. The three-year program, funded by the National Institute for Mental Health, paired mentees and mentors who could access the site at a distance in order to take advantage of the training materials, communicate findings, and develop expertise in order to attract more funding sources.

CCNMTL’s education technologists designed a robust web-based interface that functions as an online prevention and intervention resource library as well as allows for online statistical consultation. The HISTP digital commons includes a home page and calendar, as well as a discussion board and news feed, which informs users about seminars, institutes, and presentations by guest lecturers. Mentor-mentee pairs met in person and online throughout the three-year training period to arrive at best approaches and methodologies for training the REM scientists.