The International AIDS Society (IAS) has announced the applications for its Collaborative Initiative for Paediatric HIV Education and Research (CIPHER) Grant Programme to support the development of early-stage investigators to address research gaps in pediatric and adolescent HIV in resource-limited settings.
This is a unique “stepping up” opportunity, designed to give investigators the experience they need to compete for larger funding. The grants are resulting in personal and career development, capacity building on the ground, and research that informs policies and programmes.
In 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic has represented an unprecedented challenge for health systems: in the first quarter, 94% of countries reported disruptions of essential health services. Access to HIV prevention was reduced and there were decreases in testing and treatment initiation. The resilience and innovations of the HIV response have also been demonstrated. In particular, community-led services reached affected communities with essential services in the most challenging settings.
There is now an opportunity to adapt and enhance the approaches from the COVID-19 response to paediatric and adolescent HIV. This recognizes the need to develop innovative strategies reflecting on the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. CIPHER aims to support research projects that could inform HIV policies and programmes, thus accelerating the HIV response in grantees’ countries.
CIPHER is pleased to accept applications in both English and French. To encourage more applications from young investigators in West and Central Africa, a least one grant will be awarded to francophone applicants for projects in West and Central Africa.
The CIPHER Grant Programme is made possible with the generous support of Founding Sponsor ViiV Healthcare. Its content is guided by experts in paediatric and adolescent HIV convened by the International AIDS Society.
- Paediatric HIV (infants and children 0-10 years old, including the perinatal and inutero period, studies on mother-baby pairs and HIV-exposed uninfected children)
- Adolescent HIV (from 10 to 19 years old)
Awards will be funded for up to two years and for up to US$ 150,000 for two years (including direct research costs and applicable indirect costs).
Any individual with the skills, formal education and access to resources necessary to carry out the proposed research is welcome to submit an application to the CIPHER Grant Programme. The applicant must be the principal investigator (PI) of the proposed project. The PI should work with a mentor, his/her institutional colleagues and partners to develop the research plan.
Eligibility criteria and mandatory supporting documents:
- The PI must be an early-stage investigator, i.e., an individual who obtained her/his terminal research degree (e.g., PhD, MD, MBBS or equivalent) less than 10 years before the application deadline.
- The PI must serve for the first time as primary PI. Primary PIs who have previously received a non-training research grant exceeding US$ 30,000 are not eligible.
- The PI must fulfil one of the following criteria prior to the submission deadline for the Letter of Intent:
- He/she is a clinical/research trainee (e.g., fellow, senior resident) at an academic institute or an institute whose primary mission is research.
- He/she has a faculty or comparable position (e.g., assistant professor, lecturer) at an academic institute or an institute whose primary mission is research.
- He/she has an established position at an organization with adequate research infrastructure to undertake the proposed research activities.
- The research project should demonstrate the potential to contribute to the optimization of HIV diagnosis, treatment and care for infants and children affected by HIV in resource limited settings by responding to identified research priorities.
- Applications are encouraged from any country; however please note that approximately 80% of available funds in any given year will be awarded to applicants from (meaning holding a passport from) low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) according to the World Bank classification.
- The PI must choose a mentor with relevant expertise in paediatric HIV research (mentor’s contact details and a letter of commitment will be requested from all applicants; a mentorship plan will be requested only from shortlisted applicants who are invited to submit a Full Proposal).
- The budget should reflect that at least 80% of the direct grant expenses will be spent in LMICs.
- A letter of support from the applicant’s institution is required, as well as a copy of the applicant’s terminal research degree diploma.
For more information, visit https://bit.ly/2YfIJL4