Mentored Scientist Award

The CFAR Mentored Scientist Award is a grant targeted toward mentoring and training early stage investigators at a senior stage of clinical or postdoctoral training or new faculty at UCSF or affiliated partner institutes to conduct a research project, allowing them to acquire preliminary data and findings leading toward a future grant effort. Investigators with backgrounds in clinical, basic, behavioral-epidemiological, and/or Health Disparities HIV/AIDS research are all welcome to apply.

Of high interest to CFAR are investigations ranging from basic pathogenesis to clinical outcomes in the research areas of HIV/aging and inflammation, latency, cure, vaccines, co-infections, HIV in women, and research related to health disparities in HIV-infected and HIV-impacted Bay Area populations. CFAR has designated funding for at least two awards in both of basic and clinical/ epidemiological/ behavioral/ translational sciences, and one award in Health Disparities. International research projects are allowed.

Applicants for this award must indicate a faculty research mentor(s) who will commit to guiding the applicant throughout the duration of the proposed project.

NOTE: Projects must be within NIH’s HIV/AIDS research high or medium priority areas.  NIH does not allow CFAR to fund clinical trials or human use of an investigational drug. If you are considering a study involving a clinical intervention (e.g. approved drugs and/or standard-of-care), please contact Brenda Sanchez with a brief description of your study (brenda.sanchez@ucsf,edu) cc: to determine whether your proposed project would be eligible for funding through CFAR.

The award level for this program is $50,000 in direct costs (may include personnel salary and benefits). Any carry forward of funding is not guaranteed and must be throughly justified. If this application is awarded, indirect costs at appropriate rates will be added to the total direct costs. (Please note under the RAP funding portal your award could be co-funded by two or more agencies, each requiring separate accounts and documentation). 

CFAR commits to funding in two priority research areas as long as scientifically meritorious proposals are received in each.

  • Basic Science (two or more awards)
  • Clinical/ Translational / Epidemiological / Behavioral Sciences (two or more awards)
  • Health Disparities (one or more awards)

Applications must be submitted via the RAP website by February 27, 2:00 PM PT. Questions about proposal submission and review process contact

Funding Opportunity, Eligibility, Apply to RAP

  • Term: 1 year
  • Number of awards: Dependent on available funding
  • Award amount: $50,000 in direct costs
  • To Apply: Apply by the deadline of February 27 at 2 PM to the RAP website additional information can be found at (
  • Eligibility: ​Investigators must be at UCSF or affiliated partner institutes (​ Postdoctoral or clinical fellows in training. Current faculty at the assistant professor or clinical instructor level (including acting positions) who have not yet received an R01-equivalent award in HIV/AIDS. NOTE: Eligibility requirements need to be met as of date of submission; no waivers are allowed. 
  • T32: Current T32 awardees can apply for CFAR funds provided salary/stipends are NOT from the CFAR award.
  • K-Awardees: Current K awardees can provide complementary effort on the CFAR without salary within their remaining 25%. The mentored CDA must also maintain the 75% on the K. All K awardees should consult with their program officer to make sure they will allow this exception. For additional questions contact Lauren Sterling, CFAR Managing Director at
  • International Components: CFAR-funded research conducted in an international setting must have both UCSF and international institution CHR approval and must be approved by the NIH before funding will be released to the awardees institution via subcontract at UCSF.
  • Progress reports: Will be due to the CFAR Program office at six months and at the end of the project period.
  • Carry-forwards:  Carry-forwards are not guaranteed and must be fully justified. If this application is awarded, indirect costs at appropriate rates will be added to the total direct costs.

Designation of Research Mentor: 
All Mentored award applications require a faculty research mentor from UCSF or a UCSF-affiliate. ( CFAR requires your research mentor’s support to advise and guide the research portion of your application before submitting it to RAP. If no such person has yet been named, the applicant must arrange this before submission of the grant proposal.

The mentor should be recognized as an accomplished investigator in AIDS research, and should be able to demonstrate past success in training/mentoring independent investigators. The mentor’s role is to provide oversight on the planning, direction, and execution of the proposed research. In addition, the mentor must commit to mentoring the applicant’s throughout the duration of the research project.

NOTE: Mentor cannot have supervisory authority over the applicant(s) under any circumstance part-time or full-time during the project period. If the applicant works in your lab and you are his/her supervisor, you are required to find another person to act as a Research Mentor for the applicant’s project. If questions arise, please contact Lauren Sterling, at, CFAR Managing Director.

Criteria for Review / Evaluation of Applications:
Completed applications which meet eligibility requirements will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate review committee convened by the UCSF Resource Allocation Program in accordance with NIH review criteria: 1. Significance, 2. Approach, 3. Innovation, 4. Investigator, 5. Environment. Each of these criteria will be addressed and considered in assigning the overall application score.

CFAR Research Resources: Awardees are encouraged to use one or more support services from our CFAR research resources:

  • Implementation Science Scientific Working Group: Applicants proposing a study in the field of implementation science are required to have an expert from the new Implementation Science Working Group consult with them regarding their study. Send an email with a brief study description to Elvin Geng, SWG Director (
  • Clinical and Population Sciences Core: Steven Deeks, MD & Jeff Martin, MD, MPH, Directors; (;
  • Immunology Core: Jeffrey Milush, PhD, Director (
  • Virology Core: Teri Liegler, PhD; Joseph Wong, MD, Directors; (
  • Specimen Bank Core: Richard Jordan, DDS, PhD & Yvonne DeSouza, MS, Directors (,
  • Pharmacology Core: Francesca Aweeka, Director (
  • Health Disparities Core: Applicants proposing to conduct research with human subjects, especially local and/or underserved communities, are encouraged to consult with the Health Disparities Core. Send an email with a brief study description to Lauren Sterling, Managing Director ( to receive this consultation.

Resubmissions Definition: Same research topic with an amended application or research plan rather than a new research topic and new research plan. Requirements: Please use up to one extra page to introduce your revised proposal, addressing the issues raised in the review, and any additional changes to your proposal. A new letter from the Chair is not required if the resubmission is within 2 cycles (one skipped cycle max). You will include the old letter and state your resubmission is within 2 cycles and new letter is not required. Make sure the new changes are highlighted in bold or italic font so the reviewers can easily see where and how the proposal has changed. Do NOT use track changes.

(Please note under the RAP funding portal your award could be co-funded by two or more agencies, each requiring separate accounts and documentation).

​Program Contact:
Should you have any questions regarding submission or reporting procedures, please contact Brenda Sanchez, CFAR Core Development Manager, at For additional information see guidelines description:

Mentored Science Awardees