Developmental Grants

Designed to mentor and support new investigators

and new ideas in HIV/AIDS research.


The Developmental grant program is designed to mentor and support new investigators and new ideas in HIV research. Applications are accepted from early stage investigators who hold a faculty appointment and from established investigators in other fields newly applying their expertise to HIV. All applicants must have faculty-level appointments at an SD CFAR member institution. Applicants must adhere to several criteria and must undergo a rigorous, objective review process.


Beginning in 2022, we are delighted to offer Developmental grants to early stage investigators enrolled in SDSU's ASSET Program! ASSET fellows' primary academic appointments must be at SD CFAR member institutions. We welcome applications addressing an HIV research priority and an intersecting aspect of addiction science.


The SD CFAR Administrative Core will host virtual office hours to assist applicants with their HIV and monkeypox Developmental grant submissions. No office hours are scheduled at present, but you are always welcome to email if you have any questions.


Early stage investigators, including ASSET fellows, must identify a mentor prior to submission of the proposal and for the duration of the project if funded. Mentors assist in preparing the proposal, and if funded, advise on conduct and publication of the study. Mentors need not be experts in HIV research but should have received their own NIH R01 or equivalent (R23, R29, R37, or DP2) funding and have familiarity with submitting and managing NIH grants. 


As of 2022, several questions are included in the Developmental grant application to confirm that applicants have a strong relationship with their mentors. Additionally, mentors' qualifications will be evaluated during the review process to ensure they can support the applicants. Allow time for to work with your mentor on preparing your application.



Dr. Nadejda Beliakova-Bethell received two SD CFAR Developmental grants and now has her own independent funding. Check out this video in which she describes working with her mentor and preparing a grant application.


The SD CFAR is happy to help with identifying a mentor. Please let us know more about the proposed work:

Mentor Match


The following investigators can also refer you to suitable mentors:

- Developmental Core Director: Dr. Mary Lewinski

- Developmental Core Leadership Trainee: Dr. Laramie Smith

- SD CFAR Co-Director: Dr. Douglas Richman

- One of the SD CFAR Core Directors, depending on the subject matter (please see Core Services)

- San Diego State University: Dr. Eileen Pitpitan

- The Scripps Research Institute: Dr. Richard Wyatt

- La Jolla Institute for Immunology: Dr. Alessandro Sette


Developmental grant recipients gain rapid financial support for their studies and discounts on many San Diego CFAR core resources. The success of the Developmental Core, and continued NIAID funding, depends on subsequent grants and publications arising from work supported by our Developmental Grants.



  • Developmental grants cannot support clinical trials, nor can they support any studies involving new drugs, new treatments, new devices, or off-label use of a licensed drug.

  • Senior investigators need advance approval from the Developmental Core. Visit ths for details.


Since 1994, the Core has awarded 214 Developmental grants representing $10.7 million in funding (total costs). To date, our Developmental grant recipients have earned $293 million in subsequent grant funding and produced more than 1,000 publications based on their San Diego CFAR-supported research.

Applications are accepted through InfoReady Review . Please visit the Application Procedures page for details. 


If you would like to begin working on your application right away, you may download the application forms and complete them. The forms available here are the same as those that will be uploaded via InfoReady Review.