The San Diego Center for AIDS Research (SD CFAR) International Core accepts Pilot grant applications from investigators who meet the criteria below. If you have any questions about these criteria, please contact us.

Research Priorities

International Pilot grant applications will be considered only for projects that are in alignment with HIV research priorities established by the Office of AIDS Research. Applications that do not concern one or more of these priorities will not be considered for SD CFAR funding.

Principal Investigator Credentials

As Principal Investigator (PI) of an SD CFAR International Pilot grant, you must have a doctoral degree and an appointment at an academic or government institution in one of our seven focus countries. Your appointment must be similar to an Assistant Professor or above.

Institutional Requirements

International Pilot grants are awarded to investigators in seven focus countries. Preference will be given to projects based in Mexico and Mozambique. Funds are also available to support meritorious projects in BrazilIndia, Kyrgyzstan, South Africa, and Ukraine.

Your institution must be an academic or government entity in one of the focus countries noted above. Your institution must be eligible for and able to administer U.S. federal grants. In addition, your institution must be affiliated with an Institutional Review Board (IRB) or ethics committee that has obtained U.S. Federalwide Assurance.

San Diego CFAR Collaborator

You must collaborate with an SD CFAR member on your Pilot grant application. Your collaborator may be based at one of the SD CFAR member institutions and must have an academic appointment at or above the Assistant Professor level. Your collaborator will help you prepare and submit your application and, if awarded, will advise you throughout the study.

Please visit our Pilot Grant Help page  if you need assistance identifying an appropriate SD CFAR collaborator or any other aspect of your International Pilot grant application.


  1. Postdoctoral fellows may not apply for Pilot grants, and these grants may not be used to provide salaries for postdoctoral fellows. Postdoctoral fellows may not serve as the San Diego CFAR collaborator on Pilot grant applications.
  2. Pilot grants cannot support clinical trials, nor can they support studies involving new drugs, new treatments, new devices, or off-label use of a licensed drug.
  3. Pilot grants cannot fund travel to scientific meetings. The only exception is that unfunded junior investigators may include travel to a scientific meeting to present the results of the SD CFAR International Pilot grant.
  4. Each applicant may submit only one Pilot grant application per cycle, and may have only one Pilot grant active at a time. If you are already working on a previous award, it must be scheduled to end before any new Pilot grant can begin. 
  5. Pilot grant applications will be considered only for projects that meet criteria for either High or Medium Priority topics, as established by NIH in NOT-OD-15-137. Applications in Low Priority topics of interest will not be considered.


To meet the requirements of the NIH, which funds the San Diego CFAR, grants are awarded to early stage investigators (pre-R01) who do not yet have their own U.S. NIH or similar funding. If you are not familiar with the NIH funding process, please view a  quick guide to NIH grants  (Powerpoint 2007).

At a Glance