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CFAR Mentored International Investigator Award


The purpose of the UW/Fred Hutch Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) Mentored International Investigator Award (MIIA) is to encourage international junior investigators (at an advanced stage of training or recently independent) to conduct independent research with close mentorship from UW/Fred Hutch CFAR faculty.  This research should ultimately lead to acquiring preliminary data to obtain funding to continue their HIV/AIDS research careers.

Funding Available

Awards will be up to $20,000/year (direct costs). Applicants may apply for up to 2 years of funding. Please note that for those requesting a two-year project, second year funding is contingent upon demonstration of satisfactory progress during year one. Please see the RFA for detailed budget development guidelines and restrictions.

Applicant Eligibility

Applicants must:

  1. Be stationed inanda citizen or permanent resident of an Eligible Low or Middle Income Country. Eligibility does not extend to individuals who have dual citizenship or permanent residency outside of an Eligible Low or Middle Income Country.
  2. Have an MD or PhD or equivalent terminal degree (including an MBChB)
  3. Havenothad a NIH R01 or equivalent grant in HIV.
  4. Have an appropriate appointment, as follows:
    a. junior faculty (including acting positions), or
    b.a scientist completing a fellowship, or
    c.a senior post-doctoral fellow initiating a new area of HIV-related research that will form a basis for their independent program, or
    d. faculty-equivalent investigator at an international community-based organization whose primary mission is research.
  5. Have a primary project mentor who is appointed at a U.S.-based CFAR affiliate (University of Washington, Fred Hutch, Seattle Children’s, Access to Advance Health Institute, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa). NOTE: In-country co-mentors are strongly encouraged but not required in order to apply.
  6. Be a UW/Fred Hutch CFARmember, or haveapplied for membership at the time of proposal submission.

UW/Fred Hutch CFAR values diversity and encourages individuals from underrepresented groups to apply.

Applicants may submit only one application to this program per cycle. Only individual Primary Investigators (PIs) are eligible to apply; we do not allow Co-PIs to apply.

Applicants may resubmit revised proposals for other CFAR award programs. We also accept applicant resubmissions of prior-year MIIA proposals that have been revised to address previous MIIA reviewer critiques.

Contact if you have questions about eligibility.

Project Eligibility

Eligible HIV-related research is defined broadly and includes basic science, clinical, epidemiological, behavioral, and implementation science research. We can only accept applications in the NIH’s HIV research high or medium priority areas.  Please refer to the CFAR Clinical Clearance guidelines.  No human participant/patient work may be initiated until NIH clinical clearance approval is received.  If you are considering a study involving approved drugs and/or standard-of-care, please contact to determine whether your proposed project would be eligible for funding through CFAR.


Applications must include a mentoring plan and letter of support from a primary project mentor who is appointed at a U.S.-based CFAR affiliate (University of Washington, Fred Hutch, Seattle Children’s, Access to Advanced Health Institute, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa). Applicants are also strongly encouraged to identify in-country co-mentors while preparing their proposal. Please contact with questions about your mentor selection process. Please also note that MIIA awardees are required to form a Mentoring Committee to provide guidance on their career development and assess MIIA project progress at least annually.

Pre-Submission Process

Required Items

  1. E-mailed Letter of Intent with Eligibility Details:Submit a non-binding “MIIA Letter of Intent” to by April 19, 2023 that includes:
    a. Name of Principal Investigator
    b. Draft Project Title
    c. Topic Key Words (5-10 words)
    d. Draft Project Summary in Lay Language (1-2 sentences)
    e. Scientific Category (e.g., Basic Science, Clinical Epidemiology, Implementation Science, Mixed Methods)
    f.  Name(s) of Project Mentor(s), with primary mentor appointed at US-based UW/Fred Hutch CFAR affiliate(s)
    g. Name(s) of Project Collaborator(s)
    h. Up-to-date NIH biosketch or curriculum vitae
  2. Institutional Approval:Applicants should also plan to include a required Letter of Intent from their institution with their application, which is due May 24, 2023
  3. Budget Consultation:All applicants are required to e-mail their draft budget and budget justification to Linh Newcomb, CFAR Grant and Finance Manager, at (cc:, by May 5, 2023 in order to clarify related issues. Please refer to the RFA for additional consultation appointment options.
  4. Office of Community Engagement Consultation:The Office of Community Engagement (OCE) helps to link our researchers with our communities with the goal of ensuring that all people can benefit from scientific advances in prevention, treatment, and cure of HIV. The OCE utilizes a Community Consultative Group (CCG) of experts to provide constructive feedback and technical assistance to investigators on research proposals, grant applications, grant implementation, and research dissemination in order to effectively impact and engage communities affected by HIV.  value added by OCE consultations may include: access to perspectives from underrepresented populations affected by HIV; improved feasibility and acceptability of research design, methods, and results; and improved application review scoring.  All applicants are required to submit the OCE Consultation Form by May 5, 2023 in order to request an appointment. Please refer to the RFA for tips for optimizing OCE consultation feedback and for additional consultation appointment options.
  5. Biostatistical Consultation:
  • All applicants are required to discuss their proposal with a CFAR biostatistician during the preparation of their proposal. Exceptions apply to applicants with biostatistical expertise, or with prior biostatistical project involvement or review. Biostatistical consultations are best done early in the pre-submission process. Feedback may include recommendations to confer with additional CFAR Core and Scientific Working Group (SWG) experts, and timely CFAR consultation appointment slots are limited.
    • Fill out the consultation request survey by April 26, 2023 to schedule your virtual biostatistics consultation appointment, or to request a waiver. You must also forward your draft Aims and Methods to your assigned biostatistician at least 48 hours prior to your scheduled consultation.
    • Exceptions may apply to applicants with biostatistical expertise, or with prior biostatistical project involvement or review. Waiver requests should include justifications based on project details and/or applicant expertise, including biosketch content when relevant.

Strongly Encouraged Items

  1. Qualitative Methods Consultation: Applicants proposing a study involving behavioral or qualitative research are strongly encouraged to obtain a consultation from the Behavioral Science Core with regard to methods and study design. To arrange for a qualitative methods consultation, please complete anonline Behavioral Science Research Consultation formand email (cc: to flag your MIIA-related request within the Core’s queue. Be prepared to send your draft Aims and Methods upon request to your assigned Core advisor. Requests for MIIA consultations should be made no later than May 5, 2023 to allow time for completion and integration of feedback into your proposal prior to the May 24, 2023 application deadline.
  2. Additional CFAR Core/SWG Consultations: We strongly encourage you to utilize services from additional CFAR Cores and Scientific Working Groups (SWGs) early in the pre-submission process. See the consultation services descriptions in Appendix A: UW/Fred Hutch CFAR Core/SWG Consultation Services below for more details and/or visit the CFAR website tosearch available services. Requests for MIIA consultations should be made no later than May 5, 2023 to allow time for completion and integration of feedback into your proposal prior to the May 24, 2023 application deadline.

Other Information

  1. Review Criteria:
  2. Scientific Meritof the proposal and the likelihood of the project to exert a sustained powerful influence on the field. Will this proposal be likely to provide information that can significantly advance our understanding of HIV and/or provide preliminary data that is likely to lead towards independent research grant funding?  Does the proposal reflect a community-sourced research priority?
  3. Significance– Does the study address an important problem consistent with the objective to advance our understanding of HIV?  If the aims are achieved, how will scientific knowledge be advanced?  What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts or methods that drive the field of HIV and AIDS?  How will impacted communities benefit directly via advancement of HIV prevention, treatment and/or cure?
  4. Investigator– Are the PI, mentor(s), collaborators, and other researchers well suited to the project? Does this person have appropriate experience and training? If the project is collaborative, do the investigators/mentors have complementary expertise?  Will the project team include community-based advisors?
  5. Approach– Are the conceptual framework, design methods, and analyses adequately developed, well integrated and appropriate to the aims of the project?   Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternatives?  How is community engaged and empowered?
  6. Innovation– Does the project employ novel concepts, approaches, or methods?  Are the aims original and innovative?  Does the project challenge existing paradigms or develop new methodologies or technologies?  How does the innovation reflect the needs and preferences of impacted communities?
  7. Mentorship Plan and Impact of Project on Pathway to Independence– Will the project help prepare the applicant for a career as an independent HIV/AIDS researcher? Will the proposed mentorship aid in the investigator’s career development?  Does the mentoring plan consider community-based participatory research methods as a core PI competency?
  8. Human Participants and Animal Subjects IRB Approvals: A copy of all Institutional Biohazard, Human Participants, Animal Subjects and Institutional Review Board (IRB) approvals (if applicable) are not required before submitting an MIIA application, but they must be providedprior to receipt of award funding.