CFAR Mentored International Investigator Award

Closing Date

Types of Projects
Funding Available
Pre-Submission Requirements
Award Requirements
Budget Development Guidelines and Restrictions
Review Process and Criteria
Application Materials

Mentored International Investigator Award (MIIA)

1)     Overview

a)     Purpose
The purpose of this award program is to encourage international junior investigators (at an advanced stage of training or recently independent) to conduct independent research with close mentorship from senior faculty. This research should ultimately lead to acquiring preliminary data to obtain funding to continue their HIV/AIDS research careers. 

b)    Eligibility: Applicants must be from a low or middle income country, stationed in a foreign country and based at a UW/FHCRC CFAR collaborating institution (see list here) or have a strong existing collaboration with a UW/FHCRC CFAR faculty member.  In addition, applicants may be:

(1)   Current foreign-based junior faculty (including acting positions) at a UW/FHCRC CFAR-affiliated International location who have not had an R01 or equivalent grant in HIV/AIDS (equivalents include: R23, R29, R37, after 2008 DP2, etc.).

(2)   Scientists completing fellowships

(3)   Senior post-doctoral fellows initiating a new area of HIV-related research that will form a basis for their independent program

(4)   Investigators with comparable affiliations with UW-affiliated institutions (e.g., University of Nairobi, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia)

(5)   Faculty-equivalent investigators at community-based organizations who primary mission is research.

Note that applicants are required to have an MD or PhD or equivalent terminal degree (including a MBChB plus Master’s Degree) in order to be eligible. Successful applicants usually have some preliminary data to support their application.  Resubmission of revised projects from other CFAR award programs is allowed. Applicants are only allowed to submit one application to this program per cycle.

c)     Types of Projects 

HIV-related research is defined broadly and includes basic science, clinical, epidemiological, behavioral, and health services research.

Per NIH, we cannot fund research with investigational drugs or clinical trials.  If you are considering a study involving approved drugs and/or standard-of-care, please contact Ann Collier (, cc:; 206-744-3293) to determine whether your proposed project would be eligible for funding through CFAR.

d)   Funding Available

One award of up to $20,000/year (direct costs). Applicants may apply for up to 2 years of funding.

The award can be used for salary, technical support, laboratory supplies, equipment, and travel costs related to the project.  Be sure to read our Computer Policy if you would like to budget for a computer [Go here:… ].

Funding cannot be applied to alterations or renovations of any facilities.

Requests for Second Year of Funding:  Second year funding is contingent upon demonstration of satisfactory progress during year one.

2)     Pre-Submission Process

Required for All Applicants

Eligibility Checks:  All applicants are required obtain approval that they are eligible to apply prior to development of their proposal. They should send a current NIH format biosketch or curriculum vitae for review to Julia Dettinger ( no later than January 23, 2015.

CFAR Membership:  All applicants are required to be UW/FHCRC CFAR Members. Information about membership can be found at or by contacting Michelle Ward (

Institutional Approval: Applicants should include a Letter of Intent from their institution with their application. 

Mentoring and Mentoring Plan:  All applicants must identify a mentor and include a mentoring plan in their proposal. A statement from the applicant’s primary mentor that they have read and discussed the application with the applicant must also accompany the application (should be included in the letter of support from the mentor).  The mentoring plan should include specific competencies the mentee will develop through the mentoring relationship, frequency/type of communication, outputs and objectives for the mentoring relationship, and how this mentoring plan supports a pathway to independence for the investigator.  Please note that a Mentoring Committee will be formed for the successful applicant to provide career development guidance and assess progress. A separate agreement with the committee will be required for the successful applicant after the award is made.

Strongly Encouraged Consultations:

Administrative Consultation: Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with the Program Manager about their budgets to clarify budgetary issues. Please send a draft copy of your budget and justification to Julia Dettinger at no later than January 23, 2015.

Biostatistical Consultation:  All applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss their proposal with a CFAR biostatistician prior to/during the preparation of their application, with limited exceptions for those with prior biostatistical involvement or project review. This consultation is best done early in the preparation process but must occur before January 23, 2015-- please send a draft copy of your methods to Julia Dettinger ( to arrange a written consultation.

Sociobehavioral Study Consultation: Applicants whose projects include behavioral or prevention research are strongly encouraged to obtain a consultation from the Sociobehavioral and Prevention Research Core consult with them regarding methods and study design. In order to receive this consultation, applicants must send a copy of your draft methods to Julia Dettinger ( by January 23, 2015 and she will arrange a consultation with the SPRC.

Other Information

Human Subjects and Animal Care Approvals:  Animal Care and Institutional Review Board approvals, if applicable, must be obtained prior to receipt of award funding, but are not required to submit an application. 

Use of CFAR Resources:  We encourage all applicants to use or contact CFAR Cores or link to CFAR Scientific Working Groups. Several Cores and Scientific Working Groups have explicitly offered their consultations services (see Consultation Information below). Information about other CFAR Cores and services can be found at

Consultation Information

We encourage all applicants to use or contact CFAR Cores or link to CFAR Scientific Working Groups (see below). Information about other CFAR Cores and services can be found at These consultations are best done early in the preparation process but no later than January 23, 2015.

Immunological Study Consultation: Applicants proposing an immunology or other appropriate basic research study have the opportunity to have an expert from the Immunology Core consult with them regarding their experimental design. In order to receive this consultation, applicants should contact

Implementation Science Study Consultation: Applicants proposing a study in the field of implementation science have the opportunity to have an expert from the Implementation Science Working Group consult with them regarding their study. In order to receive this consultation, applicants should contact

Health Economics Impact Study Team (HEIST): Applicants proposing to incorporate health economics methods into their study have the opportunity to have an expert in health economics consult with them regarding experimental design. In order to receive this consultation, applicants should contact

Substance Abuse and HIV/STI Study Consultation: Applicants proposing a study in the field of substance abuse and HIV/STI have the opportunity to have an expert from the Substance Abuse and HIV/STI Scientific Working Group consult with them regarding their study. In order to receive this consultation, applicants should contact

Clinical Research Study Consultation: Those proposing clinical, translational or basic research projects that require access to local research subjects, clinical specimens/procedures or viral assays such as droplet PCR, 2LTR, single copy RNA tests and proviral DNA measurements may contact the Clinical and Retrovirology Research Core to discuss their proposal.  Applicants should contact the Core Manager Michalina Montano ( with a short description of the study and requested resources for assistance.

Curative Therapies for HIV Study Consultation: Applicants proposing a study in the field of HIV Cure science have the opportunity to have an expert from the Curative Therapies for HIV Scientific Working Group consult with them regarding their study. In order to receive this consultation, applicants should contact

Award Requirements

Human Subjects and Animal Care Approvals: Prior to funding, a copy of all Institutional Biohazard, Animal Care and IRB approvals must be forwarded to the CFAR Program Manager. 

NIH International and Clinical Clearances: Proposals involving either international sites or clinical research above minimal risk will require additional clearance from NIH prior to receipt of an award, which includes IRB approval from all participating sites and human subjects training certification for all key personnel. If the project involves human subjects and the institutional IRB has deemed the study “greater than minimal risk”, the awardee must submit a Clinical Research Checklist to the CFAR Program Manager. It is recommended that if your study is minimal risk or below and linked to a non-minimal risk study, you apply for independent approval by the UW and local IRBs – this will expedite the regulatory approval process at NIH.

Mentoring Committee and Agreement: The Awardee will work with his or her mentor(s) to develop a brief written agreement identifying members of the mentoring committee and setting terms and expectations for the mentoring process.

Reporting and Presentation Requirements: The awardee will be required to submit yearly progress reports to the CFAR. The chair of the mentoring committee will also be required to submit a brief progress report annually before Year 2 funding can be received.

CFAR Support: The UW/FHCRC CFAR grant number (P30 AI027757) must be cited in all publications and presentations derived from CFAR funding (see:

Other Support: In the event that pending other support is funded which overlaps with or reduces your effort on this CFAR project, you must notify the CFAR Program Manager.  Your funding status will be reviewed and if it is determined that you are unable to meet the specific aims of your CFAR proposal, the CFAR award will be revoked.

Post-Award Requirements: After the project is completed, awardees will provide contact information and respond to annual queries about publications, collaborations and future grants related to the CFAR project.

Budget Development Guidelines and Restrictions

  1. Please note that the CFAR does not have funds to cover additional institutional indirect (F&A) costs. The CFAR has negotiated indirect cost waivers from our local partners, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle BioMed, and Seattle Children’s.  If the proposal requires a subcontract to an international institution, the maximum allowable indirect cost (F&A) rate is 8%. Indirect costs to international institutions must be budgeted as a direct cost. If you are including 8% F&A for a foreign institution, your direct costs should not exceed $18,500 to account for the F&A costs.
  2. Requested support for project collaborators who are NOT at the same institution as the awardee should be listed as consultant costs.  If the collaborator cannot accept consultancy fees, a subcontract must be issued to their institution.  These costs must be listed in the detailed budget as consortium costs with applicable indirect costs included, which will count towards the direct costs limit. Please note that the UW has negotiated indirect cost waivers with several local partner institutions (See guideline 1 above.)
  3. Requested support for equipment and technology, including computers, must be fully justified in the budget justification with a clear connection to the scientific aspects of the project and not for general office use. Be sure to read our Computer Policy if you would like to budget for a computer.
  4. All costs must conform to the NIH Grants Policy Statement (GPS) and applicable U.S. Office of Management and Budget OMB circulars for necessity and reasonability, allocability, conformance and consistency, as well as allowability. Please follow the link below to section 7.2 cost principles section of the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Review Process and Criteria

The evaluation criteria for proposals include:

  • Scientific Merit of 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?
  • 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?
  • 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? 
  • 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?
  • 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?
  • 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?

Application Form