AIDS Project Los Angeles Internship in
Social and Behavioral Research

AIDS Project Los Angeles: A Unique Research Program

APLA’s Community Based Research program is a unique setting for an internship: our program is an active collaboration between a community-based organization and academic researchers from CSU Dominguez Hills, UCLA, the RAND Corporation, and Harvard. Our interns are equally diverse in their interests and backgrounds, coming to us primarily from Amherst, Pomona College, Occidental College, and CSU Dominguez Hills. The APLA research program is centrally located on Wilshire Boulevard, just south of Hollywood, and easily accessible by subway. (From Union Station in Downtown L.A., it’s a short subway ride to our offices.) Our address is 3550 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 300, Los Angeles, CA 90010.

Our Research

The Community Based Research program focuses on examining social and psychological factors that influence the health and health behaviors of people living with HIV and populations at high risk of HIV infection. Our research focuses particularly on the experiences of African Americans and young gay and bisexual men. Study findings are used to develop new services, improve existing ones and highlight trends in the field. Topics explored in our research include: sexual risk behavior; interpersonal communication about sexuality; HIV/AIDS treatment education; substance use; social and cultural factors shaping HIV risk for gay men of color; health disparities; and social stigma and discrimination. More information about Community Based Research at APLA is available at apla.org/cbr.

The Internship Experience

This is an unpaid internship that would involve working on one or more of our research projects. Interns may participate in scheduling interviews, qualitative data analysis, collaborative team meetings, entering survey data, searching research literature, and assisting with preparation of grant proposals, as well as materials for presentation and publication. Other activities might involve screening participants or doing outreach at community venues, including nighttime outreach at gay-identified bars and clubs.

This is a good opportunity for someone who is considering a career in research or who is interested in sociological and psychological perspectives on HIV and the experiences of people living with HIV or African American and Latino young gay and bisexual men. Interns in our program are active team members involved in many aspects of the research projects, and expected to contribute independently and creatively to the research process. Self-motivated interns typically develop many new skills during the program, along with a sense of accomplishment and a hands-on understanding of community-based research.

Candidates for Internship

An ideal candidate would have strong writing skills, as well as some knowledge of research methods. Equally important is experience in or eagerness to learn about recruitment methods, writing about qualitative research findings, qualitative analysis procedures, and guidelines to protect study respondents’ confidentiality and welfare. We also prefer candidates with knowledge of or experience with diverse populations, such as ethnic minority, HIV-positive, or LGBT individuals.

Commitment

We accept applicants for Fall, Spring, and Summer internships, as well as year-long internships. Fall and Spring internships require a minimum commitment of 15 hours per week for three months. Summer and year-long internships are usually full-time, with more extensive training and involvement in a greater number of research projects.

Contact Information

If you are interested, please email Sean Jamar Lawrence at slawrence@apla.org, and include your resume and a writing sample (preferably related to the social sciences, research, or health). Please indicate the dates of your availability and how many hours per week you can work. Greater availability and/or hours will be preferable to more limited availability.