CFAR Mucosal Immunology Group Awards

Closing Date


Interested applicants from the UW/Fred Hutch CFAR are required to contact Lindsey Kirkham at by September 1, 2017 to obtain a letter of support from CFAR Director Jared Baeten.


Download a PDF version of the entire RFP


The Office of AIDS Research, in collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases/Division of AIDS and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, seeks to create a CFAR Mucosal Immunology Group (CFAR-MIG) and thus expand the overall workscope and scientific participation of the previously established Mucosal Immunology Group (MIG) formed several years ago in conjunction with the HVTN under the direction of Dr. Julie McElrath and, currently funded through the NIH to the CFAR at Duke University (PI, Kent Weinhold). In 2009, the HVTN Laboratory established the HIV (MIG), consisting of 3 working groups (Gastrointestinal; Genitourinary; Systems Biology) that were initially tasked with identifying and standardizing best practices for the collection, storage, and analysis of mucosal specimens that are critical for the evaluation of HIV prevention or treatment modalities in future clinical trials. The MIG continues to yield fruitful and collegial, cross-network research collaborations among a diverse group of immunologists, virologists and clinical researchers. This current Request for Proposals will build upon the accomplishments of the MIG by extending scientific participation and support to members of the NIH Centers for AIDS Research (CFAR) network. One of the primary goals of this group is to support innovative, method development studies by CFAR members. MIG awards are for one year with maximum funding per application of up to $100,000 Total Costs. Please note that the number of applications that will be funded for this announcement will be based on funding availability and scientific merit.

Purpose and Scientific Areas of Interest

HIV transmission occurs predominantly through mucosal barriers. Mucosal immune responses to candidate HIV vaccines as well as the pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) properties of other potentially preventive or therapeutic anti-viral agents in the human mucosa are likely distinct from those measured in the circulation. Understanding of both local viral-host immune interactions, as well as long-lived viral sanctuaries in mucosal tissues is critical to establish more successful clinical approaches to end the HIV epidemic.

The purpose of this funding opportunity is to support innovative research projects from CFAR members toward one or more of the following scientific areas of interest. This opportunity should be consistent with the recent NIH HIV/AIDS research priorities (NOT-OD-15-137). The following four scientific areas are of interest to the CFAR-MIG.

1. Develop improved methodologies to analyze the tissue microenvironment, mucosal fluids, and cellular interactions within the human genital, oral, lung and colorectal mucosa as they relate to HIV infection and the effects of vaccines, immunoprophylaxis and immunotherapy.

2. Further advance human mucosal tissue explant models that can better inform product decisions for multiple HIV preventive and therapeutic modalities.

3. Evaluate the role of gut, oral, lung and genital microbiomes (bacteria, fungi, viromes) in modulating the effects of HIV prevention and therapeutic interventions, particularly vaccine-mediated responses, in mucosal tissues and fluid.

4. Explore the dynamics of mucosal HIV-1 latent reservoir formation in breakthrough cases/controls within HIV vaccine, immunoprophylaxis and immunotherapeutic studies, with a goal to gain insight into the contribution of pre- and post-infection immune responses on the reservoir size and kinetics.


This year, because of the aggressive timeline for completion, funding is limited to domestic projects only.

  • This application is open to all CFAR investigators. We strongly encourage early and mid-career investigators to apply.
  • Non-faculty applicants must have a faculty sponsor.

Application Components

Collaborations between investigators at different CFARs/institutions are encouraged. However if funding is requested to support research activities at different institutions, separate applications should be submitted for simultaneous review with the relationship between applications and delineation of project responsibilities clearly stated.

Applicants are eligible to access CFAR Core services from collaborating CFARs. Documentation of intent to use CFAR Cores is encouraged and will be evaluated during the review process. Documentation consists of a letter of support from the Director of a relevant CFAR Core describing the services, materials, expertise, training, or other resources to be provided. Visit the National CFAR Website for more information about available CFAR Core Resources.

Download a PDF version of the entire RFP