Filling the Gaps: Recruiting New Research Leadership

The OHTN is committed to funding research with real-life impact, work intended to improve the lives of people living with and at risk of HIV. In recent years, our research funding programs have sought proposals that promote tangible solutions for the populations of people most at risk of HIV infection, and on the need to develop practical new services and resources for people living with the disease.

The OHTN is proud of the research we fund, but we also recognize that there are gaps, areas where particular challenges need more research and more leadership. That is why in 2015-16, we are partnering with organizations from our stakeholder communities to identify those needs, and to recruit exceptional research leaders. We expect these leaders to work with communities in developing programs and interventions that address challenges in HIV prevention and care.  At least three specific Chair recruitments are planned for 2015-16, more are expected in the years to come.

The first of these Chairs will be the OHTN Chair in HIV Program Science for African, Caribbean and Black Communities. Posting for Chairs focused on gay men’s health, as well as on addictions and mental health will be announced within the next six months.

In developing this initial posting, OHTN has also piloted an approach to recruiting new leaders. We worked in collaboration with the African and Caribbean Council on HIV/AIDS in Ontario (ACCHO) to determine the needs and the specific focus of this position. The posting considers the comprehensive Ontario HIV/AIDS Strategy for African, Caribbean and Black Communities developed by ACCHO, as well as the priorities in Ontario’s new HIV/AIDS Strategy.

“We want someone for this chair, and for all of our chairs, who is driven by the conviction that our health and social systems can do better, and who shares our sense of urgency” says OHTN Scientific and Executive Director, Sean B. Rourke. “We expect the successful candidate to build relationships and work closely with ACB communities, other researchers, health services/systems and policy makers to undertake highly relevant pragmatic program science research that will lead to positive change.”

ACCHO Director, Valérie Pierre-Pierre, concurs. “We anticipate that this new OHTN Chair will be an important resource when it comes to understanding and reducing the impact of HIV in Ontario’s African, Caribbean and Black communities.”

A detailed posting for the new Chair has been developed and is being distributed internationally. Interested individuals are asked to respond by May 20, 2015.

Photo by Seyed Mostafa Zamani.

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