amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

Request for Proposals: Targeted Biomedical Research

Exploring the mechanisms for HIV persistence and the potential for HIV eradication

Deadline: CLOSED  

Available Support
amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, is pleased to announce the availability of targeted support for biomedical research projects relevant to exploring the mechanisms for HIV persistence and the potential for HIV eradication.

Total Cost Maximum: $180,000
Performance Period: February 1, 2014 – January 31, 2015

Background and Areas of Interest
This RFP solicits proposals relevant to exploring the mechanisms for HIV persistence and the potential for HIV eradication. Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has significantly impacted the health of individuals infected with HIV-1. However, if therapy is interrupted, there is a rapid resumption of viral replication. Understanding the mechanisms by which the virus is able to persist in the face of therapy is necessary in order to identify strategies that may interrupt viral persistence and ultimately lead to viral eradication. amfAR wishes to support basic, pre-clinical, clinical, and especially translational research exploring the mechanisms whereby HIV infection persists; the chronic nature of viral reservoirs and latency; and barriers to the eradication of HIV, with the potential goal of ultimately eliminating HIV infection.

Specific areas of interest fall within the following four categories:

  • Determine the location of persistent reservoirs of HIV in tissues, cell subsets or within cells
  • Determine the cellular and viral mechanisms that maintain HIV persistence
  • Develop, compare, or  validate assays to measure persistent infection
  • Develop and test strategies to safely eliminate or control viral reservoirs

Collaborations within or between institutions are encouraged.

Basic research
Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals using appropriate in vitro or ex-vivo techniques. Attempts to validate existing in vitro or ex vivo models, and to develop new models, including animal systems, are also encouraged.

Pre-clinical research
Applicants proposing studies involving nonhuman primates are encouraged to apply.

Clinical research
Applicants who wish to use amfAR funding to conduct a discrete clinical research project, for example as a definable, distinct part of an ongoing clinical trial, should clearly describe how amfAR funding can support the entire discrete project for which funding is sought. Proposals for which amfAR funding will represent a small fraction of pooled resources (i.e., to "top up" total funding of a clinical research project) will not be considered.

Translational research
Applicants are especially encouraged to design research studies in which the findings from basic science can be quickly and efficiently applied to medical practice.  Such applications are likely to include multi-disciplinary collaboration and a description of the ways in which basic science findings generated with this funding can or will be tested (using this funding) in an appropriate non-human primate model or in patients.

Special notes

  • The total cost maximum is $180,000
  • There is no direct cost maximum, however, indirect costs may not be greater than 20% of direct costs
  • This RFP solicits projects to be completed in the 12 month period starting February 1, 2014
  • It is not required that principal investigators hold a faculty-level position

Institutions:  Applications are accepted from nonprofit research institutions worldwide; applications are not accepted from individuals or for-profit entities.

Principal investigators must:

  • Hold a doctoral level degree
  • Be affiliated with the applicant institution
  • If the proposal is a collaboration including subcomponent projects, the principal investigator will be expected to lead one of the component projects, coordinate the development, implementation and analysis of the projects as a whole, and be responsible for overall financial management and the preparation and submission of required reports.

Please note that all applications will be considered together (i.e., proposals from non-faculty-level researchers will be in competition with proposals from faculty-level investigators).

Submission Requirements and Deadlines
Interested applicants must submit a letter of intent (LOI) on current amfAR-provided forms.

To obtain the forms and instructions, send an e-mail to  Include all of the following information in your e-mail:

  • Principal Investigator’s name, doctoral-level degree(s), and job title
  • Applicant Institution name and location
  • Ten keywords for the research project you will propose


  • E-mail submissions: October 15, 2013, 5:00 PM EDT
  • Signed hard copies: October 21, 2013, 5:00 PM EDT

Submission of an LOI is not a guarantee of eligibility to submit a full application. The pre-application process is highly competitive. Only a limited number of investigators submitting an LOI will be invited to submit a full application.

Other Important Dates
Applications solicited
November 20, 2013 (tentative)

E-mailed application submissions due:
December 12, 2013 (tentative)

Funding decisions announced:
February 9, 2014 (tentative)

Future requests for proposals:
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