Seed Grant Awards, 2007-2008

CPRC is pleased to recognize the recipients of its first round of seed grant awards, both of which are fostering new collaborations amongst our faculty.

Life Projects, Therapeutic Itineraries and Antiretroviral Therapy in Washington Heights.

Jennifer Hirsch, Peter Messeri, and Tonya Taylor 

In this pilot project, we propose to establish a community-based ethnographic research site and to collect preliminary data among HIV+ individuals in Washington Heights. Each of these tasks will play a critical role in our strategy for the resubmission of a grant to NICHD.
Drawing on the concepts of life projects and therapeutic itineraries, specific aims of that grant were to: 1) examine and understand how the experience of anti-retro viral therapy (ART) affects the gendered life projects of people living with HIV, including their family and peer relations, sexual behaviors, marital intentions and trajectories, and reproductive goals and practices; and 2) investigate and evaluate how the intersection between ART and life projects shapes individuals' therapeutic itineraries and crucial health-related behaviors such as disclosure, risky and protective sexual practices, and adherence to therapy. A major critique of the mostly favorable review of our research on life projects on ART (reviewed by a Demographic and Behavioral Sciences Branch study section) was the selection of a provincial capital in Southern Mexico for one of the five fieldsites. The data collection proposed in this pilot study will lay the groundwork
for switching from this relatively low-priority international setting to a higher-prevalence US community, thus playing a critical role in the development of a stronger revised application for our proposed research. The proposed pilot research is responsive to the aims of the CPRC pilot grants program: it would support a cross-unit collaboration (between SMS and the HIV Center) for investigators at different career stages (Professor, Associate Professor, and Post-doctoral Fellow); it would provide structured mentorship to a talented minority scholar; it is interdisciplinary (including both anthropologists and a sociologist), and it would enhance the fundability of a specific research project in clear and concrete ways. Although SMS and the HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies are both located on the campus of the Columbia University Medical Center, their theoretical orientations are sufficiently different that few SMS Principal Investigators collaborate substantively with faculty whose primarily affiliation is in the HIV Center.

Comments and Measures for Immigration Research in New York City in the 21st Century: An Interdisciplinary Collaborative Project of the Immigration/Migration SRAG, CPRC.

Sally Findley, Vincent Guilamo-Ramos, Lisa Bates and Ana Abraido-Lanza, in representation of the Immigration/Migration primary research area group

The Immigration/Migration Primary Research Area Group of the Columbia Population Research Center is dedicated to developing innovative theories, interventions, and policies designed to improve the health and well-being of diverse populations of immigrants and migrants in the United States (U.S.) and abroad, with a special focus on immigrant/migrant communities in New York City. The present project will conduct formative research to enable the Immigration/ Migration group to modify and fill gaps in existing conceptual frameworks related to migration and adaptation and, in relation to these, to develop, evaluate and refine a new generation of measures for immigrant populations. The proposed project and related study will generate data for the preliminary studies section of a subsequent R21 grant to the National Institutes of Health focused explicitly on Methodology and Measurement in the Behavioral and Social Sciences. Outcomes and data from the present study will contribute an important body of information to immigration/migration researchers and policy makers.