Research Training Opportunities

The Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing (ISGMH) is committed to training the next generation of sexual and gender minority (SGM) health scholars. Many of our ongoing research projects welcome postdoctoral fellows/scholars, trainees, and interns to learn and work with ISGMH faculty and staff. See below for a list of research projects currently accepting inquiries about these research training opportunities.

All open postdoctoral positions are listed on the Join Our Team page, and additional information about our postdoctoral training program is available here.

Please note that all opportunities with ISGMH are dependent on funding, mentor availability, and project capacity.

 

2GETHER

2GETHER is an innovative HIV prevention and relationship education program for young male couples. The program is unique in that it integrates both group-based and individualized couple sessions and addresses the needs of both HIV-positive and HIV-negative young men. Over the course of four sessions, couples learn to utilize behavioral and biomedical approaches to prevent both HIV acquisition and transmission, with an overarching emphasis on improving relationship functioning. More about 2GETHER.

Interested in working with 2GETHER as a postdoctoral fellow, trainee, or intern? Contact Dr. Michael Newcomb.

 

Adolescent Scientific Access Project (ASAP)

The Adolescent Scientific Access Project explores the ethical issues associated with involving sexual and gender minority (SGM) minor adolescents in HIV prevention and sexual health research. SGM adolescents are underrepresented in or excluded from scientific research studies that have the potential to reduce health disparities among their population. The goal of ASAP is to generate empirical data and tools to help investigators and IRBs make better decisions about including SGM adolescents in research, which can ultimately decrease barriers to SGM youth’s participation in much-needed research on their health. More about ASAP.

Interested in working with ASAP as a postdoctoral fellow, trainee, or intern? Contact Dr. Kathryn Macapagal.

 

D2D

D2D examines PrEP adherence and usage patterns among young men who have sex with men (YMSM), with an emphasis on understanding racial disparities. The study embeds mixed-methods data collection activities—including a daily diary study, biomarkers of adherence, and in-depth interviews—into the ongoing RADAR study of YMSM aged 16-29. The RADAR cohort is highly diverse in terms of race/ethnicity, which allows for the evaluation of differences in PrEP adherence and patterns of use across groups. 

Interested in working with D2D as a postdoctoral fellow, trainee, or intern? Contact Dr. Michael Newcomb.

 

The Evaluation Center: Community Development

The Evaluation Center: Community Development is a local HIV elimination project. It oversees the evaluation and quality management of community-led structural interventions designed and implemented at four local HIV service agencies funded through the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) HIV Services Portfolio. The project studies the impact of using a systems-informed empowerment framework to build agencies’ capacity to develop, implement, and evaluate homegrown structural interventions. The Evaluation Center: Community Development is a collaborative project led by the Evaluation, Data Integration and Technical Assistance (EDIT) Program at Northwestern University, in conjunction with Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and CDPH. More about the EDIT Program.

Interested in working with the Evaluation Center: Community Development as a postdoctoral fellow, trainee, or intern? Contact Dr. Gregory Phillips II.

 

The Evaluation Center: Project 2.0

The Evaluation Center: Project 2.0 is a local HIV elimination project that oversees the evaluation and quality management of 51 HIV prevention, care, and housing service projects funded through the Chicago Department of Public Health HIV Services Portfolio. The project studies the impact of using a systems-informed empowerment framework to engage delegate agencies, assess stakeholder needs, and develop program capacity. The Evaluation Center: Project 2.0 is a collaborative project led by the Evaluation, Data Integration and Technical Assistance (EDIT) Program at Northwestern University, in conjunction with the Center for Prevention Implementation Methodology and AIDS Foundation of Chicago. More about the EDIT Program.

Interested in working with the Evaluation Center: Project 2.0 as a postdoctoral fellow, trainee, or intern? Contact Dr. Gregory Phillips II.

 

FAB400

FAB 400 seeks to understand relationship dynamics and personal development among young LGBTQ people assigned female at birth (AFAB) in Chicago. Young sexual and gender minority AFAB people are at an elevated risk of intimate partner violence and its negative consequences. This study looks at why some young people get involved in relationships and others don’t, as well as what makes some relationships healthy while others become unhealthy or violent. FAB 400 is a longitudinal study, which allows analysis of how relationships form, change, and vary over time and how the relationships are impacted by internal and external factors. More about FAB400.

Interested in working with FAB400 as a postdoctoral fellow, trainee, or intern? Contact Dr. Michael Newcomb.

 

Keep It Up!

Keep It Up! is an online HIV prevention intervention for young men who have sex with men (YMSM). It uses multimedia and interactive content to teach useful HIV prevention skills in real-life scenarios. Among participants, the intervention significantly reduced rates of recent condomless anal sex and of STIs. Keep it Up! was selected by the CDC Prevention Synthesis Project as a “best evidence” HIV risk reduction intervention for diverse YMSM. More about Keep It Up!

Interested in working with Keep It Up! as a postdoctoral fellow, trainee, or intern? Contact Dr. Kathryn Macapagal.

 

Looking

Looking examines sexual and gender minority (SGM) youth’s social networking application use to meet sexual partners and its associations with their sexual health and wellbeing. While there are social networking apps marketed for SGM individuals as young as 13, they are limited in number and intended for non-sexual purposes. As a result, SGM adolescents may gravitate toward dating/hookup apps for adults as a way to explore their developing sexual identities and overcome common obstacles to meeting partners, such as proximity, sexual identity disclosure, and ascertaining a prospective partner’s sexual orientation. More about Looking.

Interested in working with Looking as a postdoctoral fellow, trainee, or intern? Contact Dr. Kathryn Macapagal.

 

Network Canvas

Network Canvas is a project to develop and disseminate a standalone software suite to simplify the collection and management of complex network data. Capturing data “beyond” the individual (e.g. social, relational, geospatial) is a growing priority for many researchers, particularly those concerned with understanding the complex drivers of health and disease in marginalized populations. However, existing survey tools for collecting these data are often cumbersome, resource intensive, and require strong technical expertise. Through a free, open-source framework, the Network Canvas suite leverages advanced technologies to allow researchers to easily design bespoke surveys, collect rich multilevel data directly from participants using intuitive touchscreen interfaces, and utilize these data in near real-time to assess associations between contextual factors and health outcomes. More about Network Canvas.

Interested in working with Network Canvas as a postdoctoral fellow, trainee, or intern? Contact Kate Banner.

 

PrEP 4 the Future

The purpose of the PrEP 4 the Future study is to understand perspectives on novel PrEP delivery methods among SGM adolescents assigned male at birth. This study collaborated with a youth advisory council to design developmentally appropriate, animated, educational videos on the three potential prevention methods. A series of surveys and online focus groups provide insight on adolescent preferences for these methods of PrEP; perceived risks, benefits, and barriers to obtaining and using PrEP; and perspectives on approaches that can increase SGM adolescents’ awareness and use of these novel PrEP methods. More about PrEP 4 the Future.

Interested in working with PrEP 4 the Future as a postdoctoral fellow, trainee, or intern? Contact Dr. Kathryn Macapagal.

 

RADAR

The purpose of RADAR is to identify and understand the connections between sexually transmitted infections (STIs), substance use, and romantic relationship patterns over time among young men who have sex with men (YMSM). To achieve this, RADAR has built a longitudinal dyadic-network cohort of nearly 1200 diverse YMSM to understand the interplay of HIV and substance use. The project uses a multilevel research design that incorporates biological, dyadic, and network components to provide an unprecedented view into HIV transmission epidemiology. More about RADAR.

Interested in working with RADAR as a postdoctoral fellow, trainee, or intern? Contact Christian Castro.

 

SMART Project

SMART is an online sexual health and HIV prevention program for gay, bi, and queer teens guys (13-18 years old). SMART wants its participants to feel safe, confident, and empowered. In addition to sexual health, SMART covers topics that are important to gay, bi, and queer teen guys, like navigating sex and romantic relationships, understanding sexual and gender identities, and connecting with the LGBTQ community. More about the SMART Project.

Interested in working with the SMART Project as a postdoctoral fellow, trainee, or intern? Contact Maggie Matson.

 

Youth Risk Behavior Survey

Alcohol is the most commonly used and abused drug among youths in the US, and prevalence of alcohol use is disproportionately higher among sexual minority youth than among their heterosexual peers. This project uses data from the CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) to assess alcohol use disparities across jurisdictions and time points. Additional study aims are to identify structural factors (laws, resource access, etc.) that may influence alcohol use and to study event-level associations between alcohol use and condomless sex. More about the Youth Risk Behavior Survey project.

Interested in working with the Youth Risk Behavior Survey project as a postdoctoral fellow, trainee, or intern? Contact Dr. Gregory Phillips II.

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