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 junior 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.


New in 2021! The SD CFAR Administrative Core will host two virtual office hours sessions in July 2022 to assist applicants with their Developmental grant submissions. You are always welcome to email if you have any questions.


Junior investigators must identify a mentor prior to submission of the proposal. The mentor will provide assistance with preparing the proposal, and if funded, with the 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. 


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

Mentor Matching


The following investigators are also available for guidance on identifying a mentor:

- 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 San Diego CFAR Core Services)

- San Diego State University: Dr. Eileen Pitpitan

- The Scripps Research Institute: Dr. Richard Wyatt



NEW in 2021: Junior investigators must certify that their mentors have had an opportunity to read and provide input on Developmental grant applications before submission. Applications will be accepted only after mentors confirm this pre-submission review. Allow time for your mentor to review! Even better: work with your mentor as you are preparing your application.


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 grant applications will be considered if they address NIH Office of AIDS Research Priorities, with an emphasis on high-priority topics. Extra weight will be given to applications that address one or more of the four pillars outlined for Ending the HIV Epidemic: Diagnose, Treat, Prevent, and Respond. Applications addressing low-priority topics will not be considered.


  • 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 webpage for details.


Since 1994, the Core has awarded 138 grants representing $5.2 million in funding (direct costs). To date, our previous grant recipients have received more than $221 million in subsequent grant funding and produced almost 900 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.