Penn Center for AIDS Research

RFA for Penn CFAR Pilot Grant Program in HIV/AIDS

The Application Deadline is Monday, November 13th, 2017.

Penn Center for AIDS Research (Penn CFAR) is inviting Pilot Grant applications offered through its Developmental Core. Proposals in HIV/AIDS clinical care, pathogenesis, virology, immunology, structural biology, vaccine development, epidemiology, or prevention research are considered relevant to the goals of the Developmental Core.

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CFAR Pilot Grant Program FAQ

The Developmental Pre-Application Workshop will be held later this fall; please check back for details. In the interim, investigators interested in applying for a Developmental Pilot are encouraged to watch a video of last year's presentations.

Application Deadline: Monday, November 13th, 2017

All proposals must address medium to high priority areas in the NIH Priorities for HIV/AIDS research. See

We especially encourage proposals that address areas of particular interest such as :

  • HIV Reservoirs
  • HIV and Disparities (including biobehavioral approaches)
  • AIDS-associated malignancies (basic to clinical, must involve some HIV-linked aspect of study)
  • Inflammation, metabolic complications, and comorbidities of HIV infection
  • Application of novel engineering and other technologies to critical problems in HIV diagnostics or monitoring, understanding of pathogenesis, or other areas.

Amount:  We offer awards up to $40,000 for each grant. Grants are for a one-year period and are not renewable. It is expected that funds will be available in July 2018. 


General pilot awards

Faculty appointment equivalent to Assistant Professor or Staff Scientist and above in any track at a Penn CFAR institution (University of Pennsylvania, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, or The Wistar Institute)

For junior faculty applicants, a one-page mentorship plan with a senior faculty member is strongly encouraged; for non-HIV/AIDS investigators of any level, a partnership plan with an established HIV/AIDS investigator is also encouraged.

Mentored Research Scholar awards

Young investigators at the Instructor/Research Associate level who are poised to begin an independent project within a mentored environment

A one page Mentorship Plan with a mentor at the assistant professor level or above is required describing how this project will lead to independent funding.

A letter of support from their scientific mentor is also required.

Please also refer to the CFAR mentorship plan guidelines for expectations of mentored activities:
CFAR Mentorship Plan

General Pilot Awards Eligibility

  • New investigators who never have held extramural R01-level support from the NIH
  • Investigators who have not previously been funded for work in HIV/AIDS
  • Investigators who have worked in HIV/AIDS who wish to study an area that is a significant departure from their currently funded work
  • New interdisciplinary collaborations involving investigators from different disciplines who have not previously worked together

International Applications:  

  • Applications with research activities in Botswana must be discussed with and approved by Dr. Robert Gross prior to preparation of the application.
  • All applications that include planned research activities at other international sites outside the U.S. should be discussed with Dr. Pablo Tebas prior to preparation of the application.

Application Deadline: Monday, November 13th, 2017