Projects & Programs


Itzá: Indigenous HIV/AIDS Research Training 3 (IHART3) Program

Indigenous HIV/AIDS-related health disparities have been linked to social, economic, and political inequities as well as to historical land loss, cultural devastation and a lack of access to healthy environments and health services.

The aim of the IHART3-Itzá program is to develop a strong network of highly trained and productive Indigenous scholars dedicated to research that is culturally grounded, prepared to contribute to ameliorating HIV-related disparities among Indigenous populations.

IHART3-Itzá is the third cycle of the Indigenous HIV/AIDS Research Training Program. It extends the reach of the original IHART programs to include candidates from the historically underserved Indigenous Latinx Populations (ILP) and multiple race Indigenous populations (MRI), in addition to Program Fellows from American Indians/Alaska Natives (AIAN), Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders (NHPI), underrepresented racial/ethnic groups (UREM), and non-Natives working in Indian Country.

The Itzá program is comprised of a structured 24-month intensive year-round mentorship program that includes:

(a) annual research institutes and writing retreats (a Summer Research Institute, Writing retreat, and 3-day Scientific Roundtable and grant writing workshop);

(b) other training opportunities such as webinars; quarterly seminars; on-site mentor shadowing opportunities; and support for participation in HIV/AIDS training institutes and scientific conferences;

(c) technical assistance (statistical, editorial, and technical assistance for developing grant applications and writing manuscripts for publication);

(d) seed funding ($22,000 for research activities related to pilot studies and/or to buy out time); and

(e) network development (via mentor networks and website).

By the end of the 24-month program, Fellows will have written a pilot grant application, designed and implemented a funded pilot study, published HIV/AIDS-related articles; submitted and presented HIV-related conference abstracts to national conferences; and developed or submitted an HIV-related NIH grant proposal.

Itzá is formed from the Mayan words for water and magic which can be interpreted as water magic, or water magicians.