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AVAC 2017 Advocacy Fellows Program Details

About the Advocacy Fellows Program


The overall goal of the Program is to expand and strengthen the capacity of civil society advocates and organisations to monitor, support and help shape biomedical HIV prevention research and rapid rollout of new effective interventions in low- and middle-income countries with HIV burdens.

The Advocacy Fellows Program pairs emerging leaders in advocacy and activism with existing organizations to develop and execute creative, context-specific projects focused on HIV prevention research and implementation of new prevention interventions.

Since 2010, Advocacy Fellows grants have been awarded to fifty (50) Fellows from ten countries in Africa and Asia.

Host Organisations are organizations willing to support the Fellow’s project and interested in building their capacity in prevention advocacy. They provide a physical space for the Advocacy Fellow to work from, on-site supervision of and support for Fellows’ activities, and the financial infrastructure for administering the Fellow’s grant.

The Fellow’s project is implemented through a close collaboration among the Advocacy Fellow, the Host Organisation and AVAC. The Advocacy Fellow executes the activities and the Host Organisation and AVAC provide the bedrock that the Fellow needs to thrive. Together, this tripartite forms a formidable team that works to achieve the goals of the project.

What the Program Offers


  • Full-time compensation for the Fellow, small project budget and technical assistance from AVAC for 12 months.
  • Mentoring and capacity building in biomedical HIV prevention research and implementation advocacy from AVAC for both Advocacy Fellows and Host Organisations.
  • Connection to a global network of biomedical HIV prevention research advocates including current and former Advocacy Fellows, researchers, civil society leaders and other individuals and/or organisations working in similar fields.

Are you thinking of applying for the Fellows Program? Below are some key thoughts to put in mind:


Think creatively: Think outside the box and propose an advocacy project which will impact your community/country’s goals towards the end of AIDS. What is your issue: development of new prevention tools? Access to existing ones? Policy change? Whatever it is, be creative — and tell us what you want to change!

Be bold: Be ambitious in your proposals. Consider neglected issues or communities. Consider projects which are opportunistic and time sensitive. For example — influencing decision-makers to consider new prevention packages for young women, adolescents, MSM, sex-workers and others over-burdened communities; tackling domestic financing for HIV prevention; targeting national processes (e.g. elections, national strategic plan updates) for policy change that could impact the entire country’s response.

Be informed: Do your homework about your issues — before preparing your application. The most competitive applications have come from applicants who have taken the time to get themselves familiar with the HIV prevention and implementation field. Successful applicants must demonstrate awareness of and willingness to learn about ongoing biomedical prevention research and implementation in their respective countries.

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel: Although we welcome new ideas and new ways to bring the change that’s needed — we also acknowledge that many advocates before us have given a strong foundation. Applicants are encouraged to dig deep and learn from what’s already been done to inform what else needs to be done or done differently.

Use your time wisely: The application form is long and requires a considerable amount of time to complete. Please give yourself enough time to prepare it. We encourage applicants to through the entire application at least once before they start filling it out. Rushed applications — and plagiarized text — are easy to identify!

Who is eligible to apply for to become a Fellow?


  • Emerging or mid-career community leaders and advocates involved or interested in advocacy around HIV prevention research and implementation.
  • Individuals with some experience or education in the areas of HIV and AIDS, public health, medicine, international development, women’s rights, communications, or advocacy with key populations, such as sex workers, LGBT people and drug users.
  • Individuals based in low-and middle-income countries where HIV prevention clinical research is planned or ongoing and/or where there is current work on implementation of new prevention interventions. Please visit www.avac.org/pxrd to identify countries where research and implementation is ongoing or planned.
  • Able to collaborate with English-speaking mentors. Applications are encouraged from all relevant countries where research is ongoing or interventions are rolling out, however the Fellow and Host Organization must be able to communicate with AVAC staff in English.
  • Those living with HIV and in communities with HIV burden are encouraged to apply.

Application Process


Applications go through a thorough review process, including by an external review panel made up of advocates, researchers, past Fellows and Host Supervisors recommendations. Short-listed applicants are interviewed. Selected Fellows will be notified by the end of November.

  • Applicants must submit the individual and Host Organisation information forms, the essay/short answer questions and the Host Organisation letter of support by 15 August 2015.
  • Short-listed candidates and proposed Host Organisations are contacted for further documentation and interviews that aim to get to know each applicant a little better.
  • Successful applicants and Host Organisations are notified in November 2016.
  • 2016 Fellow Projects run from 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018.

For more information and detailed support materials see the 2017 Advocacy Fellowship Application Instructions and Forms at www.avac.org/2017fellowsapps.

If you still have questions, you may write to us at fellows@avac.org.