Internal Deadline: TBA
LOI: 30 days prior.
External Deadline: August 2, 2024
Recurring Deadlines: August 4, 2025
Award Type: Grant
Estimated Number of Awards: The number of awards is contingent upon NIH appropriations and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.
Anticipated Award Amount: A base of $1,000,000 total costs per center per year will be awarded.
Who May Serve as PI: Standard NIH requirements.
Link to Award: https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-23-117.html
Additional Eligibility Information:
D-CFAR-specific Eligibility Requirements
One D-CFAR award per institution
No institution may have more than one CFAR or D-CFAR award concurrently. An institution that is part of a multi-institutional CFAR or D-CFAR application or award may not be listed as a multi-institutional participant in a CFAR application. Independent campuses that are part of a large multiple city university are considered to be separate institutions, and each may submit one application.
Two or more institutions may submit an application for a single D-CFAR award. The institutions do not need to be in the same geographical area if the applicant can demonstrate a feasible plan for collaborative research networks using D-CFAR Cores across all institutions.
Cores Outside of the D-CFAR institution
With appropriate justification, D-CFAR awards may support a Core at an institution that is not part of the D-CFAR, including a primate facility or a foreign institution that provides a unique resource such as a clinical and/or laboratory site.
NIH HIV/AIDS Funded Research Base (FRB)
Institutions/Organizations with a HIV/AIDS FRB of $10M annually (minimum) are eligible to apply for a D-CFAR. The FRB is defined as the amount of Total Cost funding from NIH for one fiscal year (October 1 to September 30) preceding the calendar year of application submission. D-CFAR applicants must maintain the required minimum FRB during the year of submission in order to be funded at the requested amount. This applies only to competing applications. The NIH HIV/AIDS FRB is compiled from data provided by the NIH Office of AIDS Research to determine eligibility. Applicants can request the FRB from NIAID.
The FRB includes NIH peer-reviewed HIV/AIDS research grants, program projects, and cooperative agreements utilizing the following mechanisms only: DP1, DP2, DP5, R00, R01, R03, R15, R21, R24, R33, R34, R35, R36, R37, R56, R61, RF1, SC1, SC2, SC3, U01, U10, U24, U34, UH2, UH3, UG3, and K series awards. The following mechanisms or components of these mechanisms may be considered based on whether or not the award or component involves primarily research activity: KL1, KL2, N01, P01, P30, P50, P60, PM1, U19, U54, UG1, UM1, UM2 and RC series grants.
Conditions to the NIH HIV/AIDS FRB:
- Funds from any source other than NIH are excluded
- Only the amount budgeted directly to an applicant institution(s) will be included for grants over $5M. Subawards/Consortium/Contractual costs are excluded.
- MPI grants will be included to the applicant institution of the contact PI
Multi-institutional D-CFAR applications may combine the NIH HIV/AIDS FRBs to meet the eligibility criteria for this funding announcement. A D-CFAR applicant cannot use the FRB of an institution that is already part of another CFAR or D-CFAR. D-CFARs that use a distant institution for a core facility may not use the FRB of that institution if they are not including all of the NIH HIV/AIDS investigators at that institution as part of the D-CFAR.
Process for Limited Submissions
PIs must submit their application as a Limited Submission through the Research Initiatives and Infrastructure (RII) Application Portal: https://rii.usc.edu/oor-portal/. Use the template provided here: RII Limited Submission Applicant Template
Materials to submit include:
- (1) Two-Page Proposal Summary (0.5” margins; single-spaced; font type: Arial, Helvetica, or Georgia typeface; font size: 11 pt). Page limit includes references and illustrations. Pages that exceed the 2-page limit will be excluded from review. You must use the template linked above.
- (2) CV – (5 pages maximum)
Note: The portal requires information about the PIs in addition to department and contact information, including the 10-digit USC ID#, Gender, and Ethnicity. Please have this material prepared before beginning this application.
The Developmental Centers for AIDS Research (D-CFAR) program is co-funded and managed by twelve NIH Institutes and Centers to support basic and translational HIV/AIDS research and administrative infrastructure. The purpose of the D-CFAR is to provide support for applicants ultimately seeking a standard CFAR. A D-CFAR will allow the applicant to develop collaborations, to experiment with Core facilities that may be important to support HIV/AIDS investigators at the institution, and to build and strengthen any deficiencies that might adversely affect an application for a standard CFAR award, which could ultimately lead to the development of a competitive standard CFAR application. The emphasis expected in a D-CFAR application will be the identification and clear description of gaps or deficiencies that would hinder development of a competitive CFAR application, and Core facilities that would reduce or eliminate these gaps. D-CFARs are intended to promote NIH HIV/AIDS research efforts at the D-CFAR institution(s). The proposed D-CFAR priorities should align with the NIH HIV/AIDS priority topics as highlighted in NOT-OD-20-018.
Expected Characteristics of all D-CFARs
Added value. D-CFARs are expected to provide added value to the applicant institution’s HIV/AIDS research efforts through support of activities that cannot easily be provided through standard research awards with the ultimate goal of strengthening the Center to be competitive as a standard CFAR. The added value contribution that the proposed D-CFAR will make at the institution(s) should go beyond what would be expected from the pre-existing HIV/AIDS funded research. D-CFARs should promote and encourage activities that enhance collaboration and coordination of research that aligns with the NIH HIV/AIDS priority topics.
Some examples of added value include:
- Developmental Core awards resulting in collaborations, publications, or successful major research grants, especially among early career investigators and investigators new to the field of HIV/AIDS
- Evidence of an increase in multidisciplinary research and publications
- Evidence of D-CFAR enhancement and support of existing programs at the award institution
- Research activities focused on prevention, treatment and implementation science questions in high-risk and under-served populations
- Commitment from the institution(s) for support of D-CFAR activities
- Mentoring early career investigators in the HIV/AIDS research field and facilitating the transition to independence
- Fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in the scientific workforce with particular attention to recruitment and advancement of early career investigators
- Promoting and supporting new collaborations designed to move the HIV/AIDS field forward through D-CFAR-sponsored meetings and activities
- Increase in percentage of NIH funded HIV researchers supported by the D-CFAR
Scientific and fiscal flexibility. D-CFARs will use a strategic planning process to provide guidance and oversight of scientific and fiscal flexibility. D-CFARs are responsible for using their resources to meet the needs of their investigators. A D-CFAR has the authority to re-allocate resources according to the D-CFAR operating policies and procedures proposed in the application. D-CFARs have authority to change the structure and funding of cores through additions or eliminations, as long as the minimum required cores are maintained. D-CFARs may leverage other resources in support of HIV/AIDS research. D-CFAR Cores may be supported totally, or in part, by D-CFAR funds. Applicants are encouraged to develop creative collaborations to improve utilization of existing resources.
NIH-funded HIV/AIDS investigators at the applicant institution(s). The aims of the Cores and the services they provide should address the needs of HIV/AIDS investigators at the applicant institution(s) and be inclusive of the full range of HIV/AIDS science funded at the institution(s). The NIH-funded HIV/AIDS research base spreadsheet made available by the NIH should be used to ensure that the D-CFAR supports all NIH HIV/AIDS investigators at an institution.
Collaborations with community groups, organizations and other institutions. Applicants are encouraged to explore and/or strengthen collaborative, multi-institutional linkages with international and domestic organizations and institutions, and Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) such as Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), and Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCU). Examples of linkages include mentoring, collaborating, and training. Such linkages foster research training and collaborative studies and are able to meet needs that cannot be easily addressed by other funding mechanisms.
D-CFARs are encouraged to build collaborations with local and state health departments, federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), and community organizations (e.g., CBOs, community health clinics, faith-based organizations, etc.) as they conduct research on aspects of the local HIV epidemic.
D-CFARs can establish and/or participate in inter-CFAR collaborations where investigators from different CFARs/D-CFARs collaborate with each other in scientific areas of common interest to achieve economies of scale, to share unique resources and expertise, and to expand collaborative activities between CFARs/D-CFARs, especially in areas that cannot be studied at a single CFAR/D-CFAR site. Coordination with international programs funded by the Fogarty International Center (FIC) is also encouraged within these inter-CFAR collaborations. Examples of inter-CFAR collaborations can be found on the CFAR website. D-CFARs may expand these activities to achieve the objectives of the award. Examples include, community outreach, development of scientists from diverse backgrounds including those from underrepresented groups (NOT-OD-20-031) in HIV/AIDS research, HIV/AIDS research communications to non-scientists, D-CFAR-sponsored seminars and meetings, identifying additional support for ongoing NIH programs not planned in the initial award, additional research collaborations, and other activities that meet the HIV/AIDS research needs of applicant institutions.
The overall structure of the D-CFAR is designed to support the HIV/AIDS researchers at the applicant institution(s) in the conduct of their research projects, interact with a variety of organizations to promote collaborations that serve the applicant organization, and create linkages for promoting additional HIV/AIDS research in key areas identified by the scientific community.
Cores and Core services provide support of specific functions that facilitate HIV/AIDS research at the D-CFAR institution, therefore, Cores must specifically target HIV/AIDS research.
The D-CFAR Administrative Core will be responsible for managing, coordinating, and overseeing the entire range of D-CFAR activities, monitoring progress, and ensuring that the project milestones are being met and implemented effectively within the proposed timelines. The Administrative Core must provide both an organizational and administrative structure that is conducive for ensuring collaborative efforts and interaction among the Cores and Scientific Working Groups. Additionally, the Core should coordinate and facilitate communication with other collaborating partners.
The D-CFAR Developmental Core provides short-term funding (e.g., 1-2 years) for HIV/AIDS specific research awards and mentoring for early career investigators. The purpose of Developmental Core awards is to support early career HIV/AIDS investigators and investigators new to the HIV/AIDS research field at the D-CFAR institution(s). These projects may encompass research to obtain preliminary data for applying to NIH funding opportunities, perform feasibility studies, support new and emerging science in HIV/AIDS research, and facilitate new collaborations among faculty within the institution(s) in diverse areas of science in support of high priority HIV/AIDS research. Developmental Core projects proposing clinical trials will not be permitted under this FOA.
Advanced Technology Core(s)
The D-CFAR Advanced Technology Core provides specialized/dedicated equipment, training, unique services, quality control, and expertise/advice for research activities that might not otherwise be accessible for HIV/AIDS research through existing resources at the institution(s). The main focus of the Core should be to drive innovation in HIV/AIDS basic research. An Advanced Technology Core can be a specialized Core that provides state-of-the-art emerging technologies such as single-cell analysis, omics, specialized immunology, CRISPR technologies, complex imaging, cryo-electron microscopy, machine learning, HIV reservoir assays, etc. Some examples might include specialized immunology, imaging, microscopy, structural biology, and others. Standard virologic and immunologic assay services may also be included if evidence can be provided that the services are in demand and will be highly utilized based on the needs of D-CFAR members. The Advanced Technology Core should provide economies of scale and should foster collaboration between basic and clinical investigators when applicable. The Advanced Technology Core does not substitute for resources that are obtainable commercially, or replace existing resources normally supported by individual research grants. The Core should have a clear focus, contribute to both basic and translational research and demonstrate added value. When the Core coordinates access to other institutional core services, sufficient justification should be provided on why this approach provides added value to D-CFAR members.
Clinical Science Core(s)
The D-CFAR Clinical Science Core provides resources for HIV/AIDS translational research among collaborating clinical, social and behavioral, and basic scientists. The Clinical Science Core involves direct interaction with human subjects (e.g., a single blood draw, sample and data collection, use of behavioral study instruments) or indirect interaction with human subjects (e.g., developing a database or specialized repository for unique clinical specimens). This Core provides services for investigators to develop appropriate study designs, study protocols, informed consents, and assist in obtaining requirements for human subjects research. Activities that will not be supported by a D-CFAR Clinical Science Core include normal patient care, such as screening of clinical specimens, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation. Specimen repositories must include a clear need and strategy for curation to ensure that only the most useful or unique samples are retained.
Additional Cores may be proposed if they are needed to advance the local HIV/AIDS research efforts. For example, an Implementation Science (IS) Core could be proposed at institutions making significant contributions to the Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) Initiative or has a growing need for IS expertise and consulting services. Some examples of additional cores could include Social/Behavioral, Biostatistics, Data Science, Prevention, or Bioinformatics. Additional cores may be of a nature other than advanced technology or clinical.
Scientific Working Group(s)
A Scientific Working Group (SWG) is defined as a group of investigators (HIV or non-HIV) who share a common interest in a specific area of scientific focus that is critical to addressing the HIV epidemic, but is a gap or underdeveloped at the D-CFAR institution. The research area should not already be well-established at the D-CFAR institution(s). The goal of a SWG is to promote multi-disciplinary collaborations that result in the successful applications for new HIV/AIDS research awards. The SWGs should address the NIH HIV/AIDS priority areas.
Visit our Institutionally Limited Submission webpage for more updates and other announcements.