University of Miami Developmental HIV/AIDS Mental Health Research Center (D-ARC)

Project: Research project


Project Summary (Overall) This application from the University of Miami (UM) for a Developmental AIDS Research Center (UM D- ARC) proposes to establish a behavioral science hub advancing mental health (MH) HIV research in a US region hardest hit by HIV/AIDS. The over-arching Center theme, ?Reducing the Impact of Mental Health and Minority Health Disparities across the HIV Prevention and Care Continua,? is directly relevant to the uncontrolled HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Greater Miami area, and this developmental funding will provide a pathway for dynamic growth to a subsequent full ARC application. Over the initial funding period, we will consolidate, coordinate, and augment institutional resources as well as develop and expand regional and national collaborations. Miami has the highest HIV incidence and prevalence of any US city and fares worst, geographically, on every CDC indicator of HIV impact. Developing a D-ARC focused on MH at UM is also of high public health significance, as Miami?s diverse populations face significant MH disparities, making the area an ideal setting for MH research across diverse populations disproportionately affected by the epidemic. The organization of the UM D-ARC Cores represents a logical and innovative approach to establishing a D-ARC in an institution that has a growing cadre of behavioral scientists and a strategic goal of increasing HIV research. We propose the required Administrative (Admin) Core and Developmental (Dev) Core and two (rather than the required one) complementary Research Cores: a Methods Core and a Mental Health Disparities (MHD) Core. The Admin Core will embody Center leadership, governance, and strategic planning and coordinate the bi-directional community engagement activities that are key to the work of all Cores. The Dev Core will focus on awarding pilot studies and mentoring early stage investigators. The Methods Core will provide innovative research design, biostatistical, and data management expertise and collaborate with the MHD Core to construct, expand, and maintain Center Common Data Elements (CDE), consent-to-contact databases, and a REDCap measures library to maximize resource sharing. The MHD Core will provide expertise and resources to promote culturally competent, theory-driven approaches, tools, and interventions in ethical, multi-level, community-engaged research addressing MH and minority health disparities in HIV. The developmental activities proposed for the new UM D-ARC have the overarching goal of increasing local MH HIV/AIDS research consistent with the center theme and UM strategic goals regarding HIV/AIDS and will leverage strong institutional support. This structure allows for attainment of our Overall Aims, which are to establish the Developmental Center, and to grow by promoting research that mitigates the impact of MH and minority health disparities across the HIV prevention and treatment continuum. The UM D-ARC has the unique potential for high-impact research addressing HIV among hardest-hit populations in greatest need and at greatest risk for falling off of the HIV prevention and treatment continua.
Effective start/end date3/22/192/28/23


  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health: $827,750.00
  • National Institutes of Health


AIDS-Related Complex
Mental Health
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
Minority Health
Research Personnel
Continuity of Patient Care
Referral and Consultation
Research Design
Public Health