Developmental Core Description
The Developmental Core provides mentoring support for early stage investigators who are interested in pursuing an HIV research career. We work collaboratively with other CFAR Cores to identify scientific and career mentors as needed, upon request.
The UNC CFAR Developmental Core provides funding for Traditional Developmental Awards (TDA), the Secondary Data Analysis (SDA) Notice of Special Interest (NOSI), and Microgrants to emerging HIV investigators for one year of research. Awards are made for/to one of the following:
-Early stage investigators*
-Experienced investigators new to HIV
A senior mentor is required to assist early stage Awardees in preparing the application, executing the project, preparing a manuscript, and writing a resulting larger grant proposal to the NIH. Research can be basic, translational, clinical, or social/behavioral, and can address treatment, transmission, or prevention. There are several opportunities during the year for Awardees to present their work.
*Early stage investigators are defined as never having served as a PI on an R01 or R01 equivalent grant; holding a terminal degree (e.g. Ph.D., MD); eligible to serve as PI on NIH grant; and employed at UNC, FHI 360, RTI, or a NC HBCU.
The CFAR Developmental Cohort is open to all Early Stage Investigators affiliated with the CFAR. The Dev Cohort leverages a wide range of professional development resources and provides opportunities for its members to receive structured feedback from CFAR leadership on their research. Virtual Dev Cohort meetings are held monthly throughout the school year. Each year’s Cohort will participate in grant-writing and manuscript-writing workshops, receive personalized feedback on Specific Aims from each other and established investigators, and be given the opportunity to attend a Q&A session with researchers who serve on NIH review panels. Additional meeting topics are driven by members’ interests and may include partnering with the UNC Health Sciences Library to present seminars on topics such as effective poster design, impact measurement and visualization, and/or choosing where to publish; a nationally-recognized Burnout Prevention Program presented by the UNC Department of Psychiatry; and/or sensitivity training for working with the transgender community.
Tips on choosing a mentor from NIH: https://www.niaid.nih.gov/grants-contracts/tips-choosing-mentor; NIAID guidance for writing a grant application can be found on-line.
Developmental Core News
The Developmental Core RFP now has two annual deadlines for its Traditional Developmental Award (TDA) and related Notices Of Special Interest (NOSIs), including the Secondary Data Analysis (SDA) NOSI: March 1 and October 1. If one of those dates falls on a weekend, the applications will be due on the next business day.
Audrey Pettifor, PhD
Dr. Audrey Pettifor is an epidemiologist whose research focuses on sexual behavior and determinants of HIV/STI infection in sub-Saharan Africa. Her goal is to identify modifiable risk factors and develop novel interventions to prevent new HIV infections—particularly among adolescents and young women.
Dr Pettifor has expertise in sexual behavior, HIV prevention, HIV testing and structural interventions among adolescents and young adults in sub-Saharan Africa and has published extensively in the area of HIV and sexual behavior among youth in sub-Saharan Africa. Dr Pettifor has worked in South Africa for close to 20 years and has also conducted research in Malawi, Madagascar, Kenya, Zimbabwe and the Demographic Republic of Congo.
William Miller, MD, PhD
Dr. William C. Miller, Professor in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, is an infectious diseases epidemiologist with a focus on the intersection of HIV, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and substance use. Also trained as an infectious disease physician, he has worked globally and domestically to prevent transmission of HIV and STIs, and improve the care of people with HIV or STIs. Dr. Miller returned to UNC in 2023 after seven years at Ohio State, where he served as Chair, Division of Epidemiology and Senior Associate Dean for Research in the College of Public Health. Dr. Miller also serves as the President of the Society of Epidemiologic Research in 2023-24.
Department of Epidemiology
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7435
Allysha Maragh-Bass, PhD, MPH
Core Assistant Director
Dr. Allysha C. Maragh-Bass is an Assistant Director in the Developmental Core at UNC Center for AIDS Research. She is also a Scientist II at FHI 360 and trained as a Social/Behavioral Scientist. She is a former Scholar with the HIV Prevention Trials Network and former Visiting Professor at the UCSF Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, with nearly 20 years of experience in mixed-methods clinical and community-based research. She has worked in health care settings from primary care to surgery and across the minority health spectrum. With grounding in social determinants, her work has involved many CDC- and NIH-funded projects aimed at addressing health inequities with multidisciplinary, evidence-based approaches. In addition to these roles, Dr. Maragh-Bass has also held adjunct faculty positions for over a decade. She is currently adjunct faculty in the Department of Prevention and Community Health at the George Washington Milken Institute of Public Health, and an Adjunct Professor at the Duke Global Health Institute.
359 Blackwell St, #200-4132
Durham, NC 27701
Cathy Emrick, MPH
Ms. Emrick serves as the Core liaison for Developmental applications and Awardees. Ms. Emrick has an MPH in Health Behavior and Health Education from UNC and is the Core Manager for the UNC Center For AIDS Research (CFAR) Developmental Core. She has focused on the HIV epidemic since 1990, working in community-based organizations, state government, and research at UNC.
Active Developmental Awardees
|Prevalence, predictors, and impact of high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) persistence following thermal ablation among HIV-positive and HIV-negative women in a low- and middle-income country (LMIC)
|Developing an Online PrEP Shared Decision-Making Aid for US Women
|Bridged comparisons of HIV therapeutics
Pilot study for the assessment of neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration in HIV-associated cognitive impairment
|Adapting and Validating a Brief Depression Screening Tool for Adolescents Living with HIV in Malawi
Active Microgrant Awardees
|Additional analysis for Fusing Trial Data for Treatment Comparisons: Single versus Multi-Span Bridging
|Support to disseminate findings from NIMH-funded diversity supplement: IAPAC Adherence 2023 Conference Travel
|MG to support SDA application for October 2023
Evaluating fluctuations in HIV risk, perceived risk, and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) use among a prospective cohort of PrEP users in Lilongwe, Malawi
Access to database: Pharmacy claims-based statin adherence among persons with HIV with commercial health insurance in the US; access to database
Active Supplemental Awardees
|Developing Strategies to Improve Engagement in HIV Services among People who use Drugs in the Charlotte Transitional Grant Area
|Enhancing Strategies to Engage Providers in Efforts to Eliminate HIV: Project EnSTEP
|Implementing PrEP into Non-Title X Settings to Reduce HIV Disparities among African American Women in the Atlanta MSA
Conversations that Matter: Increasing provider competence and decreasing stigma toward sexual and gender minority youth
Mapping Uninduced, Intact HIV Proviruses in ART-Suppressed Donors
|Formative research on a sex-positive tool for PrEP Counseling with Sexual/Gender Minority Youth of Color in NC and CA
Request for Proposals for Developmental Awards
The UNC CFAR Developmental Core provides Developmental Awards and small secondary data analysis awards to emerging HIV investigators for one year of research.
Required Documents from new Developmental Awardees:
Acknowledgment of CFAR Developmental Financial Obligations
Human Subjects Study form (initially including Planned Enrollment Form and later, regular updates to the Cumulative Enrollment Form)
Final Developmental application, including budget and budget justification
.pdf copy of IRB approvals from any collaborating institutions as well as UNC
Photo of PI for CFAR website
Documentation of human subjects training for all study personnel
All informed consent forms