HU CFAR Requests for Proposals

When is the next HU CFAR RFP?

For the current RFP, applications are due on May 1, 2017 for awards beginning August 1st, 2017.  The RFP schedule will allow for funding with an earliest possible start date of August 1st and February 1st of each year.

How do I apply for HU CFAR funding?

Download the application and follow the instructions in the HU CFAR Request for Proposals.

What type of award can I apply for?

The Developmental Award provides both salary and research support for promising early-career investigators who are transitioning to independent funding.  Applications will be judged on the basis of the merit of the scientific proposal. 

Who is eligible to apply for HU CFAR funding?

Eligibility for Developmental Awards:  The Developmental Award is intended to support junior investigators who are on a career path leading to an independent research program.  This is recognized as an extended transition, and applications will be considered from candidates beginning at the time of their transition from a training grant or similar support to mentored independent research (K level) funding to the point at which they have received NIH R01 or similar level funding.

Applicants may be at the post-doctoral fellow, research fellow, instructor, research associate, research scientist, or assistant professor level at any Harvard University School (e.g., Harvard Medical School, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Faculty of Arts & Sciences) or one of its affiliated institutions, including (but not limited to) BIDMC, BWH, CHB, DFCI, Fenway Health, IDI, MGH, Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard, and Lemuel Shattuck. Investigators at the rank of associate professor or above (including senior research scientists and principal research scientists at Harvard Chan School) will be judged too senior for consideration.

If you are a current recipient of a T32 award, you may use HU CFAR pilot funding to support research project costs, but you cannot use CFAR funds to pay for training and stipends that are already paid for by the T32.

If you are a current recipient of an NIH K award, you are required to submit with your CFAR application a letter from the relevant program officer stating that you are eligible to receive CFAR funding.  Investigators are not eligible for salary support on a CFAR Developmental award if they are on a mentored K award. CFAR Developmental awards do not qualify as competing peer-reviewed research awards from NIH or any federal agency. 

Applications from senior investigators will not be considered for funding.  Senior investigators are defined as already having received NIH R01 funding as the principal investigator or funding at a similar level.  This does not include R21, R34, or RO3 funding or subcontract funding through the R01 mechanism.

Projects Involving Clinical Research or Clinical Trials: Due to recent NIH changes, CFAR funds can no longer be used for clinical research studies that include randomization to one or more low risk interventions to evaluate the effects of those interventions on health-related biomedical or behavioral outcomes. Clinical studies that do not fall under the definition of a clinical trial will still be allowed. A clinical trial is defined as a research study in which one or more human subjects are prospectively assigned to one or more interventions (which may include placebo or other control) to evaluate the effects of those interventions on health-related biomedical or behavioral outcomes. For further guidance, visit the following link:


How much can I apply for?

Developmental Award Funding – Direct Costs:
You may request up to $60,000 in salary and/or non-salary costs for one year.  In addition, you may also request your institutional fringe rate on salary, calculated on top of the $60,000 direct cost total.  

 Developmental Award Funding – Indirect (Overhead) Costs:
The HU CFAR will award indirect costs at the rate of 25 percent for the domestic portion of the budget.  The HU CFAR will award indirect costs at the rate of 8 percent for the international portion of the budget, if any.  Please note that proposals are frequently recommended to be supported with Harvard University institutional support, in which case indirect costs will not be awarded.

What are the review criteria?

The Committee will review the applications based on the following criteria:

  • Overall scientific merit, level of innovation, and relevance of the proposal to AIDS research. 
  • Specific and narrowly focused application with realistic goals.
  • Potential for generating independent funding.
  • Potential for drawing investigators from other fields into AIDS research.
  • Collaborative proposals that extend the scope of current CFAR activities across multiple participating Harvard laboratories/institutions are highly encouraged. Collaborative proposals will be evaluated on the scientific merits of each individual component of the project, as well as the overall integration of the projects.