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HIV/AIDS Request for Application

See specific pilot announcements for deadlines


To support a broad range of highly innovative research projects and pilot studies to address key gaps in our understanding of HIV/AIDS.


The mission of the CFAR is to provide leadership, services and infrastructure necessary to: establish multidisciplinary collaborations that achieve high-impact discoveries; support the early career development of diverse young HIV/AIDS investigators; and to establish a distinctive scientific identity, placing the University of Rochester at the forefront of HIV/AIDS research.


  • University of Rochester Associate Professors, Assistant Professors, or Research Assistant Professors whose primary field is in HIV/AIDS, but who have not received an NIH R01 award or equivalent as PI/MPI in HIV/AIDS (New Investigators working in HIV/AIDS)
  • University of Rochester Assistant or Research Assistant Professors whose primary field is not in HIV/AIDS, have not received an NIH R01 award or equivalent as PI/MPI in HIV/AIDS, and have enlisted an established HIV/AIDS researcher as Co-I/Mentor on the application (new investigators new to HIV/AIDS collaborating with an established HIV/AIDS researcher)
  • University of Rochester Full or Associate Professors with no history of NIH funding in HIV/AIDS research (established investigators new to HIV/AIDS research)
  • Additional eligibility criteria may be included in each specific announcement.

Please note: T32 awardees are not eligible to have effort on CFAR Pilot awards and K awardees are not eligible to receive salary support from a CFAR pilot award. Please contact Laura Enders for further information.

Projects will receive the highest priority if they:

  • Have strong potential for follow up funding by national, state or private agencies
  • Are interdisciplinary and create new collaborations involving multiple departments


Awards are made for a one-year period.  Generally, awards are up to $50,000 in Direct Costs, but specific pilot announcements may identify different funding levels.

Application Instructions

Applications must be submitted to on or before he deadline specified in the pilot announcements. Applicants are encouraged to submit electronically as an attachment in pdf format.

Application Requirements

  • CFAR Proposal sign-off form
  • Draft Cost Sharing form (signed forms will be required for pilots selected for funding)
  • Modified PHS 398 face page (page 4 of these guidelines)
  • Abstract
  • NIH-format biosketch for PI, co-investigators and mentors 
  • Updated Other Support for PI only
  • Research Plan (limited to 3 pages) 
    The Research Plan consists of items noted below, as applicable. It should be self-contained and include sufficient information to evaluate the project, independent of any other document (e.g., previous application). Be specific and informative, and avoid redundancies.
    • Specific Aims
    • Research Strategy (Significance, Innovation and Approach)
    • Timeline
  • Human Subject and Animals (no limit)
    The Human Subjects and Animals Plan consists of items noted below, as applicable. It should be self-contained and include sufficient information to evaluate the project, independent of any other document (e.g., previous application). Be specific and informative, and avoid redundancies.
    • Protection of Human Subjects
    • Vertebrate Animals
  • Plans for Future Funding (limited to 1 page):
    • Provide a short outline of how the pilot will develop into a NIH-funded grant. It should include the proposed hypothesis and specific aims intended for a NIH grant application as well as the projected timeline for submission.
  • Data Analysis Plan (half-page limit):
    • Provide a brief data analysis plan and identify if bioinformatics support is needed for data collection and management.
  • Mentoring Plan (if applicable):
    • Identify a primary mentor and provide a clearly delineated mentoring plan, including frequency and methods. The plan should identify long-term needs and goals in order to establish a successful independent academic career within the next 2 to 5 years.
  • Budget (limited to 1 page using PHS 398 Form Page 4, providing a detailed description of supplies and other expenses within the form page):
    • Limited to $30,000 direct costs.
    • Unless exceptional circumstances, funds may not be used to support faculty salary but the budget must identify the proposed effort.
    • Funds may not be used for travel to professional meetings or equipment.
    • Funds may be used to support research supplies and expenses, travel to collect data and other non-faculty salary.
    • If applicable, identify other sources of support that will be used to complete the pilot project.
  • Bibliography

Submission and Review Process

This is an internal competition for NIH-funds already awarded to the CFAR. ORPA review and sign-off is not required but departmental review and approval should be sought through the CFAR sign-off form. Proposals will be reviewed by a faculty committee and will be assigned a priority score in accordance with these categories:

  • Significance
  • PI, Scientific Team & Environment
  • Innovation and Multidisciplinary
  • Approach
  • Responsiveness to the terms of this RFA
  • Probability of future NIH funding

A summary of the reviewers’ comments will be provided once the review process has been completed

Award Process

CFAR will notify selected investigators via email within 2-3 weeks of the application deadline. Funding will not be released until all UR and NIH regulatory requirements have been met including IRB, IBC and IACUC approvals as applicable. Upon receipt of all required documentation, the CFAR will issue a formal internal Notice of Award.

Reporting Requirements

The pilot PI will be required to present the status of the pilot project work to the CFAR Steering or Mentoring Committee.

CFAR is required to report the outcome of this award to NIH for a period of no less than 5 years. Routine reporting is thus required of the investigator and should be comprised of a written report, which must include the following:

  • Status of the work supported by pilot grant
  • Statement regarding resulting grant applications, publications, presentations and inventions
  • Update regarding plans for future funding resulting from the project 

Awardees may also be asked to present their projects and results at a CFAR sponsored event and/or annual World AIDS Day Scientific Symposium.


CFAR Director – Steve Dewhurst
CFAR co-Director – Mike Keefer
Administrator – Laura Enders
P: 585-273-2939
F: 585-473-9573