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. Applicants must hold faculty appointments at one or more SD CFAR member institutions. Submissions are accepted from early stage (pre-R01) investigators.  Established (post-R01) investigators may only apply if they are new recruits to our member institutions. 


- In general, only early stage investigators without R01 or equivalent NIH funding will be eligible for Developmental grant funding. See Eligibility and Restrictions.

- Applicants must contact SD CFAR service cores before submission to discuss assistance needed for their proposed Developmental grants (see service core checklist ).

- Applicants are asked to incorporate person-first language.

- Applicants are asked to recommend three to six reviewers to evaluate their submissions. 


Early stage investigators enrolled in SDSU's ASSET Program are welcome to apply for Developmental grants! 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.


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. 


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 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 Associate Director: 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


The SD CFAR Administrative Core will host virtual office hours to assist applicants with their Developmental grant submissions. Two sessions will be available for questions and answers:

Meanwhile, feel free to email any questions to



  • 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 (post-R01) investigators may only apply for Developmental grants if they are new recruits to SD CFAR member institutions. See Eligibility and Restrictions for details.


Since 1994, the Core has awarded 217 Developmental grants representing $10.9 million in funding (total costs). To date, our Developmental grant recipients have earned $296 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.