San Diego SUN Program

Supporting and Uplifting New and Diverse Scientists in HIV


The San Diego Center for AIDS Research (SD CFAR) is pleased to announce and invite applications for the San Diego SUN (Supporting and Uplifting New and Diverse Scientists in HIV) program. Applications are due Thursday, January 20, 2022 by 3:00 pm PST.

Click here for full application details and a list of SD SUN mentors


What is SD SUN?

San Diego SUN (SD SUN) is a mentored research training program for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) pre- and postdoctoral scholars offered through the San Diego Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) as part of the CFAR Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Pipeline Initiative. The overarching goal of San Diego SUN, or SD 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.

Funding supports up to 7 scholars (4 predocs and 3 postdocs) in a 9-month structured training program focused on: Research knowledge, skills, and mentored career development training to support a career path towards becoming a scientist in the field of HIV and the responsible conduct of research with human subjects, with special consideration given to conducting HIV research with BIPOC and disadvantaged populations.

Scholars may also apply for 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.

What is the SD SUN mentoring structure?

Scholars who are accepted in the program will be assigned a primary and secondary SD SUN mentor based on alignment of research interests and goals. A third mentor will be the scholar’s current primary mentor (e.g., doctoral program or postdoc mentor). Applicants will be asked to identify potential SD SUN mentors, which can be selected from the table below.

Where does the program take place?

The structured training period of SD SUN will take place from February to October 2022 and will be held mostly virtually. In-person gatherings and seminars will also be offered and scheduled throughout the training period.


Funding Details

Funding is equivalent to a total of 1 calendar month of full-time effort on a NRSA fellowship (~$2K for predocs, ~$4500 for postdocs), in addition to that fellows are eligible to apply for small seed funding ($6K for predocs, $10K for postdocs) for their research or to support their professional development (e.g., conferences, workshops). Overlap in federal or other funding would not preclude participation in this program. 

Applicant Eligibility

Eligible applicants must self-identify as Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Color (BIPOC). Pre-doctoral applicants must also be currently enrolled in a doctoral degree program at UCSD or SDSU. Post-doctoral researcher applicants must be currently employed at UCSD or SDSU, and/or are part of an existing T32 fellowship program at either institution. Candidates should be interested in pursuing a research career related to HIV. Applicants must be U.S. citizens.

Dates and Deadline Information


Applications will be accepted until Thursday, January 20, 2022 by 3pm PST.


Submit applications as one pdf to

A successful application submission consists of the following:

  1. Complete the online Sociodemographic Form via Qualtrics

Click here to download the list of application sociodemographics questions to prepare your Qualtrics submission.

  1. Current curriculum vitae

  2. Two letters of reference

  3. Two-page statement of interest that includes your HIV research interests, short term and long-term career goals, and personal goals/expectations of the program

  4. A letter from your current primary mentor committing to supporting the individual in the completion of the SD SUN program and research project. (This statement can be provided in one of the two required letters of reference).


Submit applications files(items 2-5) as one pdf to

Click here for full application details and a list of SD SUN mentors

At a Glance