The UNC CFAR Traditional Award RFP guidance for proposals should be used unless otherwise noted in this NOSI

 

CFAR Notice of Special Interest (NOSI):

Request for Proposals for HIV/COVID-19 Small Grants

The University of North Carolina Center For AIDS Research (CFAR) is soliciting proposals for small grants for up to one year (ending by 7/31/23) to support emerging (new and early stage) HIV investigators or experienced investigators new to HIV research interested in evaluating innovative questions related to HIV infection and COVID-19 infection. Please note that we cannot fund clinical trials as defined by NIH.

RELATED ANNOUNCEMENT

CFAR Developmental Core Traditional Request for Proposals

PURPOSE

The purpose of this award is to increase scientific contributions by supporting small grants to address research questions related to COVID-19 and HIV infection. Recipients of this award will be well-positioned to incorporate pilot data from their proposed research question into a larger R21 or R01 NIH grant proposal, on which they must serve as PI (not Co-I). In addition to the generation of pilot data to enhance a future NIH grant application, grantees are expected to produce a manuscript for publication from study data.

Similar to a recent NIH NOSI on this topic, there is interest in describing the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on HIV prevention, incidence, transmission and health outcomes, including HIV care both in the US and globally. It has been well documented that people living with HIV and at risk of HIV experience many of the same health disparities that increase risk of COVID-19 infection and morbidity. Research to better understand these dual epidemics and how prevention and care can better address vulnerabilities and increasing access to prevention and care are needed. Priority will be given, but not limited, to studies that address topics of health disparities and/or vulnerable populations.

Similar to the NIH NOSI, we are interested in research in epidemiology, social and behavioral sciences, and HIV prevention and clinical care including:

Research to:

  • Improve our understanding of HIV risk, health seeking behaviors, and the complex contextual environment during an acute respiratory pandemic.
  • Document and evaluate the impact of COVID-19 infection risk and disruption of HIV treatment on HIV transmission and HIV outbreaks.
  • Evaluate how long-term systematic disparities and determinants of health associated with poor HIV health outcomes are exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Determine the contribution of HIV immunosuppression on COVID-19 co-morbidities and response to preventive vaccines.
  • Investigate the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants in immunocompromised persons with HIV who may or may not have received COVID-19 vaccinations.
  • Employ novel modeling and prediction methods to evaluate the intersection of HIV and COVID-19 pandemics.
  • Assemble social, structural, and/or behavioral data to model social and epidemic transmission networks for intersection and overlap of the two pandemics.
  • Determine the impact of COVID-19 on HIV prevention and care during public health mitigation and isolation strategies.
  • Capture, model, and create visualizations of geospatial disruptions in HIV care, treatment, and access to antiretroviral medications in the context of COVID-19 infection.
  • Determine rates of changes in HIV viral suppression and hospitalizations due to COVID-19.
  • The impact of COVID-19 and pandemic-related policies as they may affect substance use patterns (e.g., changes in substances of common use, overdose, drug markets) and the consequences of these changes for HIV prevention and care.
  • The impact of COVID-19 on services for HIV care, harm reduction, substance use treatment, and co-morbid conditions (e.g., HCV), including changes to service delivery methods and the ability of these services to provide adequate coverage.
  • Assess COVID-19 vaccination coverage among people who use drugs, with attention to patterns of substance use, HIV status and HIV/substance use-related comorbidities, with consideration of individual and social factors that may mediate moderate coverage.
  • Population-based research that considers impacts of COVID-19 on HIV acquisition and across the continua of HIV prevention and care among different populations of people who use drugs, with particular attention to considerations such as changes in insurance status, housing, income, and material insecurities.
  • Use of data science and epidemic modeling approaches such as forecasting with machine learning, analysis of electronic health records and other data sources, and modeling the complications of interruptions and disruptions in prevention and care.
  • Use of data science approaches to examine the impact of mental health and mental health comorbidities, stigma, and other social behavioral determinants of health on HIV-related outcomes in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

All applications must include a separate section of at least one paragraph explaining how the proposed work is aligned with NIH priorities and will lead to future NIH funding. Note that the NIH NOSI expires in May 2024; therefore, applicants should specifically address how CFAR funding will contribute to a strong proposal in response to that NOSI, submitted no later than January 2024, which leaves time for a May 2024 resubmission if needed.

 

APPLICATION, SUBMISSION, AND AWARD INFORMATION

All instructions in the CFAR Developmental Core Traditional RFP must be followed.

RFP SCHEDULE

  • Contact the CFAR Developmental Core during application preparation for a telephone or email conversation to verify eligibility and briefly describe research idea
  • Letter of Intent Due Date: Wednesday, December 1, 2021
  • Application Due Date: Friday, January 7, 2022
  • CFAR Scientific Review: February 2022
  • Notification of Award: early March 2022
    • Actual start date may be delayed if required approvals are delayed; see below.
  • Period of Award: Funding expires on July 31, 2023, however, we ask that you spend as much of your funds as possible by July 31, 2022.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
CFAR Developmental Core

Email: cfardevcore@med.unc.edu